The Lost and Found of Beauty in Nature

Written by DJ Duve


Sammy was a 10-year old boy that loved flowers for their beauty. After learning about the cells and structure of the plant in science class he started to view flowers as simple objects, and did not see their beauty. That was until one day he rediscovered their beauty. This encouraged him to learn more about flowers, and become a teacher to teach others about them.


  • Balance: Sammy becomes so obsessed with the science of flowers that he forgets the beauty of them. Then, he realizes he needs more balance of beauty and science to appreciate them.
  • Resilience: Sammy becomes upset with his feelings after learning a lot about flowers. However, he shows resilience in staying with the learning and rediscovers his love for flowers.
  • Passion: Sammy finds his passion of flowers and pursues it relentlessly. This allows him to make a career out of it as well (teaching about them).

Sammy was a 10-year-old boy starting 5th grade. He was shaking with excitement as he knew the big science unit in 5th grade was about flowers. To explain, Sammy was always in awe of the natural beauty of flowers. He loved seeing the bright yellow dandelions cover up the outfield at baseball practice, and the incredible red roses his mom grew in their family garden. As he walked into the classroom on the first day of school he looked at his teacher and exclaimed, “I am so excited for our flower unit. I cannot wait to create beautiful bouquets and pick my favorite flowers.” To Sammy’s surprise his teacher looked at him with a frown. “That’s not science, Sammy,” said his teacher, “we are going to learn about the cells in the flowers and how they get nutrients instead.” Sammy was disappointed, and 5th grade was off to a bad start.

As 5th grade kept going Sammy decided to learn everything he could about flowers. He studied them day and night. He learned all about photosynthesis and their cells. He learned how flowers needed water and sunlight to live, and how their seeds helped make new flowers. Sammy was becoming a flower scientist. However, Sammy felt sad about this and he did not know why. Then, it dawned on him. He no longer was in love with flowers. He did not appreciate their natural beauty anymore. Instead, they were simply an object to him. They were no more special than his pencil or his backpack. This made Sammy incredibly sad.

Sammy kept trying to find the beauty in flowers that he had seen before. He tried everything from picking dandelions to making beautiful bouquets for his mom. Nothing seemed to work. However, he was the school expert on flowers and their makeup. This did not make him happy. Then, one hot June afternoon Sammy’s dad walked into his bedroom. He looked at Sammy and said, “Grab your glove. Let’s go down to the ball field and play some catch.” Sammy jumped at this opportunity. He grabbed his glove, got in the car and off they went. As Sammy and his dad pulled into the parking lot something special happened. Sammy felt an immediate spark and butterflies in his stomach. He saw the bright yellow dandelions springing up in the outfield. He was in awe of their beauty. Then, he saw the concession stand and saw their roses. They were some of the prettiest flowers he had ever seen. Sammy was overjoyed. He had rediscovered his love for the beauty of flowers.

As the summer went on Sammy continued to see the beauty in the flowers that lined the streets. He continued to pick the beautiful bouquets of flowers that he saw. However, this time around he knew the cells inside the flowers, and how they got their nutrients. Sammy had finally realized that science does not try to make special things ordinary objects. Instead, science helps you understand how the special things in your life are created, and how they work. Sammy found this so interesting that he continued to learn all about flowers and plants for a long time. He learned so much about flowers that he even went to college to study them and become a teacher. After graduating college, he accepted a job as a 5th grade teacher in Iowa. He was nervous as he walked into school the first day. He was going to have so many responsibilities in the classroom, and he was not sure he was ready for it.

As the bell rang to start class Sammy asked his students what they were excited about to start the school year. They went around the classroom and every student shared with Sammy what they were excited about. Every student seemed to share the same two answers. These answers were “to make new friends” and “get smarter.” Then, the last student stood up to share. Her name was Lisa and she seemed a little nervous to speak. However, she still shared with the class. She said, “My name is Lisa, and I am excited to learn about flowers. I have always loved them and thought they are beautiful.” A smile broke out on Sammy’s face. He replied, “Me too, Lisa. I love flowers.” At that moment, Sammy’s nerves seemed to calm down, and he knew he was ready to teach.


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Humanizing Science through STEAM Challenges Copyright © 2021 by E.J. Bahng and John M. Hauptman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.