The Minnesota Scholars of Distinction program nurtures and recognizes distinguished achievement by highly motivated self-directed students. Each award area was developed through partnerships of educators, the business community and others. To earn this recognition, students must complete required work in the Minnesota Academic Standards, demonstrate mastery of complex subject matter and apply their knowledge to challenging projects. Students may pursue one or more area of focus in any or all years of their K-12 education. Scholars of Distinction awards may be earned in the following areas:
The Scholar of Distinction Award program has expanded to include Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM). The STEM award places an emphasis on innovation and the integration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Award overview and criteria are available below.
All students who wish to apply for a Scholar of Distinction Award in Leadership, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies or STEM must open and complete the Intent to Apply form found in MDE Related Resources. Read the Program Overview and Rubric documents for each award area for guidance in completing and submitting projects. The Theater Arts overview outlines how the application process is different for Theater Arts.
Schools with student enrollment of up to 2,500 may submit up to six applicants per award category. Schools with student enrollment of 2,501–4,000 may submit up to nine applicants per award category. In the event the number of students interested in awards exceeds the proportional allotment per category, the school will be required to determine which applications will move forward for award consideration. Schools required to select applicants must complete the 2014 Scholars of Distinction Nomination List by March 3, 2014.