1999 USA Student Finalists

Todd Arthur
Waterloo West High School

A Sound System Improvement Project for Waterloo
West High School Siddens Gymnasium What does a fifty year old voice public address system sound like when used for rock music in a school gym? Awful!!! What does a $32,000 dual purpose wireless voice and music; 6,000 watt, 64 speaker with sub wolfers sound reinforcement system sound like over the cheering of twenty- three hundred screaming fans? Rock On! It will be a reality and the Hoover Uncommon Student Award Project caused it all to happen. President Hoover would be proud.

Xuan-Nhi Cao
Sioux City West High School

Sponsoring Vietnamese Families
Sponsoring Vietnamese families helps the newcomers feel like they belong in the United States. Our jobs are to help them get their paperwork done and to take them around. We need to explain what they are confused about so they know more about the new culture. We also register schools for the children and apply jobs for the adults. Our main job is to help the newcomers settle on this new land.

Anne Cline
Corning High School

Icarian Enlightening
My project is to enlighten and bring back the understanding and education of the Icarian colony in my community. This is the oldest and purest communal experiment in our nation’s history. The Icarian colony lasted from 1852-1898. I targeted the younger generation, who knew very little of the Icarians. I co-founded the La Petite Icarian Academie. The children learned French language, songs, dances, and are enlightened about their county’s heritage.

Helen Fuller
West Branch High School

Ambassadors in Science Program for West Branch High School
The Ambassadors in Science Program (ASP) was designed to give the students of West Branch High School a better understanding of science, not as a school subject, but as a career and a lifestyle. Speakers from the University of Iowa and area companies were invited to present to the science classes information about their educations and careers. This program should encourage students to continue in science and provide them with answers to questions about scientific careers.

Christopher Glaser
Pomeroy-Palmer High School

Hydrogen Fuel for the Future
Hydrogen is the most abundant resource in the universe. It is flammable yet non-toxic. If it is possible to obtain energy from it, why don’t we? My project is to show that it is possible. Hopefully my efforts will be able to grasp attention and make a difference in our economy and ecosystem.

Richard Herbst
LeMars Gehlen Catholic High School

STAND was a full day symposium for area high school students to attend. This seminar gave current and future leaders the motivation needed to strengthen their leadership skills by energizing them into internal and external action. The STAND program includes reinforcements to keep the network of STAND attendees connected so they can stay ready and willing to take a stand and in turn motivate their friends, schools and communities.

Thomas Laehn
Allison-Bristow High School

Youth Community Service Projects
My project was to create a youth organization which would work for the betterment of our community. This organization would not be directly associated with the school or any particular church. It would be open to all high school students who were willing to help make our community a better place. We would accomplish this by helping the elderly and those in need, participating in community improvement projects, and by giving donations to local charities.

Jessica Lecroy
Ottumwa High School

Hook Cemetery Preservation
My goal is to preserve a historic cemetery that has been neglected for many years. Hook Cemetery is in desperate need of repair. I will reset all of the fallen stones and do all repairs. This can be done with a minimal cost of money or damage to the environment. I will be preserving history for the future.

Michael Lindseth
South Hamilton HS (Jewell)

Iowa Politics on the Internet
My goal is to create a World Wide Web site that helps students and adults to contact their state representatives and also allows them to voice their opinion on various topics of concern.

Carolyn Persoon
Central Community High School (Elkader)

Hospital Educational Video
My project is creating a video to be used by the community hospital in educating patients coming for surgery. It will prepare patients and reduce anxiety. It will also help relieve stress on hospital staff and budget. To create the video I met with the hospital director, filmed scenes, and used the school’s technology such as editing machines. Hopefully this video will benefit patients in the community, the hospital, and teach students community service using technology.

Jeffrey Uittenbogaard
Sheldon High School

Needed Bus Stops and Waste Receptacles for Sheldon, Iowa
Our community has a bus system called Rides, an organization serving the elderly and physically disabled. The disabled are very important to our community as we have an enterprise currently accommodating 173 disabled individuals. The bus system wasn’t safe for these people because there were no places for the buses to stop. Therefore, I created six stops downtown. Each includes a bench for a waiting place and a waste receptacle to clean up the downtown.

Ryan Westendorf
Clarksville High School

Weather Spotting: Warning the Public
Severe weather, a very real threat to Iowa, is monitored by the National Weather Service who is charged with warning the public of severe weather. Even with the most advance computer and radar equipment, a storm spotter is the Weather Service’s most reliable source of live and up-to- date information on weather conditions. Knowing this, and knowing that Butler County was lacking the necessary number of spotters, I began a Citizen’s Band spotter program for the central and east-central Butler County area.

Andrea Wilson
Columbus Community High School (Columbus Junction)

A Lasting Memory of an Uncommon Person: A Student Confronts the Devastating Disease of Alzheimer’s
The Alzheimer’s Disease affects millions of American annually. I know from personal experience how terrible this disease is because my grandmother is in the advanced stages. To accomplish my goal of promoting Alzheimer’s education, I travel throughout different communities and give a presentation on recognizing and living with Alzheimer’s. I also conduct special activities for Alzheimer’s patients at our nursing home.

Laurel Zmolek-Smith
Cedar Rapids Washington High School

SPECTRUM: Promoting Acceptance of All Students at Washington High School
The problem of discrimination against gay, lesbian and bisexual people is especially prevalent in high school. Verbal slurs and general misinformation lead to high numbers of hate crimes, suicides, and dropouts. Spectrum is a group working to educate students about the harmful effect of intolerance, help gay and lesbian youth find the support they need, and make our high school a more welcoming environment.