Dr. Greenberg presents micro world wonders at TEDx


Scientist and inventor Dr. Gary Greenberg educates audience on the micro world at TEDxMaui at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center on January 22, 2012. Other guest speakers spoke at the event in attempt to share the courage to dream.

By Kelsie Chong, features co-editor

Of the 22 prestigious and passion-driven leaders chosen to speak at the TEDxMaui was Dr. Gary Greenberg, who was selected to share his vital contributions to science at the event on January 22, 2012, at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center.

“Dr. Greenberg’s speech was definitely captivating because he never really told us his story,” said Kamehameha Schools Maui senior Jessie Hozaki, who was in attendance that day.

During the event, he briefly discussed his innovative high-definition, three-dimensional light microscope, which is capable of focusing on objects more closely than ever before. Dr. Greenberg hoped to bring forth a new and more positive appreciation for the world and change the way people think of their everyday perceptions.

“I want them [the audience] to know that everything in the world is precious,” he said.

During the presentation, micro snapshots of his findings slowly transitioned in and out of the projected screen. Photots of bees, flowers and sand showed the intricate details of anything that went under his lens.

“At 13 years old, my dad gave me my first microscope,” he said. “I went in my back yard and looked at all sorts of things.”

This sparked Greenberg’s interest in science. Owning a microscope at that age was exciting because it was similar to having “x-ray glasses,” he said. None of his other friends were able to see the things he saw.

Growing up, Dr. Greenberg never envisioned being where he is today. His achievements and experiences came from his passion for science and a keen understanding of the importance of following his heart.

“If your heart is in the right place, you can’t go wrong,” he said.

Senior Shiloh Haia walked away with a new view on life, combining the micro world with hers.

“Dr. Greenberg helped me realize if you look a little deeper into the little and simple things in life, you’ll find things you never expected to find,” senior Shiloh Haia said.

Aside from being a scientist, artist and inventor, many Kamehameha Maui students may recognize him as one of their substitute teachers.

“I get a little bit of a kick out of it [teaching]. To me, if I can get any of the students interested in science, it’s very rewarding,” Dr. Greenberg said.

He has been affiliated with teaching nearly his entire life and enjoys every aspect of it.

“I learn so much from teaching, and this is why I do it,” he said.

Some of his other accomplishments include authoring books, such as A Grain of Sand, A Bug’s Eye View of Flowers, Florotica, and a children’s book, entitled Mary’s Magic Microscope.