High School STEM Communicator Awards


Congratulations to the 2018 High School STEM Communicator Award Winners

Addison Gleekel & Melinda Samaratunga                 Breck School

Catherine Pirtle & Lana Trautman                             Breck School

Cole Maxwell                                                             Breck School

David Ahrens, Cas Roland & Christiana Wilke         Breck School

Louise Kim & Spencer Yueh                                     Breck School

Nathan Tank & Dylan Vincent                                   Breck School

Rohan Patel                                                              Mayo High School

Samuel Aronson & Alex Cheng                                Breck School

Samuel Leville & Abigail Roh                                    Breck School

Thomas Peterson & Kylie Spangler                          Breck School


2018 Honorable Mentions

Aaron Bae                                                                 Breck School

Abhiraj Singh                                                             Wayzata High School

Abigail Smith                                                             Cloquet Senior High

Akash Nagapurkar                                                    Wayzata High School

Claire Taubman                                                         Cloquet Senior High

Emily Carr                                                                  Breck School

Katelyn France                                                          Hinckley-Finlayson High School

Maya Czeneszew & Erica Illiarski                             Breck School

Morgan Smith & Jordin Weisz                                  Cloquet Senior High

Siyuan Ma & Alex Anderson                                     Breck School


Program Background

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 program focused on written communication skills among young scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians. 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.

In 2018, the final year of the program, the Minnesota High School STEM Communicator Awards were made possible through the generous funding of the St. Jude Medical Foundation.  

The Minnesota High School STEM Communicator Awards was a statewide competition. The selection process identified 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.
A record of personal growth as well as recognition of how their research has an impact upon others.

Entrants were expected to demonstrate a substantive knowledge of science, including class work in biology or environmental science, chemistry, and at least concurrent enrollment in physics. Mathematics scholars were required to be at an advanced level of coursework for their grade. Each applicant was expected to effectively use scientific methods to advance research in a chosen area of science and math. They also needed 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 were allowed to submit papers as teams of two.

Candidates submitted papers that explored a current issue relating to science, mathematics, technology and society, a transcript, and an assessment by the student’s educational advisor(s). MAS recruited 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 were recognized with cash awards and medallions.

The original research papers submitted by the winners will be invited for publication here.