Let's start by saying that I was a reluctant learner as a child and I was a reluctant educator as an adult. And, I'm fully aware that education comes in all forms.
For me, education could only happen when I was interested in the subject. Fortunately, I developed a curious mind. But before I became an avid learner, I had to be tricked into learning through play or fantasy. Science fiction and fantasy drew me into mental explorations that no teacher or traditional school book could.
To understand a blacksmith character in a fantasy book, my brother and I built a forge and created the world's worst sword. To understand a stable boy, I fed horses for a summer. To prepare myself to be a space-faring life where orbital paths would have to be calculated (before modern AI that can do anything for you), I decided to learn mathematics and physics.
I assume you see the pattern. Fiction lead to other learning. I have to credit teachers, my folks, and my friends for joining me on my journey to turn fiction into reality. I would never have been able to do it all on my own. I credit teachers, mentors, and everyone in the educational and library fields for my gradual rise from a reluctant learner to an independent learner. Thank you all.
As an author for my own kids and for their friends, I hope to inspire learning through fiction. My twins are blessed with inquisitive minds, which I am eternally grateful for, but I still hope that my writing will inspire them to learn about the future of science and engineering, not just where science has been for the last century.