Principals' Memo #1005-13

Department of Education

February 12, 2013

TO:  Principals

FROM:  Linda M. Wallinger, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction

SUBJECT:  Virginia Council on the Status of Women 2013 STEM Essay Contest

The Virginia Council on the Status of Women is pleased to announce that it is hosting the 2013 STEM Essay Contest, a program designed to encourage young women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.  The essay contest is being conducted in collaboration with the Science Museum of Virginia Foundation, and Governor Robert McDonnell and First Lady Maureen McDonnell will serve as Honorary Co-Chairs.  Along with several other projects and activities, the Council is conducting this essay contest to assist young women in reaching their potential and maximizing their contributions to society and the economy.   The Council believes opportunities offered to women early in life will help lead to their success as productive and resourceful citizens.

Applicants must write about their vision for future STEM careers and why they are considering these fields for an area of study and career path.  The original essay must be 700 to 1,000 words and created exclusively for the 2013 STEM Essay Contest.  Applicants must be high school juniors or seniors with a grade point average of 2.5 or higher.  Applications may be found at

A panel of judges comprised of STEM professionals and members of the Council will select the winning essay.  Through the fundraising efforts of the Council, the awardee will receive a $5,000 scholarship to an institution of higher education.  Other smaller scholarships may be awarded at the discretion of the Council.  The scholarship award(s) will be presented at the 2013 Annual “Up & Atom” Women’s Leadership Breakfast on Wednesday, May 15, 2013, from 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. at the Science Museum of Virginia.

Applicants must submit their STEM essays by e-mail to by 5 p.m. on March 1, 2013.  Late entries will not be considered.