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Charges dropped against #KieraWilmot, now let’s shower her with science love

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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#Solidarity4Wilmot prevails. Thank you! Charges dropped against Kiera Wilmot. Yes! And YES!! Anyone else doing backflips? This news, combined with her full expulsion from school (for next year) being over turned makes me very, very happy for her. (Though I’m thinking ahead – would returning to Bartow High School be in her best interest? Others have asked about contributing to a scholarship for her and her sister to attend a different more Math & Science friendly school. Right now I can’t say anything about this.)

For now we can focus on her next steps – specifically her being able to take advantage of all of those amazing science outreach opportunities extended to her.  Many people stepped up to offer Kiera mentored science opportunities. Thank you. For people that reached out to me with offers, I will share them with her mother.  I’m guessing that Kiera’s summer schedule will be filled with opportunities to do science – of all kinds.

In fact, Dr. Homer Hickam – (yes, that one from Rocket Boys) has steppen in/up. He contacted Ms. Wilmot and has offered to send Kiera to Space Camp in Huntsville. He has graciously offered to pay her fees. Kiera’s twin sister, Kayla is also interested in science and Space Camp, so there is an online fundraiser to help cover her fees to attend the camp with her sister: Kayla and Kiera Wilmot Space Academy Scholarships.

Kayla and Kiera Wilmot (courtesy of Wilmot family)

Please join me and contributing to the fund to help make this AWESOME, FUN, Once-in-a-lifetime opportunity extra special for them. I am so happy and excited for them. In 8th grade, I visited the Huntsville NASA facility and wished I could attend Space Camp.  I hear they are both excited about the opportunity. They haven’t picked the week yet – but hey all of this legal stuff just cleared itself. No doubt they are still overwhelmed.

I am happy.

Just by timing alone, Kiera can’t take advantage of every outreach opportunity offered to her by all of you good people.  I hope and ask that you still offer that opportunity to another “Kiera Wilmot” in your community.  Kids from all over and in every community would love a chance to tour a science lab, tag sharks, or even assist on a university science project or go to science camp.  Her mother indicated that she (and her twin sister) is (are) really into Robotics.

And if you’re interested in extending science outreach opportunities to Kiera and other students, then please fill out this form. I’ll put you in contact with the appropriate individuals.


More links for news related to Kiera Wilmot:

Charges dropped against Florida teen over amateur science experiment
Updates on #KieraWilmot, Legal Fund created
Scientists’ Support for Kiera Wilmot #Solidarity4Wilmot

DNLee About the Author: DNLee is a biologist and she studies animal behavior, mammalogy, and ecology . She uses social media, informal experiential science experiences, and draws from hip hop culture to share science with general audiences, particularly under-served groups. Follow on Twitter @DNLee5.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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  1. 1. Moulton 7:05 am 05/16/2013

    “Would returning to Bartow High School be in her best interest?”

    Absolutely not. Sadly, we now have compelling evidence that the bureaucratic and police culture in the public school system have the capacity and operational structure to systematically drown the spirit of discovery learning in the STEM disciplines.

    Let us now turn to fulfilling the prospect of building a scholarship fund to send Kiera and her twin sister, Kayla, to a quality non-public high-school academy where they could both get a top-notch education in math, science, and the arts, without being subjected to the unwholesome machinations of a toxic and dispiriting school bureaucracy and a career-destroying police culture.

    Link to this
  2. 2. larkalt 8:47 am 05/16/2013

    Except why was she disciplined at all? She was suspended for awhile and apparently has to go through some kind of program for juvenile offenders.
    I don’t see how she did anything blameable, only made a minor mistake. I don’t know if the accusations of racism are true, but why didn’t the prosecutor’s office simply decline to prosecute?
    Why was she even arrested? That by itself would be traumatic especially for a teenager.

    Link to this
  3. 3. neilrued 9:16 am 05/16/2013

    The Principal over reacted, behaving like a drama queen.

    She should never have been arrested.

    Clearly she’s a genius bored with the regular school work.

    She should attend a school with an accelerated learning programme, to fast track her into University.

    Link to this
  4. 4. larkalt 9:43 am 05/16/2013

    Well, I have been very grateful for the times when I made an unfortunate mistake and people could have been punitive and played hardball about it – but didn’t. It allowed me to learn from the experience without carrying around resentment.

    Link to this

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