2013 USA Student Finalists

Kate Anstreicher
West High School, Iowa City
Iowa City                                                                                                                                                                         

Think Before You Ink
Think Before You Ink is a print reduction initiative in the Iowa City School District. Through outreach to students, giving paper conservation tips to faculty and introducing constructive competition between teachers and entire schools, we are hoping to raise awareness about our district’s impact on the environment and lessen our dependence on a finite, expensive resource.

Cassidy Bottjen
OA-BCIG, Ida Grove
Ida Grove                                                                                                                                                                        

Bean Bags and Books
Reading is the foundation for academic success.  That is why I wanted to create a fun and comfortable reading environment for the children at school.  By donating bean bags, posters, and a hovercam, the elementary students can enjoy a good book.  To fundraise for  my project, I held a book/bake sale.

Ryan Broderson
Muscatine High School, Muscatine

Colorado Elementary School Improvements
My project is about making improvements to my old school, Colorado Elementary School.  I made backdrops for a Christmas event.  I made five Fall Festival games.  Built a shade garden, provided a maze on the black-top and repainted two sheds.  I will be repainting faded games on the black-tops, planting hostas, remulching, and building a bench around a tree.

Ayenna Cagaanan
Fort Dodge Senior High School, Fort Dodge
Fort Dodge                                                                                                                                                                     

Bikes for the Homeless
For a while now, the volunteering spirit has been low at my high school. Through a volunteering event ending with a 5k to give money to a local homeless shelter I will try to boost the lack of community involvement. Furthermore, I have set-up a volunteering program so students will be more motivated in getting involved.

Brooke Chapman
Central Community High School, DeWitt

Superheroes in the Ballpark Day
Superheroes in the Ballpark Day is a day dedicated to raising money and awareness for the Muscular Dystrophy Association in honor of Team Griffin. Griffin is a sophomore that has Congenital Muscular Dystrophy.  To help Griffin and other people affected by Muscular Dystrophy, people got together for superhero and baseball themed games, food, crafts, and activities.

Maddie Hamborg
Valley High School, Des Moines
West Des Moines                                                                                                                                                          

Everyone Moves
My project is entitled Everyone Moves, and it is a program for special needs children to help encourage exercise while improving social skills. This program has created an environment where children with disabilities can play games, make new friends, and not be defined by their physical or mental limitations.

Elliot Henderson
West Liberty High School, West Liberty
West Liberty                                                                                                                                                                   

Breaking Tradition
In order to “break tradition” in the large minority population of West Liberty, I have found major academic and social issues facing the youth of not only West Liberty, but the country as a whole. I discovered that some problems lie deeper than just academic or financial barriers. Some lie in the immigration chaos found in this country.

Thomas (Rex) Shields
Logan-Magnolia High School, Logan

Panther Press: A Student-Run Newspaper Initiative
As a student aspiring to study journalism, I was dismayed by the absence of a student-run newspaper and the widespread sense of news illiteracy among students. Having landed an internship at my town’s local newspaper, I attained permission to begin work on a publication run exclusively by students in hopes of improving my school’s club offerings and increasing students’ news-reading abilities.

Eric Sindelar
Jefferson High School, Cedar Rapids
Cedar Rapids                                                                                                                                                                  

Remodeling of Sokol Gymnastics
Sokol Gymnastics relocated and rebuilt after the flood of 2008 and is still recovering today. My lifelong involvement with Sokol drives me to recruit new rental groups, revitalize and teach classes, remodel the building to include new locker rooms, offices and commercial kitchen. Over the course of the summer I organized 242 volunteer hours valued between $4,247 – $5,357.

Genivyve Smith
BCLUW High School, Conrad
New Providence                                                                                                                                                            

Comfort for Care
The goal of Comfort fro Care is to provide a blanket to children who are placed in Child Abuse Preention Services of Marxhall County Crisis Center.  I want to provide a blanket for comfort and warmth.

Vaibhav Srikaran
Johnston High School, Johnston

Phun with Physics and Problem Solving
Phun with Physics and Problem Solving is a class which is held at my local library which aims to get students between grades 3 and 5 excited about physics and engineering.  The concept I taught about were buoyancy, aeronautics, a simple machines and structural engineering.

Jonah VanRoekel
Mid-Prairie High School, Wellman

Promoting Fitness Through Athletic Competition
My project was to create a summer-long sports camp for 6-8th graders.  I created this camp to help these Middle School aged athletes become better prepared for their upcoming school sports seasons.  This camp consisted of twice weekly meetings where the kids could find support as they worked towards their goals, as well as training in a fun and social atmosphere.

Madison West
Davenport Central High School, Davenport

The Student Positioning System
The Student Positioning System is a series of videos designed to give incoming students a complete and comprehensive tour of Davenport Central High School, a 108 year old building that can be extremely difficult to navigate. These videos include footage of the school, blueprints, introductions to various teachers, and general information that will be useful to new students.

Quinn Wilson
Ankeny High School, Ankeny

An Instrument in Every Hand
An Instrument in Every Hand is a program with the purpose of collecting used band instruments for use by underprivileged students in Ankeny. An instrument drive was set up to collect donations to the program in an organized fashion. Over 50 instruments are currently in the process of being distributed to all qualifying 5th grade band students.