On April 14, the World Food Prize Iowa Youth Institute at Iowa State University brought together over 230 high school students and 120 teachers from across Iowa to explore critical global issues and academic and career paths in STEM fields.
Newton Senior High School student Anna Barr attended the day’s events, accompanied by teacher Bill Reed.
Dr. Norman Borlaug, whose centennial is being celebrated this year and whose statue Iowa recently installed in the U.S. Capitol, envisioned this and other World Food Prize youth programs as the way to inspire the next generation of scientists and humanitarians to go into critical fields and to help solve the challenge ahea — feeding the 9 billion people who will be on our planet by the year 2050.
“These programs connect real-world issues and challenges that need solved to actual academic pathways and research that’s going on right here in the state of Iowa,” said Kenneth M. Quinn, president of The World Food Prize Foundation. “Our goal is to enthuse high school students about the huge realm of possibilities out there, and to dream big when it comes to choosing their future paths.”
The Iowa Youth Institute connects students interested in science, agriculture and related fields with Iowa leaders and innovators on the cutting edge of science and research. Each participating high school student wrote a research paper on a key issue that impacts hunger in another a country, such as water scarcity or gender inequality. The students propose their own solutions in small-group roundtable discussions facilitated by academic and industry experts, and students and teachers also participate in hands-on “immersion” activities in research facilities and labs at Iowa State University.
More information is available at www.worldfoodprize.org/iowayouth.