Source: Tim Elfrink / Miami New Times
As the tale of Kiera Wilmot — the Bartow, Florida student expelled and charged with two felonies over a science project gone wrong — went viral yesterday, a wide movement to support the 16-year-old blossomed from blogs to radio shows to Change.org petitions. Best of all, though, has been a Twitter campaign by scientists and science fans with a simple premise: writing about the craziest stuff they’ve blown up over the years, all in the name of science.
The difference, of course, is that they were congratulated on their curiosity or slapped on the wrist, not hit with life-altering felonies.
Sodium silicate + matchheads = nice little smokebomb waaaay back in the day. All in good fun with a bit of science. #KieraWilmot
— Stafford Rau (@staffordrau) May 2, 2013
In high school I accidentally set off a beaker of rocket fuel and evacuated the building. Now I’m a chemistry major. #KieraWilmot
— Steffan Iverson (@thirdbutterfly) May 2, 2013
Destructive test is an entire field of engineering where you burn/overload/blow things up.#KieraWilmot should be lauded, not punished
— Scott Underwood (@teamskum) May 2, 2013
Wilmot was booted from school and criminally charged last week after mixing toilet bowl cleaner and aluminum foil in a plastic bottle on school grounds, despite the fact that no one was hurt and she told her principal she was conducting a “science fair experiment.”
The details of the case have led to an outcry from science educators, particularly because Wilmot was apparently a good student with a good behavior record and because she’s a young black woman — a demographic severely underrepresented in the science world.
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