RICHMOND, Va. — Junior and Senior year ladies, the 8th Annual STEM essay contest has been announced.

Governor Ralph Northam and the Virginia Council on Women announced the contest on Friday. At least five $5,000 scholarships will be awarded to high school junior and senior young women, who will be pursuing a STEM career at an institution of higher education.

One scholarship will be awarded in each of the five geographical regions across the state.

The essay contest started in 2012, and 170 young women from across Virginia submitted essays focusing on their vision for a future STEM education or career. Only $10,000 was given out the first year. Now in its eighth year, nearly $200,000 in scholarships will be awarded.

To be eligible for the contest, one must be a female, or identify as a female, live in Virginia, be a junior or senior in high school, and hold at least a 2.5 GPA. Click here for applications and guidelines.

Entries are due by 11:50 p.m. on February 22, 2019. They will be judged by a panel of Council members and individuals who represent the STEM field. Winners will be announced on March 21. The scholarships will be given out in April.

Click here to learn more about the Council and available sponsorship opportunities.