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Spring Creek Middle School Student Chosen to Attend Joint Science and Technology Institute

Isabelle Hansen smiling with science teacher

Isabelle Hansen, a seventh grader at Spring Creek Middle School (SCMS) will attend the Joint Science and Technology Institute East for Middle School Students (JSTI East – MS) this summer in Towson, Maryland. 

JSTI East for middle school students is a one-week, fully-funded, residential science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) research program that provides middle school students the opportunity to solve and complete STEM challenges and projects at a university. 

Hansen competed with over 3,400 middle schoolers across the United States to attend the conference. She is one of only 36 students who were selected.  

Hansen learned about the program from SCMS science teacher Kami Ahlin. 

“It’s like science camp on steroids,” said Ahlin. “Students get to do so much more than build a rocket.”

Ahlin said the hands-on projects provide students with opportunities to develop problem-solving and collaboration skills. 

“Students will attend labs and participate in research projects at the university. Additionally, students will attend a trampoline park, learn how it is engineered, built, and how it works. They will be able to climb on a rock-climbing wall and learn how physics are involved and what is going on during swimming that allows you to float.”

Other topics covered at the conference include microbiology, engineering, 3D printing, and cyber security.

When asked what science means to her, Hansen responded by describing her love for the science course offerings at SCMS.

“Ms. Ahlin’s science class is so interesting,” said Hansen. “We are learning about life science, and that’s what got me interested in this program because we get to go outside to complete real-life labs.”

In order to be considered as an attendee, students must have a 4.0 GPA, receive a letter of recommendation describing them as a model student, and have interest in science.

“For a long time I have been fascinated with the human brain,” said Hansen. “I was able to learn more about the brain in both my Everyday Heroes class last semester and in life science this semester. Now I want to become a neurosurgeon.”

JSTI is a part of the STEM Academies for Students offered by The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education. ORISE is a United States Department of Energy asset that is dedicated to enabling critical scientific, research, and health initiatives of the department and its laboratory system.

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