Science means so much to retired teacher John Rivas that he refuses to give up educating kids on its wonders.
Mr Rivas taught high school science for more than 35 years before he extinguished the flame on his classroom career in 2010.
But upon retiring he found himself unable to contain his passion for the subject.
“We live in an environment that is always interacting with science.
“We live, we sleep, we eat, we breathe with science and that’s the kind of message I like to tell — we are living in a scientific world, use it and engage with it.”
Mr Rivas’s enthusiasm for science education soon led him back to the schoolyard, although this time around the children under his tutelage were much smaller.
For the past four years he and his wife Edna, also a former teacher, have run an annual science exhibition at Jingili Primary School in Darwin’s northern suburbs.
“Retirement for me does not mean it’s the end of the line for community engagement or helping promote science and science education to those who need it most — children,” Mr Rivas said.
And as much as the children enjoy taking part in the science exhibitions, it is clear Mr and Mrs Rivas enjoy them too.
“We’ve pledged to keep coming back for as long as our health will allow us,” he said.
Only as old as you feel
In true scientific fashion, Mr Rivas described himself in the way a palaeontologist might describe a fossil.
“My chronological age is 71.
“I consider myself as a fully fledged senior who is retired but fully attached to the community.”
He said staying active, challenging himself mentally and contributing to his community made him feel much younger.
“I feel as though my body is still working at the age of about 55.”
‘Just open your eyes’
In some ways Mr Rivas and his wife are unlike other retirees; in other ways they share similarities.
The couple are avid travellers, making regular trips to the Philippines and exploring the world.