There she is, Miss America — blowing stuff up in high heels and full makeup.
“I’ve loved science since I was a little girl,” said Schrier as she set up her experiment. “And now I have the opportunity to pursue the career in science that I had always dreamed of.”
The demo showed off the catalytic decomposition — or induced breakdown — of hydrogen peroxide. Smartly attired in a white lab coat, sparkly slacks and safety glasses, Schrier added potassium iodide to the solutions, producing giant globs of foam.
At 24 years old, Schrier is studying to attain her doctorate in pharmacy, and also holds degrees biochemistry and systems biology. As she told NPR, she wants to show youngsters that you can do high-level work in the sciences and wear glamorous clothes and fancy makeup sometimes, too.
Still, she only joined the Miss America pageant circuit after the swimsuit competition was removed from the contest.
“You know, I’m a confident person,” Schrier said on NPR. “But I don’t feel the need to be judged on my physical appearance or especially my body in a swimsuit.”
Each pageant contestant chooses a social issue that she’ll advocate for if she’s crowned Miss America. Appropriately, Schrier’s issue for her reign is “Mind Your Meds: Drug Safety and Abuse Prevention From Pediatrics to Geriatrics.” Now she’ll make media appearances and tour the country spreading awareness of her platform.
The tens of thousands in pageant prize money will pay down her student loans, as she noted in an Instagram post after her win:
What a great role model for all the little scientists out there!