This project is a partnership with Drake Professor Trenton Grundmeyer, who lost a nephew this summer in a pool accident. We aim to produce a cheap, open source pool alarm to prevent this kind of tragedy from happening. This project will include marketing, digital electronics, programming, and wireless communication. April 10th! - Done w/ trifold and sent out!

City of Cedar Rapids Stormwater Quality Monitoring

Students will assist the City of Cedar Rapids' data collection efforts surround several key stormwater areas. Including: in the field data collection with test strips and digital sensors, analysis of data, presentation to city officials, mapping and GIS analysis of water sheds, and recommendations for changes to improve water quality.

Hydroponics Container

Students will maintain an aquaponics system in a shipping container located outside the NewBo City Market. The project will immerse itself in the Market's business incubator model, while creating educational programming. We also hope to provide fresh produce to local non-profits.

Pledge 4 Kids

Pledge4Kids is reimagining fundraising by rebranding ‘Corridor Goes Casual for Kids’, a successful fundraising event known throughout the corridor. We successfully completed two fundraising events during the 2017-18 school year. We hope to have several more fundraising events this year.

Flow into Purpose

Learner-Centered schools such as Iowa BIG help students find purpose. International best selling author and pioneer of Flow psychology wants to write his next best-seller about Iowa BIG. Students will contribute written, audio, web, and video content while working with fellow contributors from the University of Northern Iowa and Mihály Csíkszentmihályi himself!

Political Palooza

A website designated to making current politics simple. Creating crash courses, vlogs, blogs, and citing credible sources that teenagers can follow easily. We are our political future, get involved! Currently discussing partners such as NextGenAmerica, and others.

Food Bank Web App

For those in need, navigating transportation and the operating hours of food banks often results in frustrating bus trips to closed resources. This team will create website that creates a custom navigation route to the closest open food bank within the travel limitations of the client. We will do a lot of web programming, database work, and research about transportation and food bank operations.

Science of Kombucha

Learning the complex science behind kombucha and developing a scoby. Afterward, learning how to properly market it.

Brucemore A/V Tour

Create interpretive material for visitors to Brucemore who have limited mobility. In 1997, Brucemore produced a video to help visitors see objects and hear the history of the 2nd and 3rd floors of the mansion. In the subsequent twenty years, the video has become out dated and requires an update. The project team from Iowa Big will work with Brucemore staff to determine how to make this history accessible for audiences and explore opportunities for utilizing new technologies.

Dancing Away the Stigma

Were advancing the national movement towards implementing dance therapy into the special education curriculum for the adaptive PE courses in the LinnMar School District, College Community School District and the Cedar Rapids Community School District. Proposed for further support from the Iowa Department of Education.

The Green Bandana Project

Teach young children (3rd-7th grade) about mental illness through the use of therapy dogs and short presentations.

Watershed Mapping and Analysis

Stormwater runoff from a portion of Marion’s Uptown district drains through a 60-acre sub-watershed that is mostly residential and discharges directly into Indian Creek through Marion’s Donnelly Park. There are no stormwater controls throughout this sub-watershed, so any pollutants that the stormwater collects along the way are goes untreated and also goes directly into Indian Creek.

Computer mapping and modeling software such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can be utilized to map impervious surfaces (hard surfaces that water does not penetrate) in this sub-watershed. This can help determine the volume of stormwater runoff in this sub-watershed and where stormwater controls can be constructed to reduce runoff and improve water quality.

Students will use GIS and the most current aerial photography of Marion to digitize the surface features in the sub-watershed. This consists of outlining roads, driveways, roofs, parking lots, sidewalks, etc. and categorizing (attributing) the features in a GIS database. The outcome of this project will be a geographic dataset of surface features (also called planimetrics) for the Uptown Marion/Donnelly Park sub-watershed. If time allows, the students can learn about geoprocessing – the function of GIS where multiple map layers can be analyzed to create new map layers showing different information.

Watershed Awareness

Stormwater runoff from a portion of Marion’s Uptown district drains through a 60-acre sub-watershed that is mostly residential and discharges directly into Indian Creek through Marion’s Donnelly Park. There are no stormwater controls throughout this sub-watershed, so any pollutants that the stormwater collects along the way are goes untreated and also goes directly into Indian Creek. This project consists of TWO components that can run simultaneously or chronologically. Visitors to Donnelly Park are likely not aware that the water flowing through the large drainage ditch in the park starts more than a half mile away from the roofs and parking lots of restaurants and shops in Uptown Marion. Oil leaking from a car parked outside Louie’s Scoreboard or a cigarette butt thrown in the gutter behind the Chocolate Shop will ultimately wash down the storm sewer and into this park. Part ONE: The outcome of this project will be a sign or placard can be designed and installed at this area of the park with information, maps, and even QR codes to educate the park-goers of these stormwater issues. If time allows multiple signs can be created and installed strategically throughout the sub-watershed. Part TWO: (This is more of a general stormwater project and not directly related to the Uptown Marion/Donnelly Park sub-watershed) There are many commercials and videos on social media educating people on the environment, issues related to stormwater management, and water quality. Most of these videos are targeted to homeowners, business owners, farmers, and young children. What about teenagers? Can a commercial or PSA be made to more effectively convey the stormwater message to high school and middle school students? The outcome of this project would be a video, or a series of videos, that are both entertaining and educational for stormwater management. Animated videos are certainly a possibility!

Wifi Accessibility for All?

ImOn needs BIG's help to solve a problem they see coming for our area. ImOn is a communication company that provides cable and internet locally. They are also the ones who provide the free downtown/newbo wifi. Recently, they have seen an increase in usage of this free service in various parts of downtown. They have connected these upticks in usage to students completing homework and assignments that require internet. They believe they are relying on this free wifi because they do not have access to internet at their home. ImOn would like BIG students to dig deeper on this issue to help them understand the true need in CR and how they can help be of service.


Colleges and universities have been tasked with educating and preventing sexual assault unlike any other institution in the US. While that is a worthwhile and necessary expectation, exposing K-12 students to the concept and practical application of consent (sexual and non-sexual) prior to their arrival at college/graduation from high school will provide them with an advantage over their peers, an opportunity to seek leadership positions, and serve as a support for others. I would like to work with Iowa BIG students to find ways to educate their peers about consent while in high school. This education doesn't have to be about sexual consent since we provide consent to all kinds of things every day. In my preliminary work with some college students, working on this issue connects with many disciplines including: communication, marketing, design, public speaking, and english.

ACT My Success Campaign

Help run a social media marketing campaign, including a series of interviews allowing people to talk about how teachers and education have affected their path.

Ed Revision (2018-19)

Students will work in conjunction with Ed Reimagined to educate the public on learner-centered education.