Attendees at the AAUW Mclean Area Branch Annual Dinner recognizing the winners of the STEM Essay Contest included, from left, Anita Banerjee, Anisha Talreja (Honorable Mention), Samantha Taylormoore (Honorable Mention), Melissa Taylormoore, Xin Li, Heather Walcott, Isabella Cai (1st Place), Peyton Walcott (2nd Place), Myrtle Hendricks-Corrales (Branch Co-President), Betsy Schroeder (Branch Co-President), and Judy Page (Branch STEM Chair).
The winners of the first STEM Essay Contest sponsored by the McLean Area Branch of American Association of University Women (AAUW) were recognized at the branch's annual dinner on March 19. The contest was open to seventh and eighth grade students at local public and private schools. The students were asked to discover and publicize a woman who made a difference in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics, discussing why the student selected the woman and what the impact of her STEM contribution was.
The winners of the contest are:
First Place: Isabella Cai, Longfellow Middle School (Grade 7)
Second Place: Peyton Walcott, Cooper Middle School (Grade 7)
Honorable Mention: Reagan Exley, The Potomac School (Grade 7)
Honorable Mention: Anisha Talreja, Longfellow Middle School (Grade 8)
Honorable Mention: Samantha Taylormoore, The Potomac School (Grade 9)
As part of the awards ceremony, the First Place winner, Isabella Cai, read her essay on Rosalind Franklin, a pioneer in the discovery of the DNA double helix theory.
Other women who were the subject of the winning essays are Chien-Shiung Wu, a nuclear physicist who contributed to the Manhattan Project; Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, the creator of the first computer program; Hedy Lamarr, film actress and inventor of spread spectrum and frequency-hopping technology; and Gladys West, a mathematician whose models were incorporated into the development of GPS.
Nine volunteers from the McLean Area Branch served as judges: Marie Briones-Jones, Dorothy Hassan, Myrtle Hendrick-Corrales, Margaret Hines, Sherry Joslin, Judy Page, Shelby Roberts, Barbara Sipe, and Adarsh Trehan.
For more information on the McLean Area Branch, visit the branch website at http://mclean-va.aauw.net.