Are Science and Engineering skills are required?
First of all, hi everyone, I'm new to the forums and this is my first post so bear with me if my questions are strange! I've been taking glances at the projects in Instructables, and I am really happy to find a site that shared my passion in home science/technology/DIY projects! I am studying Physics (first year) at my city's University (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece) and I was always fascinated by science, technology and especially computers-electronics.
Instructables' projects 'pushed' me to get some basic tools (A 25 W soldering iron, a soldering pump, a pair of 'helping hands' with a magnifying glass, screwdrivers, wire cutters, wire strippers, some other basic tools and recently a Dremel 300) and frequently, I've been trying some of the simpler projects. But, since science will be my future profession, I'm not content by just reading instructions and following through...I want to understand the principles behind the instructables (for example, electronics) and even make my own small projects at home. As I said, electronics/electrical engineering projects are kind of my favorite, and I often get frustrated by just blindly following through the instructable, and I ask myself 'how did he think about that' or 'how did he know how to build this circuit' or 'how did he choose his materials'.
So, do you really have to be an engineer to plan the more advanced -electronics or not- projects or can anybody get a book/website and learn about those skills? I often get ideas about projects of my own, but I don't know how to choose materials for them...does this skill come from experience or gained by an engineering degree? Is Physics a good enough degree to help me with my projects?
And another question that has been around my head for a while: do you actually get pen and paper, lay down designs and scientific formulas-calculations to build a more advanced project?