Outstanding Student: Julia Dumont

Tavares Middle School student puts her love of science to work.

Interviewer: Theresa Campbell
Photo: Nicole Hamel

She won first place in engineering at the Lake County Science Fair by creating a flashing light bar for school buses. Made of a 7-foot PVC pipe and equipped with two 2 1/2-foot flashing LED bars and an additional stop sign, the device is designed to put extra lights on school buses so cars will stop as they are supposed to do by law. Julia interviewed a longtime Lake County bus driver for her research.


Vital Stats

  • Born: Port Charlotte.
  • Parents: Paul and Martha Dumont.
  • Age: 11.
  • School: Sixth-grader at Tavares Middle School.

What I enjoyed most about this project:
I loved building the actual light bar. 

When I grow up, I want to be:
Aerospace engineer for SpaceX.

My heroes:
My mom and dad.

One word that describes me:
Kind.

Best advice I’ve been given:
The sky is not the limit if you are reaching for the stars.

If I could meet any celebrity or historical person, it would be:
Elon Musk and/or Stephen Hawking.

What is important to me:
Family, friends, and school. 

What I would tell fellow students:
Don’t let anything get in the way of doing what you love. Always believe in yourself, even when no one else does. 

My favorite food:
Fruit.

What I want to be doing 10 years from now:
Attending college at MIT.

What makes me happy:
Spending time with my family, friends, and in nature.


Additional honors

  • She won first place at Astatula Elementary School’s Science Fair in third, fourth, and fifth grades. 
  • She has been on a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) team since third grade, and her team won a competition last year. 
  • Julia’s VEX Robotics team won a state competition and was invited, based on its STEM research video, to the world competition, where it placed 29th out of 82 in teamwork for its division. 
  • She earned straight A’s throughout elementary school. 

Extra! Extra!

Julia was inspired to make the flashing light bar for school buses because: she saw news reports of kids being injured or killed because people do not see the stop signs on the bus, and they do not stop to let the kids cross the road. 

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