Over the summer, sophomore Bianca DeSilva attended The University of Florida’s Science Quest Program‘s Biological Sciences session for students entering 10th grade.
“It was great,” Bianca said. “It was only a week long, but we did so much during that week. I learned a lot about different kinds of sciences like geology, zoology, and anthropology.”
The program also consisted of lectures and demonstrations by experts in the field.
Bianca’s favorite part of the experience was when the group visited Santa Fe College’s Harvey Sharron Bat Cave, a cave system where they were able to study hydrology by viewing the aquifer. “We were learning about hydrology and how water works,” Bianca said. “We couldn’t disturb the aquifer, but we got to watch how the water moved through it. There were places where the cave got smaller and we had to crawl through it on our stomachs, and we even got to see the bats!”
Another day, they sat in a lecture by a pair of anthropology grad students from UF. “They described a few cases that they were included on. The police notify them and they go to crime scenes and look at the bones and determine how the person died. Then we got to study bones ourselves. It was really interesting.”
Anthropology was the subject that got Bianca really excited. “I’m still interested in radiology, but right now I’m definitely considering anthropology as a career.” She’s excited about UF too. “The University of Florida is at the top of my list. I’m also looking into some top 20 schools up north, but I think it’d be really cool to go to UF.”
Cave diving and bone identifying weren’t the only new experiences for Bianca.
“I’ve gone to other camps but this is the first time I stayed in university dorms so it was a first for me,” said Bianca, who is a day student at Farragut. “It was a fun experience for me. I really liked boarding there. I’ve seen pictures of the Farragut dorms so it kinda reminded me of the dorms here. I’m friends with my roommate and we still talk all the time.”
She’s already excited for next summer. “There’s camps at UF and FSU, and in those you get to work with actual researchers in the labs. It sounds so fun, I hope I get in!”
Outside of science, Bianca is a member of her local chapters of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), where she specializes in insurance and risk management, and DECA, where she specializes in personal financial literacy. She also plays tennis for Admiral Farragut Academy.