Iroquois student wins grand prize in art contest

BROOKINGS — Sarah Nelson, a student at Iroquois High School, won the state’s grand prize in the first “Healthy Decision-Making” art contest.

She received $1,000 worth of STEM supplies for her school.

Strengthening the Heartland, a program created by South Dakota State University Extension and North Dakota State University Extension, is developed to invest in the wellness and prosperity of rural communities across the Dakotas.

“We are thrilled with the level of entries that were submitted this year,” said Amber Letcher, project director and an SDSU associate professor. “Students were given a prompt and created works of art that they should be proud of.”

The South Dakota Runner-up ($500 worth of STEM supplies) is Rhylan Tschappat of Frederick; and third place ($250 worth of STEM sup-plies) went to Grace Richter of Pierre.

Three students from North Dakota were also chosen.

The contest, funded by the Rural Health and Safety Education program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, asked students to create pieces of work that illustrate how to make healthy decisions in day-to-day life. The winning students were awarded science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) supplies for their schools.

“These students crafted pieces that convinced others to think about healthy living in new and unique ways,” Letcher said.

With the number of entries and excitement surrounding the contest, Strengthening the Heartland plans to conduct another art contest in October 2023. Middle and high school students across the Dakotas will be encouraged to submit their work.