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Think Tank

Big Idea Redux: Science Experiment Results in Expulsion, Felony Charges

In yesterday's lesson, astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson advised parents to buy their children binoculars, and then get out of the way, if they want to instill a sense of curiosity. But it normally doesn't happen that way. 

Curiosity means spilling things, breaking things. In some cases, it means blowing up things. That is what happened to a Florida teen whose science project got out of control. Student Kiera Wilmot mixed some house chemicals in a plastic bottle. The reaction blew the top off the bottle and produced some smoke. 

That was nothing compared to the way the adults reacted. They are charging the student with a felony. According to a local TV station, "authorities arrested her and charged her with possession/discharge of a weapon on school property and discharging a destructive device." 

Despite an exemplary record, Wilmot is being expelled from school. 

So what's the moral of this story?

As Neil deGrasse Tyson said, we spend the first year of a child's life teaching him or her to walk and talk, "and the rest of their lives telling them to shut up and sit down."

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But also be sure to tell us what you think in the comments below. 

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