|Claire Seiler, who has
Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome-Hypermobility, created a video using still photos along with her 4-H project.
(Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
Wood County 4-H’er Claire Seiler, an 10-year member of the Colorful Clovers 4-H Club, was selected as one
of the 10 national finalists in the Inspire a Future Scientist contest sponsored by the National 4-H
Council and HughesNet.
Seiler created a video about her dream of pursuing tissue engineering.
A Bowling Green resident and a junior at Notre Dame Academy, she is trying to encourage careers in STEM
in her video.
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math.
The 16-year-old has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Hypermobility Type, a connective tissue disorder. She was
diagnosed in June, 2013.
"My body does not produce collagen the way it’s supposed to," she said, describing her
With EDS, dislocations are common and may occur spontaneously or with minimal trauma. Degenerative joint
disease is common, as is easy bruising.
The conditions is due, in part, to faulty or reduced amounts of collagen.
"It is my goal to engage in tissue engineering research, specifically that of the mechanics of
procollagen folding, the process by which collagen, one of the body’s most important connective tissues,
is formed," she wrote in her contest submission.
Seiler has spent two summers in Hillsdale College Molecular Biology summer camp, and wants to study
"I’m really excited by tissue engineering and its underlying foundation in molecular biology,"
While EDS does affect many aspects of her life, "I’ve tried to not let it define me."
She is interested in tissue engineering to find a way to engineer collagen.
There is no cure for EDS.
"There are just measures that can be taken to manage it," Seiler said.
She has dislocated her hip to the point "I couldn’t put a number on it."
She also suffers nine-hour migraines and has trouble concentrating, as well as extreme fatigue.
"I pass out when I go from a sitting to standing position."
"All of these symptoms are directly caused by my EDS," she stated.
This summer her self-determined 4-H project is on EDS.
As for the national contest, she said it took her 4 1/2 hours to put the video together.
She did a lot of the project in her head and knew what she wanted to do.
Selecting a wining video comes down to voting for the videos the finalists created. Supporters can vote
once per day through Aug. 1. The voting link: www.4-h.org/about/partners/hughesnetinspireafuturescientist.aspx?utm_campaign=HUGHESNET&utm_source=4HORG&utm_medium,
then vote for Claire’s video, which has the picture of a microscope on it. The winner of this contest
will receive a $1,000 scholarship, and trip to Washington D.C. for National Science Day activities in
As of Monday afternoon, Seiler had 1,163 votes, putting her in third place.
You can vote once every day.
"Science is always evolving and that every single person can be involved in any part aspect of
science," Seiler stated. "There will always be something that excites them, you only have to
search in real life."