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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

By: Dominique Vu

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.

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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.

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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)

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