Project YATPT (You Are the Prototype!)

In effort to create a youth facing platform that delivers a positive and engaging youth experience as well as meet the expectations and needs of opportunity youth in Chicago, participants will become experts in one or more categories of user experience on the LRNG platform ( ex. new user sign up). Participants will then provide detailed feedback and suggestions for how that particular aspect of the user experience can be in improved. Participants will be expected to redesign a piece of the LRNG interface and provide prototypes of their proposed changes.

Program Reflection

We will use this project to document our experience of CCIE through reflection writing and assignments.

Social Entrepreneurship

Social Entrepreneurship Final Project Brief CCIE November 2018 Facilitators: Mr. A and Curry Brief Create a proposal for a social venture that is inspired by an activist cause you are passionate about. Recruit outside partners and peers to join your project. Overview The Social Entrepreneurship project is aimed at students finding a project they are passionate about the seeks to improve the social good through a social enterprise. The final goal is for students to pitch their idea to a room of experts and to create a coherent project brief that can be taken forward in the project pool. This project is also an opportunity for students to validate their ideas by reaching out to potential partners and end users of their product or service. The project will finish at the end of November.


Problem: No one actually knows exactly how many abandoned buildings (and schools) are located in the city of Chicago. Some are strictly residential, curated to perpetuate systemic inequality. Others are casualties of the industrial and manufacturing devolution. At any rate, these spaces are often unsafe, unused, and eyesores preventing upward mobility in communities of color.

Opportunity: CCIE is currently residing in one such formerly deserted space, a macaroni factory, repurposed and reimagined for Pilsen’s prosperity. There are boundless opportunities for our own CCIE Consultants to use innovation, research, and their own knowledge of specific neighborhoods’ needs to revitalize and transform spaces around this city.

At CCIE, we strive to empower our students to illuminate their activism and take the lead on initiating community projects that positively impact the city and beyond. Students participating in this project will work in a group of between 3-5. They are tasked with selecting an abandoned space, determining its new identity, planning the architecture for its revitalization, drawing blueprints, redesigning the space to accommodate its new purpose, researching the political logistics of acquiring an abandoned space, uncovering of how much the actual transformation would cost, and creating a budget for the task.

Why Charters: an analysis of how charters are portrayed in the media

As the advocacy and support organization of Illinois charter schools, we are seeking to partner with charter students to help us try to change the image of charter schools. We want to tell a story about the benefits of charter schools. We need help to change the public narrative around charter schools. There are many myths around charter schools that exist, how can students and INCS help dispel the myths and bring light to why families choose charter schools. Students will produce a series of documents/videos/articles that will share student experiences.

HS Transitions

Problem: What is the problem you are trying to solve?
Transitioning to high school is stressful and to solve this problem we are going to help 8th graders to know what to expect in their high school experience.

Audience: Who are the people affected by this problem that you are trying to help?
8th graders that are transitioning to high school. Most importantly, students who do not know how to choose the right high school.

Approach: How are you helping and supporting people through your project?
We plan to help and support by sharing our experiences during transitioning to high school. We will be having a panel of high school seniors who will share their experiences in transitioning to high school. In addition, we will create videos casting high school seniors sharing their experiences.

Opportunity: How is your project different and unique?
This project is run by 7 senior minority teenagers who have 4 years of experience and are almost high school graduates.

Potential Partner: Who is best suited to work with you on this project to give you mentorship, resources, and networking opportunities?

Teachers, CIVITAS, elementary schools. Wrightwood

We will be having a panel of high school seniors who will share their experiences in Transitioning to high school. We will create videos of high schoolers and interview them about their high school experienceCollect data on how 8th graders deal with the transition to high school Collect data about how the project went from studentsCollect data from high school students about

Stage 1: Research middle/ elementary schools with rising 8th graders and 8th graders about to transition to high school.
Stage 2: Creating and testing events for the students.
Stage 3: Implementing the created events.
Stage 4: Create a survey or collect data on how students transitioned smoothly to high school.

Stage 1: March 8, 2019
Stage 2: March 21, 2019
Stage 3: April 4, 2019
Stage 4: April 11, 2019

Lincoln Park’s Year of Theater

Lincoln Park is home to some of Chicago’s most prestigious theaters and cultural institutions. We’d like to increase visibility of these organizations and promote them during the Year of Theater in 2019. Our main goal is to increase neighborhood engagement with theaters and rally the business community around these amazing institutions.

