Alexandra Poppen
West Branch High School

Angel Meals
Angel Meals is a program I started to provide home cooked meals and fellowship to senior citizens, shut-ins, and other people with special needs within the community. I learned that many elderly people have been feeling isolated. I also know from experiences with my great-grandparents that these people may also lack the ability and energy to prepare their own meals and maintain a healthy diet. This gave me the idea to create a program to serve this unmet need.

Alina Markutsya
Ames High School

A Gymnastics Opportunity For Kids From Low-Income Families
My project consists of the creation and organization of a gymnastics clinic for children ages 5-12 from low-income households during summer break. This clinic would be held at the City Hall in downtown Ames, Iowa to give the opportunity for children to experience gymnastics who would otherwise be unable to due to their household income/situation. My project would provide everyone in my community the opportunity to try a new sport free of charge.

Anirudh(Ani) Soni
Johnston High School

Tekram Marketing
I started my digital marketing business project, Tekram Marketing, with the idea of helping small businesses with their online/social media presence. The service involves social media management aimed to boost my customers’ reach and help them attract customers of their own. I want to create a social and economic impact within my community by introducing, integrating, and improving the online presence of small businesses. My goal is to help at least 5 businesses by the end of 2022.

Claire Gu
Valley High School, West Des Moines

I plan to set up Artificial Intelligence (AI) clubs in elementary schools to bring awareness of AI to girls and teach them basic AI concepts and applications. The goal of this project is to stimulate the interest in AI among girls and create an environment where girls are encouraged to explore the growing field of A. They will also be taught basic computing skills so that they can continue to study AI in high school and beyond.

Connor Fogarty
Valley High School, West Des Moines

Devs Do Good Virtual Hackathon
I founded the nonprofit Devs Do Good with the mission to connect students passionate about computer science with nonprofits wanting to enhance their digital capabilities. In Iowa and around the nation, many nonprofits don’t have the technical resources or funding to advance their technology initiatives. Meanwhile, high schools and colleges are filled with students eager to get real world, hands-on technology experience. Devs Do Good brings these groups together by hosting hackathons where students spend the day collaborating with a nonprofit to complete their technical project.

 Emily Murphy
Ankeny High School

Stop Pollution. Be the Solution. Recycle!
Ankeny Community School District consists of seventeen schools, a District Office, and a warehouse that contains, among other departments, the District`s print services department. Currently, each building contains recycling bins. The school district does not have procedures put in place that ensure recyclable material does not end up in the landfill and that trash does not end up in recycling bins. They recycle on a very small scale. I plan to put a sound recycling program in place and form a student club whose focus is to educate students and staff about the do`s, don`ts, and importance of recycling.

Emma Allen
West Marshall High School

See Color
For my project, I will be writing and illustrating a children`s book about racism and accepting one`s culture. The story follows a Chinese-American girl who meets racist microaggression from her classmates which causes her to feel ashamed for being Chinese. In the end, she learns more about her culture and how to accept it. Throughout the book as she meets racism, the color in the illustrations will fade until everything is black and white. Then, as she begins to figure out her identity, color is restored. The name for this story is See Color because I do not believe in being colorblind when it comes to race.

Ethan Strecker
Prairie High School, Cedar Rapids

Steam Leadership Training Program
I am creating a teachable STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) Leadership Training Program in partnership with 4-H. I will be using leadership skills I have developed as Senior Youth Mentor for STEAM On (a community robotics and STEAM center) and Scouts to teach youth to be the leaders of tomorrow, using STEAM  programs. These skills will help them be better role models, group members and especially better leaders.

Ethan Hooten
Waukon High School

Wolfpack Theater Company
The establishment and management of an all inclusive student led theater company that will put on productions for charity. The company focuses on building participants leadership skills and teaches them the importance of giving back to their communities. On top of acquiring these important skills, participants will also become enriched in the performing arts and gain a lifelong appreciation for theater.

Isabel McGrane
Valley High School, West Des Moines

West Des Moines Valley Southwoods Tree Nursery
I aim to set up a tree nursery at my high school’s ninth-grade building, Valley Southwoods. Once the trees mature, they will replace dead or dying trees around the West Des Moines community and school district. First, I will start tree seeds and seedlings at the greenhouse attached to Valley high school’s main building and care for the trees with the help of Valley’s Greenhouse Club and other student volunteers. Next, once the trees are large enough, I will transplant the trees to a secure location at Valley Southwoods and determine how to best care for them there. Finally, I will work with a student “apprentice,” who will take over the project and care for the tree nursery after I graduate.

Jeffrey Zou
Johnston High School

I found an inefficient student volunteering process was disorganized from top to bottom: coordinators have to separately discover and connect with organizations to their students who rely on them and organizations don’t know where to look for willing student volunteers. This is causing high school students to struggle to find interesting opportunities, school programs unable to effectively connect and track their student volunteers, and organizations relying on volunteers to suffer. My solution is Vojo, a startup that will revive the dying state of high school volunteering in America. Vojo essentially offers a unique platform where high school volunteer program coordinators can seamlessly filter and approve potential opportunities for students to take part in, connect students to organizations, and track their students’ hours.

Josie Boyle
Western Dubuque High School

Feeding My Community To Help Lessen the Impact Of Meat Shortages
My project is to raise all-natural, cage-free broiler chickens humanely and responsibly on my family’s farm, using no hormones or antibiotics. My goal is to provide members of my community with nutritious, wholesome, and sustainably raised chicken that is packed full of protein, vitamins, and minerals to help lessen the impacts of meat shortages in the future. An additional goal is to assemble a team of young agriculturalists that will donate some of their farm-raised products to food insecure families in our community, so together, we can have a vast impact in our community for many years to come.

Kiersten Knobbe
AC/GC High School, Guthrie Center

Creating A Water Filtration and Sanitation System For Developing Countries
The goal of this project is to study and create a water filtration and sanitation system that can be implemented in developing countries. The purpose is to show how additional materials affect water turbidity and bacterial growth when added to a currently used system known as the slow sand filter. The goal is to study the effects of activated carbon from coconut, corn husk, and activated carbon from orange peel to determine if they would be effective additives to slow sand filters and enable people in developing countries to access clean drinking water.

Sanya Oli
Linn Mar High School, Marion

*Mental* Health Equals Wealth-Reducing Stigma and Increasing Awareness
The goal of my project is to raise awareness and reduce stigmas of mental health issues by getting the conversation of mental health started. I want to achieve this through ways that are noticeable but not overwhelming. By targeting both the parents and the students, the goal is to make the discussion about mental health common. This way no one feels alone. If parents gain a better understanding of their child’s situation through my presentation then that will facilitate more conversations and further help students feel less alone.

Srimaan Aravamudhan
West High School, Iowa City

Paintings For A Smile
The idea behind Paintings for a Smile is to bring a smile among hospitalized children and boost their morale during this uniquely challenging time. My idea originated in the summer of 2020. I brainstormed ways in which I could make a difference in the lives of the hospitalized children from my living room. I intended to use my artistic skills to design hands-on activities for hospitalized children.