Tuesday, February 12, 2013

2nd Annual STEM Essay Contest for VA Junior and Senior High School Girls

Governor of Virginia Homepage

Virginia Council on Women Announces 
2nd Annual STEM Essay Contest “Kickoff” for 2013
Governor Bob McDonnell and First Lady Maureen McDonnell to Serve as Co-Chairs

RICHMOND – The Virginia Council on Women, in collaboration with the Science Museum of Virginia is pleased to announce the 2nd annual STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Essay Contest for high school junior and senior girls.

virginia council on women membersPictured above are members of the Virginia Council on Women with the 2012 STEM Essay Scholarship Award Winners- May 16, 2012. (Photo courtesy of Rita Surratt, Council Member)

The Council will award one $5,000 scholarship to a female junior or senior who will be pursuing a STEM career at an institution of higher education. Other smaller scholarships may be awarded at the discretion of the Council.

First launched in 2012 with Virginia First Lady Maureen McDonnell serving as Honorary Chair, the Council raised $10,500 from SKANSKA, MeadWestvaco and NewMarket to support the STEM Essay Contest.  Scholarships were presented to the recipients at the Science Museum’s Up & Atom Women’s Leadership Breakfast.

Ms. Tracy Key, Chair of the Council, presented the STEM Scholarships to three award recipients.  “The Council believes opportunities offered to women early in life will help lead to their future successes, and supporting young ladies who want to pursue a career in STEM is critical to our future workforce” said Ms. Key during her presentation.

Speaking about the contest, Governor Bob McDonnell said, “We received an enthusiastic response from all over Virginia to last year’s inaugural STEM Essay Contest. I’m pleased that the Virginia Council on Women and the Science Museum of Virginia will now be growing the initiative as they kick off the second STEM Essay Contest in 2013. So many of the future jobs that will be available to our young people in the years ahead require a strong background in STEM, and this is a great way to help inspire young women to pursue those interests as they finish high school.”

More than 170 STEM Essay contest entries were submitted in 2012 and Scholarship Awards were presented to the following winners from across the Commonwealth:

1st Place- Caitlin Grumbling, Smithfield High School, Smithfield, Virginia- $5,000
2nd Place- Christina Washington, King George High School, King George, Virginia- $3,000
3rd Place- Alisha Konst, Lord Botetourt High School, Daleville, Virginia- $2,000

To be eligible, one must be a female who resides in Virginia, be enrolled as a junior or senior in high school and hold at least a 2.5 GPA.  Entrants should follow guidelines available online at:http://www.commonwealth.virginia.gov/Women/index.cfm. Entries must be submitted towomen@governor.virginia.gov by 5:00pm on March 1, 2013 to be considered.  The winning essays will be selected by a panel of judges who hold a degree in or work in STEM fields.

Winners will be notified by April 15, 2013.  The Scholarship Award(s) will be presented at the 2013 Up & Atom Women’s Leadership Breakfast on May 15, 2013 at the Science Museum of Virginia, 2500 West Broad Street in Richmond.

The purpose of the Virginia Council on Women is to help women reach their potential and maximize their contributions to society and the Commonwealth as wage earners and citizens.  The Council has initiated several projects to meet this goal.  One is the annual STEM essay contest for young women in high school.  The Council is committed to growing this initiative in the coming years.  For more information on the Council or on available sponsorship opportunities, please visit:http://www.commonwealth.virginia.gov/Women/index.cfm.

The mission of the Science Museum of Virginia is to inspire Virginians to enrich their lives through science.  The annual Up & Atom Women’s Leadership Breakfast helps support its role in STEM education.  Literacy in STEM disciplines is vital to prepare youth for an ever changing, increasingly complex world. For more information on the Science Museum of Virginia, please visit: www.smv.org/.

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