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After 15 years in retail, Rae Johnson heads to the classroom as a Mad Scientist

Professor Rae D. O'Active travels to classrooms, programs, and birthday parties across the Triad doing cool science experiments.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Some know her as Rae Johnson, but if you're under the age of 10 in the Triad, you'd likely know her as Professor Rae D. O'Active, The Mad Scientist

"Anywhere kids gather, we go and do programs and we introduce them to science in a fun and entertaining way," Johnson said.

Johnson called it 'edu-tainment.' She said this is a job she stumbled into searching online.

"Back when Craigslist was still a thing, I found this ad and I had two little ones at home so I was like let me try it out because I also have a theatre arts background," Johnson said. 

Whether at a birthday party or at a school's field day, Johnson says the kids let her shine as a performer and a self-proclaimed nerd.

"At the end of class, I usually ask students: did you learn anything today?," Johnson said. "They'll all raise their hand and I say 'okay I did my job' and then I say 'did you have any fun today?' and of course, they all raise their hand." 

The classroom isn't the only place you'll find Johnson dabbling in cool science experiments.

"Sometimes we go into housing authorities where they have day programs," Johnson said. "That is my absolute favorite thing to do because those kids are usually tough, very streetwise, and have to have this tough façade. They grow up a lot faster than they should and so for the hour that I am in mad science--they are actually little kids." 

Johnson said the job's reward can't be measured by a paycheck. 

"As a mad scientist, do I make a lot of money?," Johnson said. "Not necessarily but it's worth it. It's worth it to see the kid's reactions."

She said the kids are her motivation.

"I have diabetes," Johnson said. "I have fibromyalgia. I have Rheumatoid arthritis. But, you move past that stuff. I don't want to be limited by those things. I don't want that to define who I am and mad scientist really lets me shine."

For more information and free experiments, check out the Mad Scientist website here!


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