MELBA — One sophomore at Melba High School has made it her goal to work and raise money to represent Idaho at a national science convention this summer in Boston.

Katy Bradley, 16, was nominated by Dr. John C. Mather, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics and Science Director of the National Academy of Future Scientists and Technologists, to represent the state based on her academic achievement, leadership potential and passion for science and technology at The Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders convention in July.

“I like biology,” Katy Bradley said. “It’s interesting and I’m good at it.”

Sara Bradley said she was not surprised when her daughter was picked to attend the conference.

“She has good grades,” Sara Bradley said. “I don’t know where she gets her interest in science. When she was growing up, her and her sisters would tear apart every toy to see what was inside. And every day she has a new interesting fact for us.”

Sara Bradley said that while many parents might see their teenagers playing video games or chatting with friends on their computers, Katy Bradley is always researching new topics.

“You go on her Google and she’ll be researching what beavers eat for breakfast,” Sara Bradley said. “She just is always looking for new things to learn.”


Katy Bradley is a bit shy but is also witty with quick responses. She has never traveled farther than Oregon or flown on a plane, so when she received the invitation to meet famous scientific leaders at a summer conference, she decided to make the trip her summer goal.

“At first my parents said no,” Katy Bradley said. “Because it was a lot of money.”

“You want to give your children everything,” Sara Bradley, Katy’s mother, said. “But at first the cost was a bit shocking.”

Sara Bradley works as a mail deliverer for the U.S. Post Office. Her husband manages a swimming pool maintenance company. Together the two have tried to give their children many opportunities, but the cost for the Boston trip seemed almost too steep.

Katy Bradley was not deterred. {span style=”font-family: inherit;”}In order to raise the money for her trip, Katy Bradley obtained a job at a McDonald’s in Nampa. She has been working part time at her job while attending school to save money.{/span}

Altogether, from the conference fees, plane tickets and food, Katy needed almost $3,000 to go to Boston.

So far, Katy has saved up enough to make the payments for the conference, which includes ground travel and accommodations, but she is still trying to raise almost $1,200 for her plane ticket.

“We have to have it by May 30,” Katy Bradley said. “So we can give our itinerary to the conference leaders.”

The Bradley family has set up a GoFundMe account to help raise the ticket money before the end of the month. Supporters can visit the campaign online at

“She was awarded a $400 scholarship,” Sara Bradley said. “This is just an exciting way for a local student to meet important people and take a chance to learn more.”


The Congress is an honors-only program for high school students who are passionate about science, technology, engineering or mathematics, a convention press release stated.

During the three-day conference, Katy Bradley will join students from across the country and hear Nobel Laureates and National Medal of Science recipients talk about leading scientific research; be given advice from deans of the world’s top tech universities; be inspired by fellow teen science prodigies; and learn about cutting-edge advances and the future of science and technology.

“This is a crucial time in America when we need more nimble-minded and creative scientists and technologists who are even better prepared for a future that is changing exponentially,” Richard Rossi, Executive Director, National Academy of Future Scientists and Technologists, said. “Focused, bright and determined students like Katy are our future and she deserves all the mentoring and guidance we can give her.”

Katy Bradley said one of the speakers she is most excited to meet is Buzz Aldrin, the second man to step on the moon during the Apollo Missions.

“On the agenda it says ‘lunch or meeting with speakers’, after Buzz talks,” Katy Bradley said. “And I’m thinking lunch, schmunch. I want to meet an astronaut!”

Sara Bradley comes from a long-line of Melba residents and Melba High School alums. Sara Bradley’s grandmother, Donna Hoagland, homesteaded with her family in Melba and graduated from Melba High School.

“I love it there and I wanted my daughter to go there too,” Sara Bradley said. “I think this is a great way for Katy to honor the school.”

Katy Bradley said she was happy that she could raise her own money to pay for her way to the conference and she hopes that she will be able to fly out to Boston in June.

“As a mom you think your kid is special,” Sara Bradley said. “But it’s nice to hear it from others. This just sparked something in Katy and she has been working really hard to get to Boston. This lit a fire under her.”

Danielle Wiley is the reporter for the Kuna Melba News. Contact her at 922-3008 or email her at


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