For Immediate Release – March 7, 2014
Office of the Governor
Contact: Brian Coy
Virginia Department of Education
Contact: Charles B. Pyle
Governor McAuliffe and Virginia Council on Women Announce the 3rd Annual STEM Essay Contest
RICHMOND – Today Governor McAuliffe and the Virginia Council on Women, in collaboration with the Science Museum of Virginia announced the 3rd annual STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Essay Contest for high school junior and senior girls.
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 scholarships may be awarded at the discretion of the Council.
The STEM Essay Contest was launched in 2012 with 170 young ladies from across the Commonwealth submitting essays focusing on the student’s vision for a future STEM. The Council raised $10,000 and made three scholarship awards.
In 2013, the Council received 330 essays submissions and raised $22,000 to distribute in scholarship awards. Sponsors included Capital One, Holland and Knight, Hunton & Williams, KPMG, McGuire Woods, MeadWestvaco, Skanska, Bon Secours health System, Range Resources-Pine Mountain, Inc., Council Member Mais Abousy, and LeClair Ryan. In addition to the top three scholarship recipients, the Council awarded five $2,000 honorable mention scholarships. Scholarships were presented to the recipients at the Science Museum’s Up & Atom Women’s Leadership Breakfast.
Speaking about the contest, Governor Terry McAuliffe said, “Encouraging all of our students to learn and succeed in high demand STEM fields is critical to Virginia’s ability to compete in the 21st Century economy. I am pleased that the Virginia Council on Women and the Science Museum of Virginia are offering this contest yet again, and expanding their efforts to encourage Virginia’s young women to lead the future in these key areas. Innovative ideas like the STEM Essay Contest help open our students to new learning experiences and strengthen Virginia’s ability to prepare our children for future success.”
Ms. Tracy Key, Chair of the Council, commented, “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”.
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. Applications and guidelines are available online at: http://www.commonwealth.virginia.gov/information/council-on-women/. Entries must be submitted by March 30, 2014. 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 25, 2014. The scholarship award(s) will be presented at the 2014 Up & Atom Women’s Leadership Breakfast on May 7, 2014 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. For more information on the Council or on available sponsorship opportunities, please visit: http://www.commonwealth.virginia.gov/information/council-on-women/.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.