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Motlow State Community College
P.O. Box 8500
Lynchburg, TN 37352-8500
(931) 393-1500

Jared Kirby, Creates and Donates Atomic Carbon Models to Motlow

May 26, 2011

Motlow College graduate Jared KirbyJared Kirby, a recent graduate of Motlow, built four atomic models of the 'allotropes of carbon' and donated them to the College. He said a friend of his in McMinnville helped draw the plans on a CAD program then Jared went to work. To complete the assemblies of the molecular structures of carbon he painted 640 wood balls and cut the connectors from 1/8" stainless steel rods. His chemistry instructor, Dr. Katherine Parks, said, "The models Jared built will be an invaluable teaching tool. They are made to scale and are so much more durable than any I could find to purchase. Our science department is very happy to receive them."

Kirby, a native of the Dibrell community in Warren County has always been interested in science according to his parents, Larry and Deborah Kirby. His mother said, "From a very early age Jared wanted to know the chemical content of most everything he touched as well as how it worked. He was one of those kids who took everything apart to see how it was built."

Growing up on a small, family-owned and operated nursery cultivated Kirby's curiosity. He said, "My passion for geology and mineralogy has always been a part of my life. I grew up around dirt and I wanted to know what it was made of and how it moved." He continued, "I guess it's in my blood, my father is a bit of an amateur archeologist. We are both fascinated with rocks and fossils."

Kirby said he always enjoyed the science fair at school. While attending Boyd Christian High School in Warren County his interests expanded to organic chemistry. He helped with a greenhouse/garden project and helped design the water garden in the front of the school. After graduation from high school he started working with a local business as a plumber and electrician doing commercial and industrial work. He continues to work with Roger's Service Company while he and his wife Sarah are playing tag-team completing their college educations.

Although he initially chose to come to Motlow because of its convenient location to his home and the lower tuition cost, he said, "After the first semester, I have become a strong advocate of Motlow. My love for science has been nurtured here." He continued, "After my wife completes her masters I plan to attend Tennessee Technical University to complete my bachelors and eventually obtain my doctorate in Earth Science. While I will have to maintain employment until then, my eventual goal would be to return to Motlow to teach."

As much as he enjoyed attending Motlow, the College embraced his as well. Jared recently won the Science Department Award and was one of four students inducted into the Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges from the Natural Sciences Department. The models he donated to Motlow are currently on display in the Clayton-Glass Library on Moore County's campus and plans are for them to be loaned for a display in the Hands-On Science Center in Tullahoma.