Wanna be an aquanaut? How 'bout an alien hunter? A sports stat guru? Disease detective? Launch the slideshow to learn what the prereqs are for the greatest jobs in science.
1. Blow Up . . . Everything
Where: New Mexico Tech Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center (EMRTC)
What You'll Learn: Why car bombs are so destructive; how to make diamonds
Future Job: Structural engineer, chemical engineer, explosives expert
Prospective Employers: Los Alamos National Lab, Department of Homeland Security
Today's assignment: Create a five-pound car bomb and detonate it in a sedan. Tomorrow, shoot munitions across a half-mile canyon to see what you can hit on the other side.
EMRTC's home is 40 square miles of uninhabited desert wilderness so remote that dozens of explosives tests-or "shots"-can take place in one day. Founded in the wake of World War II, EMRTC, one of the country's foremost lab for explosives research, has everything from training grounds for mine-sniffing robots to areas where students blow up cars, tanks and buildings. Typical labs include packing several thousand pounds of ammonium nitrate around a container of carbon to manufacture industrial diamonds, or examining the safety of structures and substances that may be exposed to explosions in the real world. Students work on every aspect of the research, including setting up shots, analyzing data, and conceiving new tests.