Non Traditional Students (NTS)

I'm targeting the problem of college affordability. I’ll be working with non-traditional students and business owners. I’ll use business owners as resources for the students to help pay for college. GOALS I want to have 10 non-traditional scholars to start off. I want to partner with 5 business owners. SPECIFICATIONS A non-traditional scholar (NTS) is a student who doesn’t meet traditional standards. Their GPA is not high. They may not have access to funds support to them through college. I’ll use businesses to sponsor students through college. I will partner with local, city-wide, and corporate business.

Adoption Journey

Children are being permanently separated from their birth parents and placed in adopted families instead of being placed with family members that are willing to care for them.

I will:
-Research my little brother and how to get in contact with him
-Document the process of finding and connecting with my brother
-Started a youtube channel to bring attention to my causes
-Create a documentary following this process
-Establish a corresponding website to create awareness around the injustices and encourage kids that have experienced similar situations

-Note: Use social media can be a helpful tool * I will make youtube videos about my journey to started a fan based. I will then turn me youtube videos to a documentary.

Student Voice in Mayoral Election

We usually work to make sure teachers have a voice in education policy, but this time, we want to work with students (YOU!) to make sure your voice is heard in this mayoral election. Join us in the revolution.

Black Strain

Who are we?
Black Strain is:
-Innovative and uplifting consultanting firm.
-Resource for black business owners who are passionate in owning a marijuana dispensary.
-Target the assistance in the renovation of minority communities.

We will:
-Create a website as a resource for people to get connected.
-Partner with sponsors to raise awareness and funding.
-Start Pop-Up shops near health care services to raise awareness.


Problem: Change the stories in the SAT to material that is more culturally relevant and concurrent to today.

GOALS: Get a meeting with College Board Make the stories in the SAT more relatable and intriguing

SPECIFICATIONS: I want to change the stories in the SAT because the most current stories are outdated and boring. Students can not test at their highest potential, if they are fighting to stay awake. If students were able to read stories that were more interesting or stories that they could relate to, then their attention spans would increase and so would their scores.

Project Request

Project Request is about providing designer brand clothing and utilizing the creativity of less fortunate African American adolescents in Chicago to make their own. We are going to reach out to the African-American Adolescents of Chicago. We’ve noticed that not all Chicago teens can afford the high-end clothing they want. So we decided to help teens create or buy the clothing they need for the jobs they want or to just look their best. -Project Request is about providing name brand fashion garments at an affordable price for adolescents in Chicago. -Project Request is also about self expression through your own pieces. -We are asking for partners in the textile making industry and Chicago fashion retailers for resources we can use to help create and find designer shirts.

Stop Motion Storytelling

Stop Motion animation is a technique used to bring static objects to life. This is done by moving the object in increments while filming a frame. The problems I am trying to solve with my social venture are: ~I want to find a way to send important messages (Community Service Announcements) with media that is fun to make and relatable. ~I want to encourage kids to express themselves through storytelling. The audience is kids in middle school who have the ability to express themselves and tell their personal stories in a fun unique way. -I will pitch my stop motion and community storytelling class to elementary schools and run workshops that give kids a first taste of how to make stop motion films. The films will be about experiences that impacted kids, which benefits the community as a whole. -These stop motion stories could be about school, family, friendships, relationships, struggling through obstacles, or any personal issues. -There are storytelling opportunities at schools, or community centers, etc. However, stop motion films are unique because not everyone has exposure to this art form. -My social venture creates an opportunity for kids to express themselves, tell their story, and learn how to make short films.

Director of Communication - Jon
Coordinating all communication
Delegating communication tasks for the right people

Producers - Najee & Jacquez
Creating all promotional films and involving other team members in the process.

Program Directors - Savion & Nikaya
Planning and leading all lesson plans.
Testing lessons for inspiration, energy, and knowledge building.

College vs Trade School App

My social venture began with a personal story. Like a lot of 18 year olds, I struggled to decide what to do after senior year. I wasn’t sure whether going to a 4 year college or trade school was right for me. Not all students have the opportunity to really examine whether they should go to college or trade school, and I want to create an app to help seniors make the best decision. I want to create an app that helps students find what they are passionate about so they can decide on a career path. -I need a team of CCIE students to work with me on this venture -I need an app developer -I need classes in tech to learn how to make an app -I need access to students who try the app

Cultural Connection

Project: Cultural Connection is a social venture dedicated to connect immigrants from the same background, ethnicity, region etc together with mentors to help them navigate through their new home. My goal for this social venture is to give every child who immigrates into the United States the opportunity to feel a sense of belonging, and also give the mentees a chance to pass on their valuable experience of navigating two worlds.

Approach: Database structure to collect data of background similarities.

