MONTROSE, Colo. — The Montrose County School District is moving ahead with science, technology, engineering and math curriculum in all schools. But as the schools begin to implement the curriculum, some students are out ahead.

One such student is Kacy Henwood. The Olathe senior spent part of her summer in San Diego at the Scripps Institute doing an internship to study drug addiction, reported the Montrose Press (http://bit.ly/2bNJu1E).

“This was the first year the Pinhead Institute in Telluride opened up the internships to Montrose County and I applied and received one,” she said. “The Pinhead Institute helps you find an internship based on what kind of science you like. They really set me up.”

Henwood said she wants a hands-on experience with science.

“I wanted to be able to work in a lab and there aren’t any around here,” she said. “I was glad they found something and that I was able to study what I wanted.”

Henwood said she picked drug addiction because she found through research what a big problem it can be and what kind of help is needed.

“It is a huge problem and it is surprising what the effects are on the people and the people around them,” she said. “But we found there are things you can do about it if you have the resources.”

Henwood’s work involved some rats and doing plenty of reading. She didn’t spend as much time at the beach as people would think.

“We handled the rats and participated in the training to get the rats to the baseline model they needed to be at,” she said. “Then we sliced and dissected the brains to see the chemicals generated. We read research papers and I learned something new every day.”

The Pinhead Institute set up host families for the students. Henwood and another girl doing the same research stayed together with one family.

“They took us paddle boarding, to the beach and several other things,” she said. “We got the lowdown on the best things at the farmers markets.”

As she starts her senior year, Henwood is excited.

“Graduation will be exciting and I am looking at colleges. I want to do science, but just not sure what kind yet,” she said.

“I am playing three sports and you have to plan your time for what works for you. You have to figure out time for homework because that comes first.”


Information from: The Montrose Daily Press, http://www.montrosepress.com