High School STEM Communicator Awards

In recent years, the gap in understanding between scientists and the public has become evident in highly polarized controversies such as climate change, stem cell research, and animal experimentation. There is a sense in our society that increasing the quality of discourse on these issues requires more than just increasing science skills among the general public; we also need to improve communication skills within the scientific community.

In 2013, MAS created a new program focused on written communication skills among young scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians. Through the generous funding of St. Jude Medical Foundation, the Minnesota Academy of Science announces the 2015 Minnesota High School STEM Communicator Awards. The goal of these awards is to identify and encourage high school students who show exceptional potential in performing scientific and mathematical research, in communicating their research through writing, and in understanding the societal context of their research and results.

The Minnesota High School STEM Communicator Awards is a statewide competition. The selection process will identify students having:

  • A substantive base of scientific knowledge exceeding usual high school science requirements,
  • A record of effective use of scientific methods to advance research in a chosen area of science or mathematics, with demonstrated skills of clear and concise data analysis,
  • An ability to think critically, to synthesize information, and to argue the merits of conclusions, and
  • A record of personal growth as well as recognition of how their research has an impact upon others.

Applicants should have a substantive knowledge of Science, which includes class work in biology or environmental science, chemistry, and at least concurrent enrollment in physics. Mathematics scholars should be at an advanced level of coursework for their grade. Each applicant is expected to effectively use scientific methods to advance research in a chosen area of science and math. They should also be able to show a context for their research and identify potential outcomes of that research. Additionally, applicants should have presented their research at their school or in another forum. Students may also submit papers as teams of two.

Candidates will need to submit a paper that explores a current issue relating to science, mathematics, technology and society, a transcript, and an assessment by the student’s educational advisor(s). The Academy will recruit scientists and educators of appropriate expertise and stature to evaluate the applicants in a manner consistent with the other competitions we currently coordinate. The top 10 papers will be recognized with a cash awards and medallions.

The original research papers submitted by the winners will be invited for publication in the Minnesota Academy of Science Journal of Student Research.