GREENFIELD — A Greenfield senior is one of only four students in the state to earn a STEM award from the governor.
Miranda Shook, who will graduate from Greenfield-Central High School on Saturday, was named to the 2017 Governor’s STEM Team, a scholarship program honoring students who excel in science, technology, engineering and math.
She and three other students were recognized at a ceremony at the Statehouse this week, each representing one of the STEM disciplines. Shook, whose high school career has been marked by efforts not only to excel in her own studies but spread awareness of STEM careers, was named the engineering winner.
State leaders say success in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math help drive the state forward, and education in those disciplines is vital to develop Indiana’s workforce.
More than 100 students applied for the awards, a news release from Gov. Eric Holcomb’s office states. The winners were selected by a panel of STEM professionals, including teachers and university representatives, based on the applicants’ academic performance, work in research, leadership, community service and extracurricular involvement.
Each winner was awarded a $1,000 college scholarship and a letterman jacket identifying them as members of the STEM team. They also received tickets to the game convention, Gen Con Indy.
Shook is ranked ninth in her graduating class and will earn an academic and technical honors diploma, which recognizes students who complete eight credits in a career technical program, when she graduates later this week.
During high school, Shook served as president of the high school’s Women in STEM group, which encourages women to pursue careers in the STEM fields often dominated by men, and has participated in many engineering activities and competitions.
A four-year member of Greenfield-Central’s rover team, she was the driver and engineer for the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge held earlier this spring and helped lead her team in earning second place.
Greenfield-Central is the only high school in Indiana to send a team to the competition that challenges students to design, build and race moon buggys over rough terrain intended to simulate Mars.
She also participated in STEM outreach programs at Connor Prairie, Shook said.
This spring, the living history museum hosted the Passport to Hi Tech event, which affords children the opportunity to learn about careers in science, engineering, biology, chemistry, computers and other STEM disciplines. Shook was picked to give a presentation about the rover program.
The Greenfield-Central rover team also helped at the Festival of Machines event at Conner Prairie, which celebrates Indiana’s history of technological advances.
Shook said when she learned she was picked for the scholarship award, she was excited and surprised.
She applied last fall to secure scholarships for college. She was honored to be picked for the award among more than 100 other students, she said.
This week, she got to meet some of the people who chose her for the award, as well as superintendent of public instruction Jennifer McCormick and the governor.
Holcomb referred to the students as academic superstars.
“These four students have demonstrated excellence in subjects that are fueling the innovation and entrepreneurship to build our economic future,” Holcomb said in a news release. “It’s a pleasure to recognize their hard work on a statewide level. … I can’t wait to see where the future takes these bright young Hoosiers.”
Shook plans to spend a year abroad in Germany, serving as an ambassador for the Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange, a student exchange program funded by the U.S. Department of State, before heading to Valparaiso University to study mechanical and electrical engineering.