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This year's Big Idea Kearney brought in many great ideas. The top ten contestants presented their ideas on November 16th to a panel of judges and a large crowd at Cunningham's Journal. The ideas ranged from planning applications to skateboard wheels. Third place went to Chais Meyer's Workman's Tailgate - an extendable workbench made for pickup trucks; second place went to Kelsey Weimers' Bunk Buddy - a T.V. stand that mounts to a bed; and first place went to Jonah Staab's Sydewynder Wheels - skateboard wheels that not only move forward and backward, but side to side. Two honorable mentions went to Benjamin Carlson's Avialoft Application and Scott Sanders' 2-inch Thick Snap-Lock Panel.
Congratulations to Jonah, Kelsey, and Chais as well as Benjamin and Scott!
The Rural Futures Institute Competitive Awards Program connects partners, campuses and communities. Awards are designed to provide seed funding in the areas of 1) Teaching and Engagement and 2) Research and Engagement. Funded projects foster the discovery of new opportunities and the development of innovative solutions to challenges facing rural people and places.
2016 RFI Competitive Awards Proposals Accepted to receive funding include:
1. Research & Engagement
Identifying the Interrelationships Between Social Determinants, Self-identity, and Public Health in Minority Rural Communities: Photovoice + Random Spatial Sampling Survey
Enhancing Nebraska's Ecotourism Industry
Rural Prosperity Research Project
Raising Awareness of Health Professionals Education Among Rural Nebraska Latino Youth
2. Teaching & Engagement
Facilitating the Implementation of Social Media Plans for Small Businesses & Local Non-Profits through Service Learning at UNK
Art at Cedar Point
Minority Health Disparities Initiative (MHDI): Youth Are Rural Health Program (YouRhealth)
Understanding Hispanics and Sense of Community in Rural Nebraska
CEEM Project: A New Community Engagement Education Model
3. Special Projects
Collaborative Capacity Building in Rural Nebraska Schools via Technology
For more information on the accepted proposals, visit the 2016 RFI Competitive Awards page.
Jeff Nordhues is a professor in Interior and Product Design at UNK. He and his wife founded a 'design and make' lighting studio in Kearney called Pax Modern. This entrepreneurial experience has allowed Nordhues to better teach his students in theoretical and practical ways.