CALENDAR OF EVENTS

2008 USA Student Finalists




SAMANTHA BANSER

Janesville High School

Furthering Opportunities for “Aging Out” Foster Children
My goal is to create a website for foster kids to use as a resource as they approach their time to age out of the foster care system. The website will have information about food, scholarships, mentoring, housing and medical programs. Its purpose is to help make the transition to adulthood easier for foster teens.

BENJAMIN BAUDLER
Nodaway Valley High School (Greenfield)

Nodaway Valley: A Great Place to Live and Grow!
It was brought to my attention that preschoolers going into kindergarten were having a tough time adjusting. My solution was to write a series of books under the theme Nodaway Valley: A Great Place to Live and Grow! These books help the students learn about the school building and its rules and teach the positive aspects of the community.

MICHAEL BEAVERS
Lawton-Bronson High School

It’s a Brotherhood—A United Effort That Will Change the Way Two Brothers With Muscular Dystrophy See Life Every Day
It’s a Brotherhood has given freedom and hope back to two brothers who have muscular dystrophy. It has united youth, adult and professional volunteers together to provide a safe area for exploring the outdoors, a 3-season room to experience the seasons without fighting the elements, and numerous home improvements that have enhanced the quality of their lives.

KELSIE CASS
Nodaway Valley High School (Greenfield)

Cooking for Life
Cooking for Life focused on teaching families how to prepare healthy, simple, and economical meals. Participants and their mentors gather once a month to prepare a meal. At the workshops the participants participate in a short lesson on meal planning and nutrition. Each participant takes home the meal they have prepared and all the supplies to make the meal again.

ANDREW EDSON
Nashua-Plainfield High School

Shaping the Character of Youth Through the Gift of Music
I believe music is a gift that can hold many different lessons and emotions inside of it. Therefore, I designed my project to teach young children about character through a musical CD with my voice and guitar. My 8-song CD has been distributed to every school district in the state of Iowa to increase the impact on the youth.

CODY LAUTERBACH
John F. Kennedy High School (Cedar Rapids)

Indian Creek Flood Gauge System
My project is to install gauges to measure the water level of Indian Creek. It is an attempt to eliminate the danger which manual water measuring posed to the Linn County Emergency Volunteers. It is also intended to allow evacuation orders and anti-flood measures to be initiated in a more timely fashion.

TROY MENSEN
West Delaware High School (Manchester)

A Closer Look at Facebook
My project, entitled A Closer Look at Facebook, deals with social networking sites and internet safety. The goal is to educate parents who are uninformed about the risks of social networking and internet communication on sites like Facebook and MySpace. A Closer Look at Facebook consists of a presentation of skits and power points by high school students.

OLIVIA ROMERO
Columbus High School (Columbus Junction)

Keeping Columbus Kids Safe (In Memory of Tanya Beruman)
Keeping Columbus Kids Safe (In Memory of Tanya Beruman) is a bike safety program dedicated to teaching children the importance of bike safety. This program is in memory of a young girl who lost her life in a bike riding accident. The purpose for this program is to educate both children and parents of the dangers of riding a bike.

AMY PEYTON
East Sac County High School (Sac City)

Showcase Sac City
Showcase Sac City has enhanced the beauty and heritage of our community. This project has brought youth and adult volunteers together to create an historical mural at Sac City’s eastern gateway, a heritage walk and six barn quilts at the fair grounds, a tourism book about Sac County’s barn quilts and agriculture, and improvements to the museum’s historical village.

JESSICA SCHRAMM
East Sac County High School (Lake View)

Celebrate Chautauqua
Celebrate Chautauqua led to the repainting of parts of the Chautauqua building and also small restorations to help with the upkeep of this historic building. The work was done for the 100th birthday and the Chautauqua Days celebration. My project also educated the town’s citizens on the history of this building through talks, brochures, and a junior high writing contest.

SHELBY SIEREN
Keota High School

Glycerin Absorption and Combustion for Energy Production
Crude glycerin is a natural by-product of biodiesel that has no use. It is a thick, dark liquid that still contains impurities. My goal is to use crude glycerin as a renewable energy source by combining it with biomasses and burning. Through absorption, filtration, and combustion tests, results will help biodiesel plants throughout Iowa and the world run more efficiently.

NADIA TORKZADEH
Waukee High School

CANcer Kids CAN Help!
My project, called CANcer Kids CAN Help!, is designed to encourage children at diagnosis. The goal of CKCH is for childhood cancer patients and survivors to reach out to newly diagnosed kids who have just been hospitalized by giving them special gifts with uplifting notes attached, written by those have been in their shoes.

SIUSHAN VUONG
Valley High School (West Des Moines)

Chinese Festival: China and the Hoover Years
To better communicate with a person, it is important to learn of his culture. Chinese Festival: China and the Hoover Years was my project to enrich the community in Chinese customs, especially during the early 1900s, when Hoover lived in China. People experienced, learned and worked with hands-on activities to further their knowledge of the Chinese culture and Herbert Hoover.

JERALYN WESTERCAMP
John F. Kennedy High School (Cedar Rapids)

Project Bookshelf
With improved literacy, we teach kids that anything is possible—even the future. Project Bookshelf will provide books and other educational materials to give Rwandan orphans a learning support system to enable them to gain the skill set knowledge they need to reach their goals and dreams. Project Bookshelf will promote literacy and improve America’s world image.

JOSHUA ZINNEL
Prairie Valley High School (Gowrie)

Cedar Cemetery Restoration
I am doing restoration work at the Cedar Cemetery. I have been cleaning and resetting stones and filling in dirt where the ground has settled. I am also making a digital mapping of the cemetery which will be displayed at the cemetery and link what information is available about the loved ones buried there.