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Finish That Science Project for this Virtual Science Fair

Miss America Camille Schrier (shown above at a Virginia Tech lab)  joins team of local researchers and scientists to judge science fair entries from Richmond-area students


Miss America 2020, Camille Schrier, has loved science since she was a little girl. Part of her mission is to show kids that science is fun, relevant, and interesting.  So when MEDARVA Healthcare – a Richmond-based health care provider  – asked her to be a judge in its virtual science fair, her answer was an enthusiastic, Yes!

After schools and local science fairs were abruptly upended or canceled in response to the spread of COVID-19, MEDARVA Healthcare recognized the need to support middle and high school students’ engagement in science by sponsoring a region-wide virtual science fair. Submissions are being accepted now through May 15. The organization was thrilled when Schrier signed on to help support continued (and fun) learning during moments like these.

“I’m excited that MEDARVA Healthcare has asked me to be a part of this fun and important project,” said Schrier, who is a graduate of Virginia Tech and a current doctor of pharmacy student at Virginia Commonwealth University. “Thanks to MEDARVA Healthcare, students now have an opportunity to share the ideas and talent they would have showcased if schools hadn’t been forced to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Students are asked to investigate an interesting topic and submit a summary, an experiment design diagram, and a short video highlighting the project. A team of judges will score the student entries for a chance to win several monetary awards – $1,500 for first place – in both the middle school and high school categories. MEDARVA Healthcare’s goal is to support area students by recognizing and rewarding their hard work in the field of science.

“Now, more than ever, it is a great time to inspire scientific curiosity in the students in our community, who could be the breakthrough researchers of tomorrow, finding cures for diseases similar to COVID-19,” said Bruce P. Kupper, president of MEDARVA Healthcare. “Miss America, Camille Schrier has demonstrated that science is exciting and every student should be encouraged to explore their interests in science. MEDARVA Healthcare is delighted to join Miss America in her efforts “to promote science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and careers for girls.”

The Science Behind MEDARVA’s Virtual Science Fair

MEDARVA’s virtual science fair is open to any Richmond-area student in grades six through twelve who:

  • Has already completed a project but did not get a chance to showcase
  • Would like to conduct an at-home DIY research project of their choosing
  • Has conducted an “Epic Fail” project: something that did not quite turn out as expected. A lot of scientific advances come from failed efforts

MEDARVA Healthcare understands that families are facing a multitude of challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic and shopping for materials could be a burden. Students conducting at-home DIY research are encouraged to use common household or backyard items to facilitate their project. Exploring and analyzing processes and the surroundings of the students’ everyday world can yield important science results.

MEDARVA Healthcare has been in communication with area school systems and distributed the information to public and private school leaders. More information about the science fair can be found at: [virtual science fair].


Pick up this month’s RFM to read more about Miss America Camille Schrier.

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