Story: I got this idea when I saw Emiola a CEP’s Student Data manager who is Nigerian. When I saw her, I was inspired and comforted with the familiarity of knowing someone from the same culture. This feeling inspired me to create a social venture purposely to bring children who immigrated into the U.S from the same background in terms of country, ethnicity etc. together to give the children a sense of belonging. I am a teenager who immigrated into the United States at the age of 15. After I settled into the United States, I was sent to school. In school, I never felt happy as I would with my friends way back at home, Ghana. For this reason, I decided to work on a social to help teenagers who immigrated into the country like me to be able to feel happy in navigating their new world.

Audience: My audience are currently teenagers who immigrated into the United States.

Message: The message is how will teenagers be able to feel comfortable when they come into the United States. The teenagers will be given mentors to help them navigate comfortably in their new world.

City of Light

We’ve all heard of Paris. The city of love, the city of lights, the fashion capital of the world or even the architecture of the city just to name a few.

-The problem is that low-income African-American teens don’t get the chance to be able to travel and explore the world in one of the most important times of their lives. Their only views of the world are usually through violence and poverty and that can cause their perspective to be concentrated on the negative aspects of where they live.
-Roughly six in every ten teens (62%) in Europe have traveled abroad compared to the roughly one in every four teens (27%) say in a recent Gallup Youth Survey that they have traveled overseas. Now some people would say its obviously higher in Europe because of the proximity of the countries. In the U.S. we don’t have that luxury which is why I think its even more important to fly abroad to places like Europe and see how differently things work.

Personal Story:
-I want to start off with Paris because I got the chance to visit there during the two months I got an experience of a lifetime. Being able to see how differently people lived in the same world really opened my eyes.
-I want my social venture to have the sole intention of providing low income minority teens the chance to experience traveling abroad. There are similar programs which seem to do what I want to accomplish. But I feel that in their execution they fail to appeal to the demographic I’m interested in.

-My approach to solving this issue is to create a flying abroad program. I believe it is very important for teenagers to be able to see other perspectives and other cultures. Particularly low-income African-American teens who lack the opportunity to be able to change their mindset due to their living arrangements.

Monthly Leaks

I am currently in a program called CCIE, where I am starting a social venture called Monthly Leaks. Inequity towards incarcerated women is a growing obstacle that is not receiving enough attention. I came up with this social venture because my mother is incarcerated and it pushed me to try to solve a real world problem. Incarcerated women struggle today with access to feminine hygiene products. Prisons and jails provide inmates with only small amounts of feminine hygiene products, and when the inmates run out of products, they have to pay for them. Most female inmates do not have the support system or money to do so. Something so simple as a pad can be extremely hard to come by for most female inmates. Whether its due to high cost or just not being available. Many female inmates have to deal with the embarrassment of staining their clothes. I feel as if no woman should have to deal with these problems.

My first approach to solve this problem is to create an Illinois bill modeled after Arizona Bill 2222. Another approach I wanted to take was to partnerships with different feminine hygiene organizations to donate products to incarcerated women (Procter & Gamble, THINX, Diva Cup, etc).

With your help I really would like to change the way incarcerated women are treated and women in general.

-Partnerships with different feminine hygiene organizations to donate products to incarcerated women (Procter & Gamble, THINX, Diva Cup, etc)
-Reach out to American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) because they have published articles about the issue of incarcerated women’s reproductive health and could be potential partners
- Create an Illinois Bill modeled after Arizona Bill 2222

Potential Partners: Procter & Gamble, THINX, Diva Cup, etc)

- Incarcerated Women
- Warden of Department of Corrections
- Citizens of Cook County

Message: Menstrual inequity targeting incarcerated women. We began this project because I can personally relate to my topic because I know women who are incarcerated. As a woman I feel that feminine hygiene products should be accessible to all women, including incarcerated women.


In this project students develop a single collection of narratives, essays, podcasts, interviews, poetry, literature, photography, etc with the goal to raise the voices of people who are often overlooked and deserve to have their voices heard. They can do this through digital, print, or live mediums. As a group they identify a topic area and community whose voices are often overlooked and create a platform for those voices to be heard. Students should highlight a diversity of opinions and voices in this effort to reflect the full human experience of that community. Working as editors, interviewers, journalists, essayists, publishers, bloggers, community organizers, writers and designers students will go through the full process of creating a collection and platform for voices to be heard.

