Several students at Mercer Middle School in Aldie were visited by Dr. Bulent Atalay. Atalay is a world-renowned physicist, author, and artist. A native of Turkey, he holds a bachelor’s, two master’s degrees and a doctorate from Georgetown University, Princeton, University of California-Berkeley and Oxford University.
Atalay is a physics professor at the University of Mary Washington and an adjunct professor at the University of Virginia. While at UVA, Atalay taught Mercer Middle School’s Gifted and Talented Specialist Gina Chaszar, who organized the presentation for her students. Chaszar said Atalay’s visit correlates with particular units she is doing with her classes. During his presentation, Atalay spoke about Leonardo da Vinci and how his curiosity to understand the world drove him to study nature, make careful observations, seek mathematical proofs and record all his findings.
Atalay said. “I try to inspire these kids to explore and take chances when they come along. They need to nurture their curiosity and they can’t go wrong.” According to Atalay’s findings, da Vinci produced drawings of a telescope almost 100 years before Galileo was given credit for discovering it.