Windsor Middle School sixth grade student wins honors in 30th annual Great Women in Engineering and Science Essay Contest
April 18, 2017
The Society of Women Engineers
The Society of Women Engineers is a national organization of women and men who support the growth of women’s roles as engineering students and professionals, according to information from the society.
One of the society’s missions is to “inform young women, their parents, counselors and the general public of the qualifications and achievements of women engineers and the opportunities open to them.”
Learn more online at: http://societyofwomenengineers.swe.org/.
Windsor Middle School sixth grade student Olivia Schramm earned herself the honor of a Top 3 award in the 30th annual Great Women in Engineering and Science Essay Contest.
Her essay — about mathematician Sofia Kovalevski — was one of 246 submitted from 19 schools in Colorado and Wyoming.
She won't learn her exact placement — first, second or third place — until it is announced at the Society of Women Engineers Rocky Mountain Section award banquet Saturday at the ATLAS Institute on the University of Colorado campus in Boulder. The top three awards winners receive $75, $50, and $25 prizes, respectively, in addition to a science kit and science book —which honorable merit and honorable mention winner also receive.
Schramm spent two weeks digging into the history of Kovalevski in order to write her 1,000-word essay.
"My favorite part about writing the essay was finding out how cool Sofia was and how she changed the world of mathematics for women," she said. "When Sofia was alive, it was uncommon for women to study math, let alone to be considered one of the most brilliant minds in the subject."
The project also offered her a lot of opportunity to talk with her mom about current day politics and how they relate to the world Kovalevski lived in, Schramm said.
"I was able to connect Sofia's life with current struggles of women," she said. "I also made sure to recognize Sofia for the work she did that allows girls like me to enter the fields of math and science. Because of women like her, I can choose to study any subject I want."
Four other Windsor Middle School sixth grade students earned recognition in the essay contest as well. Lucille Dreyer and Emily Hinson earned two of the contest's five Honorable Merit Awards while Noah Bearden and Jack Gustafson claimed two of ten Honorable Mention Awards.
When Windsor Middle School teacher Ruth Brunner broke the news to her students about their success, the whole class cheered.
"To have five winners from Windsor Middle School … obviously makes me proud of my students' efforts," Brunner said. "This pride and appreciation extends to parents who hold high standards for education here at school and at home."
She said she likes the contest because it helps students hone their research, writing and effective communication skills. Brunner is also a fan how it pushes students to learn about real-world women and their contributions to the field of science and math.
Learning about the women who helped pioneer those fields may inspire others to do the same, she said.