Iowa 4-H'er Attends White House Science Fair

AMES, Iowa – Iowa State University Extension and Outreach 4-H Youth Development offers youth hundreds of opportunities at the local, state and national level to interact with others and prepare for their futures. David Runneals, an Iowa 4-H’er from Story County, took part in one of those national opportunities when he was chosen to attend the White House Science Fair in April as a guest.

Runneals was one of 100 young people from around the nation invited to the science fair. Earlier in April, Runneals presented his work on geographic information systems and global positioning systems (GIS/GPS) at the National 4-H Conference. He presented to staff of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. The OSTP asked National 4-H Headquarters to bring 4-H’ers to the White House Science Fair, and Runneals was among those chosen by 4-H headquarters.

“My prior STEM experiences helped me prepare for this by allowing me to get the knowledge and experience in STEM,” said Runneals. “I feel that my 4-H experiences have played a large role in this experience by teaching me how to communicate with others at events like this.”

One of Runneals’ favorite memories of the trip was having his picture taken with Bill Nye the Science Guy.

“David has put his learning in 4-H to good use and participated in opportunities beyond the county that have helped him to further his leadership in the areas of science and technology. We’re excited he was selected for this honor,” said Shelly Greving, marketing director for ISU Extension and Outreach 4-H Youth Development.

Runneals, 18, is the son of Dan and Jane Runneals. A nine-year 4-H member, Runneals has participated in photography, geospatial technology, leadership, citizenship and robotics projects. He has participated in county and state 4-H councils, county youth committee, the Iowa 4-H Technology Team and the Iowa 4-H Youth Conference. He is a senior at Nevada High School.