Miss Virginia Breaks Stereotypes by Performing a Science Experiment as Her Talent

24-year-old Biochemist wins the Miss Virginia pageant by performing a science experiment onstage as her talent. from r/pics

For the talent portion of the Miss Virginia competition, it’s typical to see contestants using the allotted time to show off their musical abilities and dance moves. However, 24-year-old biochemist Camille Schrier had a different idea. She opted instead to perform a live science demonstration on stage. The self-described “quirky scientist” took a risk in doing this, and it paid off—Schrier ended up becoming Miss Virginia 2019.

Schrier’s presentation showed the “catalytic decomposition of hydrogen peroxide” and the chemical reaction that occurs when hydrogen peroxide comes in contact with potassium iodide. (It’s also known as Elephant's Toothpaste) The result was dramatic. As the substances combined, colored foam erupted from the beakers and delighted both the audience and judges. “Keep an eye out,” she concluded her demonstration, “because science really is all around us.”

So, what does the big win mean for Schrier? For one thing, it means she’ll be advancing to the Miss America pageant in September. But on a larger scale, she hopes that her on-stage experiment will help change the perception of what’s a talent while challenging our idea of who a beauty queen is. “I am more than Miss Virginia,”  Schrier said in a statement. “I am Miss Biochemist, Miss Systems Biologist, Miss Future PharmD looking toward a pharmaceutical industry career. Now was the time for me to create a mind shift about the concept of talent by bringing my passion for STEM to the stage. To me, talent is not a passion alone, but also a skill which is perfected over years of learning.”

Camille Schrier is a self-described “quirky scientist” who won Miss Virginia 2019 competition.


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For her talent, she opted to recreate the dramatic and fun Elephant's Toothpaste science experiment.

She wowed the crowd and judges, and she'll spend her year as Miss Virginia advocating for STEM education and breaking stereotypes about women in science.


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A post shared by Camille Schrier (@camilleschrier) on

h/t: [Reddit]

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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