(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.
My first computer blew up because I forgot to unplug the power before taking it apart#KieraWilmot
— Katja Hofmann (@katjahofmann) May 4, 2013
Blew up a signal generator by wiring the inputs to house AC—giving my delighted prof a chance to explain phenom of “Blue Smoke” #KieraWilmot
— Superman formal emus (@MikeQtips) May 4, 2013
— Hartley Brody (@hartleybrody) May 3, 2013
Ridiculous! When I was in HS organic chem, I accidentally blew up a beaker & wasn’t arrested. Who hasn’t? #KieraWilmot
— Luna C. (@thunderinglunie) May 6, 2013
In physics class, we blew up an electrolytic capacitor by reversing its polarity.Nobody wore safety goggles. #kierawilmot
— Jens Hannemann (@JensHannemann) May 4, 2013
Blew up 3 computers because i’ve assembled cpu in the wrong way. The 3 implosed with smoke when i turned then on. FOR SCIENCE #kierawilmot