Demi Belk, daughter of Franklin County native Karen and Woodie Belk and granddaughter of AT and Judy Malone, of Russellville, was among honors students from across the nation to attend the Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders this summer in Lowell, Mass.
The Congress is an honors-only program for high school students who are passionate about science, technology, engineering or mathematics. The program aims, according to a press release, are “to honor, inspire, motivate and direct the top students in the country who aspire to be scientists and technologists, to stay true to their dream and, after the event, to provide a path, plan and resources to help them reach their goal.”
Demi was nominated by Dr. John C. Mather, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics and science director of the National Academy of Future Scientists and Technologists based on her academic achievement, leadership potential and passion for science and technology.
During the three-day Congress, Demi joined students from across the country to hear Nobel Laureates and National Medal of Science recipients talk about leading scientific research. She and fellow students were given advice from deans of the world’s top tech universities; were inspired by fellow teen science prodigies; and learned about cutting edge advances and the future of science and technology.
“This is a crucial time in America when we need more nimble-minded and creative scientists and technologists who are even better prepared for a future that is changing exponentially,” said Richard Rossi, executive director of the National Academy of Future Scientists and Technologists. “Focused, bright and determined students like Demi Belk are our future, and she deserves all the mentoring and guidance we can give her.”
The Academy offers free services and programs to students who have the desire to learn more about their futures in science or technology. Some of the services and programs the Academy offers include online social networks through which future scientists and technologists can communicate; opportunities for students to be guided and mentored by tech and science leaders; and communications for parents and students on college acceptance and finances, skills acquisition, internships, career guidance and much more.
The Academy was founded on the belief that STEM education plays a critical role in enabling the United States to remain the economic and technological leader of the global marketplace of the 21st century. Based in Washington, D.C., and with an office in Boston, Mass., the Academy was chartered as a nonpartisan, taxpaying institution to help address this crisis by working to identify, encourage and mentor students who wish to devote their lives to advances in society as scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians.
Demi is a 10th grade student at Muscle Shoals High School.