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How to squelch scientific curiosity in our youth

BARTOW, Florida - No one ever expected to see a mug shot from 16-year-old Kiera Wilmot.

The teenager is known among staff for her exemplary record at Bartow High School and her status as a good student.

"She is a good kid," said principal Ron Pritchard. "She has never been in trouble before. Ever."

All of that changed on Monday morning.

The teen is accused of mixing household chemicals in a tiny 8-ounce water bottle, causing the top to pop off, followed by billowing smoke in an small explosion.

Wilmot's friends and classmates said it was "a science project gone bad, that she never meant to hurt anyone."

Wilmot was arrested Monday morning and charged with possession/discharge of a weapon on school property and discharging a destructive device.

The teen was expelled and will now complete her education in an expulsion program.

http://www.wtsp.com/news/reporter/article/312878/79/Teen-gir...

Apparently, she is being charged as an adult with multiple felonies, which will pretty much ruin her life if she's convicted. Did I mention that she is 16 years old?

Interestingly, the scientific community is not pleased with her arrest, mostly because most scientists were blowing things up as kids.

http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2013/0503101...