A young man of few words, at least during an interview, Sean Farnsley clearly excels from the other side of his brain, the side where talent in math, physics and science resides.
Farnsley, a rising junior, was nominated by his Geometry teacher at Port St. Joe Jr./Sr. High School, Kim McFarland, to participate in a national leadership forum at Emory University in Georgia.
Actually, McFarland nominated Farnsley last year, but as a Life Scout, next step Eagle, Farnsley joined local Troop 347 in attending the National Boy Scout Jamboree last summer.
“Sean has had a very full summer so (dad) Aaron and I were glad he was able to attend and get a feel for campus life,” said mom Diann Farnsley.
Beyond the classroom and Boy Scouts, Farnsley is also a class senator for the Student Government Association and plays varsity soccer.
The forum, which brought together kids from as far away as Utah and Puerto Rico, and those distances only gleaned from the students Farnsley met during the weeklong event, was held the last week in July.
“It was fun, it was a good week,” Farnsley said.
Envision’s National Youth Leadership Forum aims to bring top students in STEM subject areas of science, technology, engineering and math together for a week of learning and projects.
“NYLF is a great opportunity for high-achieving scholars to get outside the classroom and see, through hands-on interactive learning, how to innovate and think creatively,” said Andrew Potter, Chief Academic Officer for Envision.
“These students, who have already proven themselves academically, are challenged to work on real-world, student-created projects to bring their studies and career interests to life.”
Farnsley hopes to pursue biomedical engineering and work for the World Health Organization.
Forum days began with classroom learning and segued into afternoons full of projects and field trips.
Among the hands-on projects Farnsley undertook, in a team setting, were programming a helicopter, building a human prosthetic and constructing a water tower, the kind that would be needed in some Third-World countries where water can be scarce.
The prosthetics project had particular appeal for Farnsley and his hopes to pursue biomedical engineering.
“It was all hands-on and I learned a lot about teamwork,” Farnsley said, noting he was on a team of three.
“It was far ahead of what we’re doing in high school.”
The week’s field trip was to the Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta,
“I wanted to learn something and have some fun,” Farnsley said of his expectations for the forum.
“I learned about teamwork and a lot of math and, yeah, it was good.”