Updated: Apr 6
"I LOVE the periodic table. I could talk about bonds and stuff for hours."
That's a direct quote from Kingsley High School freshman Anna Bauer. Soft-spoken and extremely polite, she lights up with joy when discussing chemistry, biology, or anything science-related.
"I really want to be a biologist, or chemist, or chemical engineer. I love being hands-on," she said.
Her genuine enthusiasm for learning will serve her well, as the aspiring scientist has been accepted into one of the most prestigious summer programs in the country, the US Naval Academy's Summer STEM Program.
A poster advertising the program on a KHS bulletin board sparked an interest to apply.
"It's pretty cool that they're linking up students not just to opportunities in Grand Traverse County, but all over. They're helping kids to dream big," said Anna’s mother, Kristen Bauer, who credits Kingsley’s science department and KHS counselor Brittany Feldhake for helping to connect Anna to the opportunity.
The week-long program on the campus of the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland includes field trips, hands-on learning, intramural sports, and more. The program's website lists academic modules like "Storm Chasing" which tasks students with constructing small buildings that can withstand 150 mph winds. Their projects are then tested inside a wind tunnel in one of the academy's labs.
"I'm really excited to go there. They're professionals. I'm going to go learn from the people that do this for a living!" said Anna.
Anna's application to the program stood out thanks to excellent grades, involvement in sports, and volunteer work with A.C. Paws. The final component that gave her an edge was impressive 8th grade PSAT scores which Anna credits Kingsley's eighth-grade team for helping her attain, thanks to extensive test prep done that year.
"We did PSAT prep every week, and we'd simulate a test atmosphere. It really helped, and made the test a lot easier," said Anna.
Anna will attend the program June 12-17, which means, to Anna's disappointment, that she'll miss the last few days of the school year. “I’ll miss seeing my friends and saying ‘goodbye’ to my teachers for the summer. But, I am also excited to go to Annapolis.”
To learn more about Kingsley Schools, visit kingsleyschools.org.