2001 USA Student Finalists

Sheenah Beavers
Lawton-Bronson High School

Community and School Based Project for Helping Less Fortunate Students in the Lawton Bronson Elementary School System
Helping my community is an important part of who I am. I have been fundraising and soliciting to area businesses to help funding. I raised $3,000 to begin my project. I have purchased school supplies and winter clothing for needy children in the elementary building as well as three in the high school building. I feel I made an impact.

Scott Cherne
Clatyon Ridge High School (Guttenberg)

Increasing the Local Pheasant Population
The seasons in Iowa can be hard on wildlife, especially pheasants. My project focuses on a possible solution to the dwindling pheasant population. I am raising young pheasants with plans to release them into the wild that surrounds our home and other areas in Northeast Iowa. Hopefully, we will see the beautiful birds repopulate the area.

Christine Dillard
Spencer High School

A Novel Idea: The Modernization and Creation of a Library
I helped a man’s dream become a reality by assisting in the design and construction of the Dickens’ Public Library. A library provides a place of learning through books, computers, the internet, and people. My goal is to show the importance of libraries to other small communities in my area.

Laura Froyen
Knoxville High School

Knoxville High School Arboretum
I have established a 30-tree arboretum on the grounds of Knoxville High School. Funds for my project were obtained through donations and a grant I wrote, and received, from the State of Iowa. I am currently developing a series of elementary level educational packets and CD-ROMs on tree identification that will be distributed to teachers locally and throughout the state.

Natalie Larson
Muscatine High School

Feeding Muscatine: An Art-Starved Community
By facilitating two traveling art exhibits composed solely of MHS student work, my project combats the artwork deficiency of Muscatine, as well as the lack of recognition given to MHS art students. People that are nursing home bound, have low incomes, or hectic schedules, will now have the opportunity to view quality artwork at no cost and at their own convenience.

Andrew Miller
Shenandoah High School

Three R’s and a C
My project emphasizes conservation. It is designed to educate and reemphasizes to the members of my community, the importance of conserving our resources. The title of the project sums up my efforts by reminding people to reduce, reuse and recycle as well as to conserve water.

Nancy Patterson
Cedar Rapids Washington High School

The International Food of Friendship
The English Language Learners (ELL) create a rich ethnic diversity at Washington High School. They speak little English, making it hard to become acquainted with the mainstream of high school students. I’m developing a program to help integrate ELL students into Washington by befriending them, which helps their English skills, makes them more comfortable with America, and enlightens our school to its cultural diversity.

Theresa Putnam
Muscatine High School

Born to Read
Born to Read is a project stressing literacy. Each baby born in Muscatine’s Unity Hospital will receive a book bag with information about the public library, a bookmark and a nursery rhyme book. This program will serve 450 babies and will encourage parents to read to their children and use the local library. Distribution commenced July 2001.

Jennifer Quinn
Spencer High School

JNP Teddy Bear Drive
The JNP teddy bear drive was set up to bring comfort to sick children in Shriners’ Hospitals across the United States. I run an online club of almost 7,000 N Sync fans worldwide (called Jens-NSync-Pix). Each member participating in this charity is sending in a stuffed toy, bear, or comfort object along with a letter to the child receiving it.

Stephany Robinson
Lineville-Clio High School

Park Beautification
I am revitalizing our worn-down Clio City Park. I have repainted everything (equipment, gazebo, newly added parking borders and picnic tables), replaced the swings, added a slide, plus many more improvements. The highlight of my project was placing a new flagpole. I was able to complete my project by the support and donations of my community.

Robert Schaut
North Polk High School (Alleman)

State Park Reformation, Information, and New Growth (SPRING) Project
The State Park Reformation, Information, and New Growth (SPRING) Project is designed to clean up, enrich, help to maintain and improve state parks. SPRING will achieve this through the methods of community involvement, legislation and information programs. To start our mission we will work with Big Creek State Park and expand to other parks throughout Iowa.

Raymond Silhanek
South Tama County High School (Tama)

The Wise and Safe Use of Wood for Home Heating
The purpose of this project is to develop a variety of consumer education materials related to the wise and safe use of wood for home heating and to devise a system for disseminating these materials.

Timothy Smith
Cedar Rapids Xavier High School

McLoud Run Renovation Project
McLoud Run Renovation Project is a stream improvement project of McLoud Run, a cold-water stream, which runs through Cedar Rapids that is stocked with trout. My project is to improve the fish habitat of the stream with the goal of helping to provide a trout fishing opportunity to the area citizens of all ages in Cedar Rapids.

Drew Sponheim
St. Ansgar High School

Value-Added Agriculture
I market 2000 hogs annually. After the hog prices of 1998, I decided to add value to my hogs. I started a business called TenderLean Meats. My hogs are processed at a locker and then I distribute the meat to area stores. I had to get through all the government regulations to make this possible.

Jeremiah Terhark
Home schooled in Corwith

Webspec Design: Transforming Ideas into Reality
My goal is to establish a web design company called Webspec Design to provide small businesses and individuals with affordable web sites. I plan to use the profits from this business to help finance my college education. In addition to web design, forming the business involves much time devoted to promotion, record keeping, public relations, and researching legal information.

Frances Zacharakis-Jutz
Home schooled in Solon

Organic Parasiticide On-Farm Research
The goal of my project is to find a non-chemical wormer for small ruminant animals. My experimental design includes three experimental groups and one control group. One of the experimental groups will receive pumpkin seeds, another tobacco and the third a chemical wormer. The control group will receive no wormer. An effective non-chemical wormer would benefit organic livestock producers nationwide.