1189658679

1189658679

MISS AMERICA 2020 -- Pictured: Camille Schrier, Miss Virginia 2019 at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT on Thursday, December 19, 2019 -- (Photo by: Heidi Gutman/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Photo by: NBC

NBC

Miss America Can be a Scientist

Miss Virginia Camille Schrier, a 24-year-old scientist, was crowned Miss America 2020 and inspired young women across the country that Miss America can be a scientist too.

December 23, 2019

When you think Miss America, a competition consisting of beautiful women parading in swim suits and evening gowns comes to mind. But as it turned out, this year’s competition was not your mother’s beauty pageant.

1189658683

1189658683

MISS AMERICA 2020 -- Pictured: Camille Schrier, Miss Virginia 2019 at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT on Thursday, December 19, 2019 -- (Photo by: Heidi Gutman/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Photo by: NBC

NBC

MISS AMERICA 2020 -- Pictured: Camille Schrier, Miss Virginia 2019 at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT on Thursday, December 19, 2019 -- (Photo by: Heidi Gutman/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

In lieu of the typical categories that favor physical appearance, the competition featured interviews and social impact initiatives. But the talent competition remained. While other finalists took the stage to sing or perform a dance number, Schrier donned a white lab coat and opted for a live chemistry experiment demonstrating the catalytic decomposition of hydrogen peroxide with potassium iodide (aka "elephant toothpaste"). When asked why a science experiment, Schrier replied, “Science is all around us! I’ve loved science since I was a little girl. It’s my mission to show kids that science is fun, relevant, and easy to understand.”

Miss America is someone that needs to educate, be able to communicate with everyone, and that’s what I do as a woman of science. And we need to show that Miss America can be a scientist and that a scientist can be Miss America.

Miss Virginia Camille Schrier

The 24-year-old scientist graduated cum laude with degrees in both biochemistry and systems biology and a minor in chemistry from Virginia Tech. She’s currently pursuing a doctor of pharmacy degree at Virginia Commonwealth University. As the newly crowned Miss America, Schrier will take a year off school to fulfill her duties.

1189658819

1189658819

MISS AMERICA 2020 -- Pictured: Camille Schrier, Miss Virginia 2019 at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT on Thursday, December 19, 2019 -- (Photo by: Eric Liebowitz/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Photo by: NBC

NBC

MISS AMERICA 2020 -- Pictured: Camille Schrier, Miss Virginia 2019 at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT on Thursday, December 19, 2019 -- (Photo by: Eric Liebowitz/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Next Up

Farewell, Earth’s Mini-moon

It's time to say goodbye to the mini-moon that's no bigger than your car.

The Kuiper Belt: When Solar Systems Dance

Pluto isn't alone after all. Besides being the home of Pluto, the Kuiper belt hosts dwarf planets, and smaller bits of rock and ice.

Scientists Have Discovered Enormous Balloon-Like Structures in the Center of Our Galaxy

There's something really, really big in the middle of our Milky Way galaxy — one of the largest structures ever observed in the region, in fact.

July in the Sky: Celestial Events Happening This Month

With eclipses, meteor showers, and more, it's a busy month in the night sky this July. Take some time this summer to look up and enjoy these cosmic wonders.

Welcome to the Surface of Mars

Through the use of cutting-edge instruments, scientists finally have the opportunity to probe deep beneath the surface and ascertain exactly how the terrestrial planet formed.

Last Call for the King of Planets

This month Jupiter is entering conjunction which means it's the last chance this year to catch a glimpse of the largest planet in our solar system.

The Secret of Pluto’s Ocean

When we think of an ocean, we don't necessarily think of Pluto. If we can’t see the liquid water, why do astronomers think it’s there?

Check Out the Crab Nebula –The Leftovers from a Giant Cosmic Firework

The Crab Nebula sits 6,500 light-years away, and is currently about 11 light-years across. But while it looks pretty from afar, don’t give in to the temptation to visit it up close.

What are the Chances of Life Appearing On…Earth?

Just how lucky are we on Earth? What were the chances that life would arise, let alone lead to intelligence?

Following Blue Origin’s NS-12 Rocket Launch

Blue Origin, Billionaire Jeff Bezos’ spaceflight company, is rescheduled to launch its NS-12 reusable spacecraft on Wednesday, December 11. Watch it LIVE.