Lifestyle & Human Interest

Pageant Contestant Wins 'Miss Virginia' Title Thanks to Explosive Onstage Science Experiment


In football, you consider a play a triple threat when he can run, kick and pass skillfully. In the world of pageants, contestants generally have the “beauty” aspect down, but the rest is a gamble.

However, the latest Miss Virginia has proven to have a triple threat all her own. According to Insider, 24-year-old Camille Schrier definitely had the attractiveness angle down — as did the rest of her fellow contestants, so she needed something to separate herself from the pack.

Her photos show a dark-haired, dark-eyed young woman with a winning smile. But plenty of pageant participants boast perfect coiffure and gleaming grins.

Schrier decided that she wanted to bring something more to the competition. After all, she’d once decided to give up pageants for good.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that she had chosen to focus on her studies once she’d turned 18. She chose the sciences for her field of study.

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It’s easy to see why she stopped competing. For a cerebrally minded woman, stereotypical talents such as singing or dancing wouldn’t hold as much appeal.

However, her mindset shifted when the Miss America Organization announced its change in focus. The organizer of the iconic event stated that it wanted to emphasize things other than contestants’ outward appearances.

That meant the removal of the famous (and often criticized) swimsuit competition. Schrier, who’d never possessed a traditional performance that would appeal to judges, decided to give it a try.

Her decision showed the second “threat” in her repertoire: She had an ironclad purpose and wanted the world to know about it.

A graduate of Virginia Tech, Schrier has become a biochemist and systems biologist. She wanted to use her participation in the pageant to encourage others to consider STEM studies.

“Now was the time for me to create a mind shift about the concept of talent by bringing my passion for STEM to the stage,” It’s A Southern Thing reported that she said. “To me, talent is not a passion alone, but also a skill which is perfected over years of learning.”

That skill involved her third threat as a contestant. She was willing to take inspired risks.

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For her talent portion, Schrier donned a white lab coat and safety glasses. Then she conducted a science experiment on stage.

It was called the elephant toothpaste reaction, a catalyzed reaction involving hydrogen peroxide, dishwashing liquid and potassium iodine. The result was dramatic.

Huge gouts of foam sprang out of the containers, falling onto the table and the floor. Schrier gave a short lecture during the experiment, explained what was happening.

The result wowed more than the audience, and as a result, the judges awarded Schrier the title of Miss Virginia.

Liftable, a section of The Western Journal, has reached out to Camille Schrier for comment but has not yet received a response. We will update this article if and when we do.

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
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