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Steward School 8th grader wins award for creating the ‘perfect chicken’

Posted at 2:21 PM, Apr 29, 2015

HENRICO COUNTY, Va -- An eighth grader at the Steward School in Henrico County received some national recognition for her love of science. The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) presented the 2015 Angela Award to Gracie Goodpasture.  The honor, given annually to a female student in grades 5-8 who has shown a strong connection to science, comes with a  $1,000 savings bond.

Goodpasture was the only student in the country to win this award.  She was selected for her particular interest in chickens.  She started breeding chickens when she was in third grade, after working with Perdue Farms on a Steward School class project. Goodpasture said she was trying to find the healthiest free-range birds with no added steroids, and ended up creating a breed that now bears her name.

"I just kept breeding them because I have a few favorite breeds. Some have thicker egg shells and better meat, and they're hearty throughout the winter.  And so I just started breeding them until I came to, I guess, the perfect chicken," Goodpasture said.

Goodpasture's interests don't end with chickens and egg.  She is also into building robots and testing preservatives in fast foods.  The Angela Award complements last week’s announcement by the U.S. Department of Education designating Steward School as a Green Ribbon School.

Goodpasture said she wanted to go to Virginia Tech and major in poultry sciences.

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