Standing before a group of Whitefish High School students, Miss Montana Lauren Scofield asked if anyone had a $5 bill to spare.
One student volunteered a $10.
“Can I light it on fire?” she asked.
She dipped the paper bill in rubbing alcohol and then using a lighter caught it on fire. The alcohol burned leaving the bill unharmed. Then she returned it to the student.
“I like science,” she told the students while wearing her crown and a lab coat with pink ribbing and rhinestones.
Scofield, who is serving as Miss Montana 2016, is from Havre. She graduated from Carroll College with a degree in biochemistry-molecular biology with a minor in gender studies. She is currently applying to medical school and hopes to become a doctor either specializing in obstetrics or dermatology.
She is on her Crown to the Classroom tour this year talking with students around the state about careers in STEM — science, technology, engineering and math.
Scofield said it was her own mom, a math teacher, who first got her interested in science and math.
“She brain-washed me into liking math and science,” Scofield said with a laugh. “We did a lot of experiments at home and I had a positive experience from a lot of my teachers. I’ve always liked that math and science have an answer you have to work toward.”
Scofield spent the morning demonstrating a few science experiments and talking with students about her experience serving as Miss Montana. She visited with students in the Advanced Placement biology, statistics and chemistry classes.
Whitefish High School Principal Kerry Drown said it was great to have Scofield talk with students about STEM and in particular dismiss the notion that careers in those fields aren’t for women.
“If students can be inspired to pursue science and math because of her that’s great,” he said.