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High school students invited to apply for World Food Prize Wisconsin Youth Institute

The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison is pleased to host the seventh annual World Food Prize Wisconsin Youth Institute, which will be held virtually Apr. 12-14.

The three-day program gives Wisconsin high school students in grades 9-12 an opportunity to engage virtually with leading researchers and industry experts specializing in food systems and natural resources on the topic of world hunger and poverty. To participate in the Wisconsin Youth Institute, students must submit a two- to three-page paper about a global food security issue that they research and write under the supervision of a teacher/mentor.

This year’s program features a virtual opening session on Apr. 12 to welcome student participants and teachers, followed by roundtable discussions on Apr. 13 for students to present their research papers to CALS faculty and staff, and a closing session on Apr. 14. Additional virtual immersion experiences will be offered throughout the three days for students to learn more about research activities in CALS.

The top students at the Wisconsin Youth Institute will be invited to attend the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute held in conjunction with the World Food Prize International Symposium in October. Participating students are eligible for internships and fellowships. Educators who attend the Global Youth Institute have the opportunity to participate in professional development programming.

Last year, five Wisconsin Youth Institute participants were selected to attend the Global Youth Institute: Andrew Alsum, Isabelle Klink, Garrett McFarren, and Kasey Yu from Hartford Union High School; and Jack Burns from Kettle Moraine Global High School.

“Learning about other students’ food security issues was the best part of my Wisconsin Youth Institute experience,” says Burns, whose presentation focused on education in the Dominican Republic. “The passion [my fellow participants] had for their topics shined through in their video submissions. Their drive to learn about topics of global importance, as well as brainstorm ways to solve them, was inspiring. I was able to learn about issues in every pocket of the world. It was a truly rewarding experience.”

The deadline to submit papers is March 26. There is no cost to participate in the Wisconsin Youth Institute. More information about the Wisconsin Youth Institute, including research paper guidelines and event registration, is available at go.wisc.edu/WIYouthInstitute.

For more information, contact Plia Xiong at plia.xiong@wisc.edu or (608) 265-2051.