24-Year-Old Biochemist Wins Miss Virginia, Performs Science Experiment On Stage

July 3, 2019

Camille Schrier, a 24-year-old biochemist, won the 2019 Miss Virginia pageant after performing an explosive chemistry experiment during the talent portion of the competition.

miss virginia chemistry experiment
Photo credit: John Herzog/Miss Virginia

Schrier, a doctor of pharmacy student at Virginia Commonwealth University, was awarded the statewide title in Lynchburg on June 22.

Schrier's winning talent presentation featured her in a white lab coat and safety goggles mixing chemicals to create spouts of colorful foam, known as the "elephant toothpaste" reaction.

Schrier told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that she knew her unconventional talent was a risk but was thrilled that it paid off.

"We are typically an organization that sees people that are fabulous dancers and really talented singers use that as their talent, and so for me to come out there and take a risk and do a science demonstration was very different," she told the local newspaper. "As someone who is breaking the boundaries and breaking stereotypes for what talent looks like at Miss America, I wanted to be a little out of the box, and it really worked out."


"I'm trying to be like Bill Nye," she said. "That's what I'm going for. I want to get kids excited, but I don't want it to be boring."

miss virginia chemistry experiment
Photo credit: VCU.edu

Schrier plans to use her platform as Miss Virginia to promote the work of "Mind Your Meds", a drug-safety and abuse-prevention program.

She will go on to compete in the Miss America pageant in September.

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