Bulger's Beat: Vanderbilt summer camp attracts brightest kids - WSMV Channel 4

Bulger's Beat: Vanderbilt summer camp attracts brightest kids

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Some of the smartest 9-year-olds in the country are at Vanderbilt University this summer, to study things like genetics, DNA, neutrons and cytoplasms.

The students in Vanderbilt's Summer Program for Talented Youth don't mind spending their vacation in deep thought. They are helping to pave the way for the scientific discoveries of tomorrow.

"They're actually hitting on questions that scientists today are trying to understand. I'm very impressed. I'd like to take them and make them graduate students in a lab with me," said medical researcher Dr. Stephanie Zieger. "They're amazing."

The youngsters, none older than 10, are diving deep into some light reading, like biomedical engineering and forensic anthropology.

In one experiment, the kids are figuring out how to get oxygen into a bottle without blowing into it. It's lung research they're doing, and loving it.

"I like thinking a little more than I'm used to, and that's what makes this class so fun," said camper Caden Kennedy.

The program is fun in a variety of scientific ways.

"The second coolest thing we did was make cookies, because when I got home, I ate it and it was delicious," said camper Kayla Dunn.

Even that tasty cookie was the result of an experiment involving cell modeling, where the nucleus of the cookie was the marshmallow filling. So, even dessert at this Vanderbilt summer camp comes with a dose of science.

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