My first encounters with science were through the toys and science kits that my parents would order from Edmunds Scientific catalog, and I do have very fond recollections of playing with them as a child. For middle and high school, I went to a private German/Turkish joint school in Istanbul, and there was emphasis placed on science education. The core sciences, physics, chemistry, biology, and math were taught in German, and the teachers were all wonderful, however physics was my favorite, as the three physics teachers were the best.
Both my parents are civil engineers, and I have to say that we were brought up in a very science-positive environment. Growing up, we've always had National Geographic magazine around the house, and I remember browsing and studying the photos as a child before learning English in middle school, which undoubtedly led to my love of photography, and to me getting my first degree, a BFA in photography from CSULB.
Another major influence for my appreciation of science is growing up with Star Trek The Next Generation, and similar scifi.
Being self-employed, I had the opportunity to make time to go back to school while working, and started taking lower division math and physics classes as a hobby through open university. Eventually it ended up becoming serious, and I officially got enrolled in the BS in Physics program, which I'm one class away from completing. It has been an amazing journey, learning the subject in depth, and correcting the many misconceptions one has about the physical world.
I realized that I enjoyed talking about what I was learning to family and friends, and also came to realize the many scientific misconceptions people carry into adulthood. This led to a desire to effectively communicate the fundamentals about physics, and also at the insistence of family and friends, I've decided to give teaching a try.