Deliverables and Expectations:
- Engage a community of people whose voices are not often heard
- A collection of works that highlights those voices
- The collection must be publicized through an event, website, kickstarter, launch, distribution strategy, or other form of getting those voices into the public sphere
- Students must recruit outside clients and mentors with the help of the CCIE staff who can advise and support their efforts to raise voices.
- In addition to creating great content students must also be consuming great content. For example, if they are doing a series of interviews they need to first read a number of interviews, talk to great interviewers and gain an understanding of the precedents and achievements that have come before them. The greatest writers are also great readers.

Boutique / Dream Closet / Wardrobe

Problem: Americans as a whole have a surplus of over $3.6 billion dollars of unworn clothing in their closets and report wearing only 20% of their wardrobe! However, in Chicago, one out of every five children lives in poverty and 80% of schools adhere to a mandatory uniform policy. These seemingly unrelated statistics are part of an illusory barrier that stalwart students’ abilities to navigate between worlds of interests.

Facts: As we have seen this year, CCIE students need MULTIPLE wardrobes to successfully transition between casual classrooms, business formal board rooms, preppy client meetings, dressy project events, comfy college dorms, and black tie formal functions. However, they already have to pay for school fees, senior fees, prom, pictures, and countless other unforeseen costs of being in their final year of high school. This issue spreads beyond our program and is a sentiment many high schoolers can empathize with...who doesnt love shopping for a new outfit?

Opportunity: Since 80% of Americans’ wardrobes are sitting lifelessly in their closets, what’s to stop us from creating a FREE boutique comprised of unworn, brand new, beautiful clothes from ritzy business people we are partnering with on projects anyway? We can pitch to various professionals, create a space for a pop up store, design the store, stock the items, run the displays, and make it available for all CCIE students to have unlimited access to clothing for any event or occasion that arises during the experience. We can expand once we have enough clothes to run the boutique and have days where we invite other students to shop for free at our store of brand new, brand name donated items so they too have one less stressor senior year.


Problem: Chicago is beautiful but the weather is unpredictable. Public transit is unreliable and often takes more than double the time of a car ride. Students have to bear the brunt of summer heat and winter yuck for hours that could be spent studying, applying to college, and arriving between CCIE, CQ, jobs, and home. Opportunity: There must be some way that we can create a free shuttle system with the Uber/Lyft model using community or corporate resources for CCIE students to get car ride transportation between CQ and CCIE. Lets make a project and find out so we can get back and forth quickly and efficiently. #WinterIsComing

Who I Was, Who I Am, Who I Want to Be

Problem: DURING 2016-2017, THERE WAS A SURGE IN GUN VIOLENCE. ~Highly concentrated on the south and west sides of the city
~Majority of those who are violence involved are disconnected, have extensive criminal backgrounds, and high exposure to trauma
~Violence is often a result of “in the moment” decisions

READI CHICAGO IS AN INNOVATIVE RESPONSE TO GUN VIOLENCE. We relentlessly engage men who are most highly impacted by gun violence and connect them to paid transitional jobs, cognitive behavioral therapy, and support services.

-Decrease shootings and homicides;
-Create pathways for better life outcomes;
-Promote long-term safety and opportunity in Chicago’s most impoverished communities.


In Build students will design, prototype and construct a structure or furniture that makes our space feel more comfortable.

Problem: The open floor plan / flex space model for offices is outdated. It was conceived of in the early 2000’s as a remedy to the secluded nature of the cubicle. But humans are pack animals and instinctively being in large open spaces makes us uncomfortable and on edge. Our space does not have coordinated areas for small group meetings and nothing breaks up the flow of the space.

Challenge: How can we create breaks in our space or offer alternative work spaces to make our garage feel more comfortable?

Process: Students will through a series of steps design and build full scale prototypes. Through this process they will need to get the approval of the building managers, and will also need to conduct research into current design trends. In addition, they will need to gather feedback from their peers at each stage of the design process and conduct research to identify unmet needs in our community.

Stage 1: Students will conduct research into how to adjust open flex spaces and consult their peers on unmet needs.
Stage 2: Students will design and build ¼ scale models of proposals for the space. Stage 3: After deciding and refining their final model they will then build a full scale cardboard prototype to understand design strengths and flaws and be able to test at full scale.
Stage 4: Students will build a full scale prototype in real materials of their design to benefit the community.

At each stage students will solicit feedback from the building managers and their peers. They will need to work quickly to come up with multiple designs and be willing to constantly refine their ideas.

CCIE Digital Reflections

Use your artistic interest to capture CCIE history!

Problem: This is our first year of CCIE and we need the world to know about our incredible work. Your stories, interests, and passions need to be told.

