Arts, Dining & Entertainment, Featured

VINS welcomes Miss Vermont 2015 promoting STEM through Discovery Sundays

Miss Vermont 2015, Alayna Westcom performs a science experiment at this year’s Vermont Pageant.

Sunday, Nov. 8 at 11:30 a.m. — QUECHEE — Alayna Westcom, Miss Vermont 2015, will be visiting VINS on Sunday, Nov. 8, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., to promote her passion for and knowledge of science, particularly STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).

Miss Westcom will participate in VINS’ popular onsite educational science program, Discovery Sundays, which explores the world through engaging, hands-on science experiments and investigations for inquisitive minds of all ages. Although pathology and anatomy are Miss Westcom’s “science of choice,” the theme of Sunday’s science demonstration will be finding the fulcrum, that is, balancing acts and “crazy” coordination. Join VINS educators and Miss Westcom for a hands-on exploration of the principles of force, gravity, balance and more. Children and adults alike are invited to build their own models and attempt amazing balancing acts.

According to a recent interview with Seven Days, Miss Westcom became interested in STEM through her elementary, middle- and high-school teachers who “wanted to do things that were hands-on.” She explained that “…it was how they were teaching us….we did dissections in seventh and eighth grade; we built our own roller coasters; we had science fairs every year. We had to pave our own way in learning science.” Miss Westcom will be doing just that at VINS on Nov. 8.

Miss Westcom’s undergraduate degree is in forensic science, and she completed a three-semester post-baccalaureate in medical laboratory science. She currently works part time as an autopsy technician at the Vermont medical examiner’s office in Burlington, and full time as a medical technologist at Northwestern Medical Center in St Albans.

Miss Westcom plans to earn her medical degree and become a board-certified forensic pathologist and, ultimately, a medical examiner. In her spare time, she tries to get children interested in science.

All Discovery Sunday activities are included with the price of admission to the Nature Center, which is $13.50 for adults; $12.50 for seniors, 65 and over; $11.50 for youth, ages 4 to 17; and free for members and children age 3 and under. For more info, visit or call 802-359-5000, ext. 228.


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