Essay Winners

50th Anniversary Essay Competition

This spring an essay contest was held, sponsored by AAA and hosted by the DOT. It was a fun and exciting way for Iowa’s high school students to learn more about the highway system that our state and nation has become so dependent upon, and to write about its past, present and future.

Students in grades 9-12 were asked to submit essays on topics including how the interstate forever changed the way we move people and goods; stretched the link between homes and jobs; boosted our economy; sparked new categories of tourism; and redefined the relationship between urban and rural America.

The 50th anniversary of the interstate provides a tremendous opportunity to raise public awareness of this vital transportation network and encourage student participation and interest in its future.

The winners were:

  • Grand Prize ($1,000) to Suleimaan Waheed of Cedar Rapids
  • Second Prize ($600) to Matthew Zmudka of Dubuque
  • Third Prize ($400) to Kate Siebels, also of Cedar Rapids
Checks were presented by at the Living History Farms event.
First Place
1st Place Winner:
Suleimaan Waheed
Nancy Richardson accepting the prize check on Suleimaan behalf.


Second Place
Second Place Winner:
Matthew Zmudka
Matthew Zmudka accepting his 2nd place prize check.


Third Place
Third Place Winner:
Kate Siebels
Nancy Richardson accepting the prize check Friday June 23rd at Living History Farms on behalf of winner.