Why Bill Nye’s visit to UD meant so much to so many of us

Consider the Following: Science Rules.

I can, without a doubt, say that some of my best childhood memories came from sitting in science class and watching a Bill Nye video on VHS. The intro music would blast through the classroom, followed by the echoed chants from my peers and I, making “BILL BILL BILL” all you could hear throughout the halls. I never latched onto any STEM-affiliated field, yet Bill Nye got me genuinely excited to learn about science.

So I’m sure that many of you reacted the same way I did when I learned the Bill Nye was coming to the University of Delaware – I broke out into the chant. BILL BILL BILL!    

After several weeks of built-up anticipation, March 21st finally rolled around. My friends and I, along with heaps of other pumped-up fans, showed up to the event an hour and a half early to get a good seat. We were let inside, we sat, and we waited. And after a few grueling hours of anxiety waiting to see him, Bill Nye graced the stage of the Bob Carpenter Center.

Mr. Nye began with his warm regards and appreciation for being invited to speak before delving into the major topics. (What a guy, am I right?)

He talked about his father, an engineer himself who worked in the aerospace field. He was captured by the Japanese during WWII for four years which caused him to learn his passion for sun dials. His mother lived a successful life herself, working on the Enigma code for several years.

Nye studied at Cornell University and majored in mechanical engineering. He worked in the field before switching over to stand-up comedy. Every year on October 3, 1986, Mr. Nye drinks a martini in celebration of the day he quit his job as an engineer to pursue television. He also is a self-proclaimed ultimate Frisbee aficionado.

The event continued, hitting the topics of climate change, life on other planets, the importance of sustainability, and even butterfly culture was thrown into the mix. Yet, no matter the topic, the theme remained the same; Bill Nye believes that young people are the solution, and investing in them is an investment in our planet.

So many of us grew up learning about science and becoming interested in the field because of those half hour videos we watched in class when we were ten. Now, as young adults, we have the knowledge and tools to implement what Bill Nye has been teaching us our entire lives.

At the very end of the lecture, Mr. Nye’s final thoughts were, “Soon, you all, you young people, will be running the show. You will drive our economy and our politics. So, when that happens, dare I say it, change the world.”

Oh, we will Mr. Nye. Thanks to you.

University of Delaware