Here’s your Friday dose of warm fuzzies: 19-year-old engineering student Sona Dadhania recently nabbed a scholarship from Cards Against Humanity. Dadhania, who is currently a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania, is the first recipient of the party game’s Science Ambassador Scholarship, Slate reports.
For a card game associated with you-really-shouldn’t-say-that-out-loud jokes, Cards Against Humanity has taken on a surprisingly serious project: to support women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. The scholarship is the brainchild of cartoonist Zach Weinersmith, whose popular webcomic Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal frequently takes aim at science’s very human foibles, and is entirely funded from sales of a $10 science-themed Cards Against Humanity expansion pack.
“We created this scholarship to raise visibility of women in science,” said Cards Against Humanity community director Jenn Bane in a press statement. “Several of us at Cards Against Humanity have backgrounds in science and technology, and underrepresentation of women in STEM fields is a glaring problem we’ve seen ourselves. That’s why we decided to both fund a woman’s undergraduate education and carve out a public space for women in science to discuss what they’re passionate about.”
The contest held its first application period last fall. More than 1000 entrants submitted videos explaining science concepts in accessible language. Dadhania’s video (below) focused on her love of nanotechnology.
Then, a panel of more than 60 women in STEM careers reviewed the video entries and Dadhania’s rose to the top.
“Sona was a great candidate from the very first round of judging,” board member Veronica Berns said. “Her video explained difficult concepts in nanotechnology in a creative, visual way that made them simple to understand without feeling condescending. That's a very hard thing to do, and Sona made it look easy. I can tell she is a very talented young scientist and I'm so happy that we will get to throw a spotlight on the work she is doing in the coming years.”
Dadhania learned of her full scholarship April 1.
As Science Ambassador, Dadhania will be tasked with creating more science videos for a non-scientific audience.
“I can't wait to share my love for science with others,” she said. “I'm fortunate enough to know many people who have inspired me with their passion for science, and I hope that as Science Ambassador, I can inspire a passion and love for science in someone else.”
This is just the beginning for the Science Ambassador Scholarship program. If you're looking to apply, check the program website for details. Want to contribute (or just wish your game night featured more dirty science jokes)? Visit the Cards Against Humanity store and pick up the Science Pack.