Scientists Back Kiera Wilmot

In a show of solidarity, users are tweeting stories of things they blew up while learning science in school.

Kiera Wilmot (WTSP)
Kiera Wilmot (WTSP)

(The Root) — Here’s a bit of inspiring news in the saga of Kiera Wilmot, the 16-year-old Florida student who found herself in hot water after a science project went bad: Scientists across Twitter are showing their support for her by tweeting stories about the things they blew up in the name of science.

Wilmot, who has a sterling behavioral record, was expelled from school after her science experiment caused a small explosion in which no one was hurt and no damage was caused. She was also charged with possession and discharge of a weapon on school grounds and discharging a destructive device, both felonies for which she will be tried as an adult. Many are outraged over the harsh punishment, citing her treatment as a reason that there are so few women and girls — black women and girls, especially — in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers.

Andrew Thaler speaks out in defense of Wilmot on his website, Southern Fried Scientist. “Science is messy,” he writes. “Science is messiest when we are just learning how to turn our curiosity into something testable.” On Twitter, he challenged his followers to tweet stories of things they blew up when they were in school. Check out Thaler’s compilation of the responses he got here, and other tweets of science gone wrong united under the tag #KieraWilmot below.