WEST DES MOINES — Students in Josie Lane’s Danville Elementary third-grade Talented and Gifted class recently won the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation’s 2022 Pizza-Thon contest for a pizza they made using all-Iowa products.
Their winning project — The Iowa Special — sported a unique Iowa shape. and had “IA” spelled out in bacon strips, cheesy corn stuffed crust, bacon bits, pepperoni, and pork sausage. barbecue sauce, and cheesy toppings.
The first-place team consists of Mason Johnson, Willie Strawhacker, Chris Strawhacker, Linkoln Macans, Beckett Moretz, and Kyden Steinman.
Iowa students in grades K-5 were challenged to create an original pizza and illustrate where in Iowa the ingredients would be raised or produced.
Students made an Iowa map depicting the source of each ingredient and how many miles away from their school it was.
They also explained the process of raising corn and pigs to be used for food.
“The group of students were beaming when they found out about their winning pizza creation,” said Lane. “Each day as we waited for results, they would come into the classroom eager for an update. It was so neat to watch students as the project continued to develop.”
She said the students exhibited teamwork, creativity, and an eagerness to learn more about agriculture in Iowa.
“When the project was complete, they were excited about the pizza they had created and proudly presented to their classmates,” she said.
Both second and third-place teams in the competition also hail from Danville Elementary in Danville and were taught by Lane.
The project titled “The Brunch Pizza” earned second place and presented a sweet and savory pizza with a waffle crust, syrup, sausage, eggs, and bacon.
“Bacon N Deer Pizza” — a unique creation using venison and bacon on a stuffed crust pizza, earned third place.
Both teams will receive a certificate recognizing their achievement.
“The project brought awareness of just how many things Iowa agriculture produces and how agriculture can be seen everywhere in our daily lives. Students became advocates for an industry that matters so much to our state,” Lane said.
All of the students who competed in the contest will get to partake in a pizza party sponsored by the Iowa Ag Literacy Foundation on Tuesday, May 24.
“We were so excited to see students highlighting so many local producers and businesses with this year’s “My Iowa Pizza” theme,” said Chrissy Rhodes, IALF Education Program Coordinator.
The Pizza-thon program, originally developed in 1994 by Eldon Weber as a result of the Iowa State University “Vision 2020” program, has been newly adopted by ILF this year.
Resources including a series of lesson plans were made available to educators to help teach students about where pizza ingredients come from using science, social studies, and English language arts standards.
To learn more, visit IowaAgLiteracy.org.