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Cool Kid

Jesse Kinion

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05/01/2010 - By Sherri Roberts

The class of excited young children and nervous teachers waits in breathless anticipation for the impending explosion and they are not disappointed. Suddenly there is a thundering boom as a plastic soda bottle darts through the air to the far end of the gymnasium. The lab coat and safety goggle clad scientist behind this blast? Jessie Kinion.

Jesse, a seventeen year-old junior at Kelly Walsh High School, has been volunteering at the Science Zone since the fall of 2009. You can find him there most Saturdays or at school assemblies during the week doing a variety of interesting demonstrations for people of all ages. He says he donates his time at the Science Zone (now located in the basement of Mossholders Design Center) because it's fun and that he likes to find ways to make his experiments more interesting. "My payment is …the kids' expressions when they see these impressive experiments that they otherwise wouldn't get to see."

The folks at the Science Zone love to have Jesse there as much he loves being there. Carrie Schroeder, executive director says, "He is a wonderful, talented young man! The Science Zone benefits tremendously from all the time he volunteers here, and I can't say enough how proud we are of him!"

Jesse became interested in science at the age of six when Sherri Jennings, his Bible study teacher, gave him a copy of The Big Book of Questions and Answers. Then he went to the library and checked out Killer Fish. After that, "I was hooked," he declares. His interests eventually narrowed to chemistry and physics. What's the difference between the two? According to Jesse, "Chemistry is the art of making explosives. Physics is getting them to the target."

But Jesse has other interests besides science. He states that, "Underneath the lab coat there is still a teenager." He likes to get involved with his church doing things like facilitating at Vacation Bible School, painting faces at events, and helping with banquets. He also loves to write, surf the net, and hang out at the mall.

I caught up with Jesse at the ice rink where he was with Ms. Finch's physical education class. Jesse is her student assistant and she said, "He is very kind, nice, and dependable." She must have been right. I had a hard time getting an interview with all of the young ladies clamoring for his attention and help on the ice.

After graduation, Jesse is considering going into the Navy where he would like to work in HazMat transport as opposed to being locked up in a lab trying to cure some disease. "I am the person who discovers things by accident like most other great inventions that we have."

Whatever is in Jesse's future, he will succeed. He is a very special young man with great knowledge and willingness to share with and serve others. But don't take my word for it. Go watch him in action some Saturday at the Science Zone. You will not only be amazed, but you will learn something too!

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