March 9, 2020

PolyMet awards annual Mining for Excellence scholarships; adds former recipient as intern


We are proud to invest in students who excel in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), including those who may pursue careers in mining. We recently awarded our annual Mining for Excellence scholarships. And, in a first for PolyMet, we have hired a former scholarship recipient for a summer internship.

Again this year, we faced challenging decisions, since we received 71 applications from outstanding students statewide. We are continually impressed with the high caliber of applicants. Meet this year’s Mining for Excellence scholarship recipients:

Abigail Smith of Cloquet High School, who plans to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering. Fascinated with the machinery used in mines near her home since she was young, Smith has participated on her school’s math team and in science fairs, and has presented at six international engineering fairs around the United States. She looks forward to using her STEM education to “make the world a little better.”

Amber Zierden of Hermantown High School, who aims to major in mechanical engineering and use her STEM education to tackle concerns from water scarcity to climate change, world hunger, deforestation and other challenges. Zierden has been a leader in Math League, Mathcounts and robotics, and has a passion for building things herself, such as wake board jumps.

Sophia Norha of Virginia High School, who plans to pursue a career in engineering, which will balance her passion for science and math. A leader in Science Bowl, Math League, Camp Invention and other STEM-related activities, Norha also works with Upward Bound and in her school’s information technology (IT) office. In fact, she’s the IT go-to for many teachers and staff members.

Congratulations to this year’s scholarship recipients!

With this year’s awards we have now provided $50,000 in scholarships to 14 Minnesota high school students. We will begin accepting applications for 2021 scholarships in the spring of 2020.

See more about Mining for Excellence.

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