Career of the Month: An interview with bomb investigator Barney T. Villa by: Megan Sullivan

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When there is a bomb threat, these men and women com to the rescue. You may have seen them portrayed in movies and cop shows, but bomb technicians and investigators actually live the drama you only watch on TV. And behind the scenes, scientific techniques are used to get to the bottom of an incident. Barney T. Villa has served on the Los Angeles County Arson Explosives Detail (AED) for 18 years. Now, also the International Director of the International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators, Villa continues to be motivated by the noble challenge of his profession—protecting lives and communities. Here, Villa gives us a peek into what makes his job “tick.”

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Reviews (3)
  • on Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:56 AM

You see these men and women on TV shows as they attempt to disarm a device that is perceived to be explosive in nature. As a bomb specialist they not only disarm bombs but they actually investigate and apprehend the person or persons who created it. These dedicated people are forensic scientists who analyze evidence and use reasoning and logic to discover the nature of the bomb. After an undergraduate degree you need to become a police officer and then specialize in this area with further schooling. This would interest many adventurous students.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

  • on Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:58 PM

This article has proved very popular among my 8th Grade Career Research students. Many of them aspire to a career in medicine (I teach in a Medical Magnet school) but they also enjoy the idea of using forensics and critical thinking skills – modeling the bomb investigators they see in TV shows. This article was especially suitable for students who would like to be more proficient readers because it was a manageable length (just one page); students were motivated to read to the end of the article because the material was so engaging. This Career of The Month series of interviews from the NSTA publication "The Science Teacher" is special because the articles they tell you not only what the ‘job’ is like on a day to day basis, but they also explain the college/career path which the person took – not every path is what you would expect! My students read and made notes on several of these articles, then wrote a compare/contrast essay about the style of interview questions. They are now busy compiling a portfolio of Career Interviews by interviewing adult relations and friends, and writing up their findings in a similar format to the Career of the Month interviews. To encourage students to use their own words I asked students to submit the written text of their interviews to; so far only job titles have appeared in the Similarity Match. The Career of the Month Interviews inspired my students to think outside the box about their own career dreams, and to explore the careers of those around them in depth.

Rebecca Austin Datta  (Jacksonville, FL)
Rebecca Austin Datta (Jacksonville, FL)

  • on Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:02 PM

If you like excitement in your life than this career is for you. Learning what he does also lets you know how much he thinks like a scientist and use science in his daily job. The most interesting aspect of this article is his description of him best accomplishment. This would be a high interesting article for a young adult.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

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