Principals' Memo No. 1007-15

Department of Education

December 22, 2015

TO:  Principals

FROM:  John W. Haun, Chief Academic Officer/Assistant Superintendent for Instruction

SUBJECT:  Virginia Council on the Status of Women 2016 STEM Essay Contest

The Virginia Council on the Status of Women (VCSW) is hosting the 2016 Annual STEM Essay Contest with Governor Terry McAuliffe and First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe serving as co-chairs.

The VCSW has initiated several projects, like the STEM Essay Contest, to meet its goal of assisting women in reaching their potential and maximizing their contributions to society as well as to the Virginia 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 a future STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) career and why they are considering the field for an area of study or possible career path using the application found at the Virginia Council on Women’s Web site

The original essay must be 700 to 1,000 words in length and created exclusively for the 2016 VCSW Essay Contest.  Applicants must also be high school juniors or seniors with a grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or higher.

The winning essay authors will be notified by March 28, 2016.  The scholarship awards will be presented at a reception at the Executive Mansion on April 20, 2016. The awardee will receive a $5,000 scholarship to an institution of higher education. 

Applicants must use the application noted above and submit their STEM essays online at by 11:59 p.m. on February 8, 2016.