Opportunity: Document the CCIE experience using digital media including taking photographs and videos of everything that happens during our journey this year. Post video clips to social media to let everyone know what our activists are passionate about. Produce and direct confessional videos. Create youtube videos to be seen by thousands of friends. Be a part of capturing history for generations of CCIE students to see...

Fill the Project Pool

Fill the CCIE Project Pool with 1000 projects!

In order for our CCIE consultants to truly discover their interests, passions, and purpose, the CCIE project pool needs to be filled with a vast and diverse range of projects and community partners. Discover and travel across Chicago and pitch CCIE to many organizations and businesses. Create marketing and advertising campaigns, interest surveys, elevator speeches, one pages and much more. Schedule meetings, network with amazing people, and brainstorm how to help organizations solve their problems. All while knowing finding that right CCIE partner or project will inspire your classmate to find their passion.

CCIE Newsletter

Publish the CCIE Newsletter!

Problem: This is our first year of CCIE and we need the world to know about our incredible work. Your stories, interests, and passions need to be told.

Opportunity: Document the CCIE experience through publishing a newsletter. Write feature stories, conduct interviews, design the layout, and work with print companies. Add your creative flair and include sections in the newsletter that will keep your classmates waiting for the next issue. Be a part of capturing history for generations of CCIE students to see...

Connect CQ Alumni

Do you ever wonder what happened to the student that already graduated from CQ? Where are CQ alumni in life now? What are they doing? How has the education they received at CQ impacted their future? How can we keep in touch with them?

CQ has had two graduating class so far and we need help in keeping in touch with them after they graduate. We want to create an appealing alumni program for CQ that is cost-effective and helps us better understand how our students are navigating college and career. We need research around alumni contact info, data compiling contact info, a marketing campaign to reach alumni and a culminating event for them to attend. Help Civitas connect with CQ alumni for years to come.

Social Venture Semester 2

Onboarding project for the new students to CCIE

In this project students go through an accelerated version of the Social Venture project. At the end they are able to add a project to the pool and pitch it to the entire cohort to take it forward.

Stage 1: Brainstorm
In a brainstorm session the students identify their passions and interests and figure out how to align them into a project.

Stage 2: Research
Students research projects and organizations that are similar to their topic area, and identify their opportunity in the field.

Stage 3: 30 Second Pitch
Students pitch their project to the cohort at the beginning of a day, and then pitch again after a revision session at the end of the same day.

Stage 4: Initial Pitch
Students develop a slideshow to match their 30 second pitch and expand it to include more research and a clearer idea of their project.

Stage 5: Final Pitch and Project Brief
After their initial pitch students revise their slideshow and write a project brief to add to the project pool. They also need to conduct outreach to 3 potential partners and include documentation of their outreach.

Sew What?

Sew What? is a clothing company run by two minority teens who want to destroy racism in the fashion industry, which currently co-opts culture and style from people of color. Teen minorities who love fashion design don’t always get the opportunity to express ourselves through fashion that we have created, especially when it is being culturally appropriated. We want to disrupt the culture of white people stealing people of colors culture and selling it back to us, by culturally appropriating styles and clothes. Fashion creation is a social justice issue because many famous fashion designers are rich, old, white men who often hold racist views. To see examples of this, Google H&M Monkey Shirt, Gucci Blackface Turtleneck, or Prada Keychain to name just a few. We want to design and sell clothes that are pro-people of color. We are trying to inspire POC to become part of the fashion industry. For our project we’d also like to help identify minority fashion designers to young POC so they get the recognition and exposure that they deserve. When you research for “The most famous Latino fashion designers” online there are only 7 people on the list. When you research for “The most famous Black fashion designers” online there are only 18 people on the list. We do not accept this and believe that when you look up who are the most famous fashion designers, you should not have to type “Latino,” “Asian,” or “Black” in order to see people of color represented in the fashion industry. We will design and sell clothes promoting POC pride, promoting diversity, and acceptance of different cultures. We will document this process and teach others how to do this in their own designs too.

The Kail Project

Childhood depression is a major problem and doesn’t get enough attention because some people say “they’re too young to have problems.” When I was 9 my best friend Kail killed himself. This is important to me because he would always be told that he shouldn’t have any problems- kids only have to worry about going to school and that is not the case. A lot of young kids are depressed and people dont acknowledge it because we are “too young.” If I wouldve known then what I know now I couldve helped my best friend. Im going to use my power and knowledge to help other kids. To bring more attention to child depression I would like to create more children’s books about real life situations that depressed kids face so they can relate better. I am trying to reach young children and their parents.

Stats Seminar

A series of seminars focused on mastering the AP stats standards.


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.