STEM and research among shared interests of  NYS Academic Scholars Sarah Helmstadt, Lily Caza & Claire Williams

3 girls sit on a cannonSchoharie High School seniors Sarah Helmstadt, Lily Caza and Claire Williams have been awarded New York State Scholarships for Academic Excellence in recognition of their outstanding achievement on state Regents exams. They share an interest in the STEM fields and research, and teaching may also be a goal.

Academic Excellence scholarships are awarded to the top three students in a graduating class based on Regents exam performance. If the students choose to attend a college or university in New York state, each will receive either $1,500 or $500 per year for up to four years of undergraduate study in college, or up to five years if enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program approved as normally requiring five years of study.

The scholarships are awarded to high school seniors with the highest weighted average of their Regents exam scores in English, Algebra 2, Global Studies, U.S. History/Government and three science exams, which can include Earth Science, Living Environment, Chemistry and Physics. The exams must be taken before senior year.

After graduation, Helmstadt is interested in pursuing undergraduate and master’s degrees in either special education, to become a teacher, or a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) field, to conduct research in chemistry or math.

Williams’ future plans include college and pursuit of a Ph.D. in molecular or cellular biology, and a research-based career that may focus on cures for cancer, new medicines or study of microbial life in space.

Caza plans to study neuroscience or bioengineering in college, and she is interested in studying diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.