2022 High School Winners
Agriculture & Food
Stuyvesant High School New York City, NY
Olivia Zheng is in 11th grade at Stuyvesant High School in New York City. She is a part of the Factory Farming Awareness Coalition at her school and was drawn to the agriculture and food topic. Olivia loved the opportunity to incorporate her passion for digital artwork while increasing awareness of the environmental impacts of animal agriculture. Prior to the contest, she understood that raising livestock is much more energy-intensive than growing vegetables, but she didn’t realize how severe and unsustainable animal agriculture was, especially when thinking about feeding a growing population.
This was Olivia’s first experience creating a one-minute-long video like this. Olivia writes for the school newspaper and research club, where she has created some short videos and animations. Some of her ideas in her video were planned out in advance and some came to her as she was sketching. For example, the part in her video “when the meat was being split in half and the bubbles came up” was something that came to her while animating. The most challenging part for her was not knowing the best tools for creating animations. Some animation advice she would give to future contest participants is to try “tweening or other techniques, because frame-by-frame was time-consuming.” She also suggests reaching out to the authors of articles when you are completing your research because she had an author respond to her questions and said it was really helpful.
After high school, Olivia would like to go into biomedical research. She is interested in epidemiology and wants to research and write about science. She also loves design and plans to keep that as a hobby. In her free time, Olivia enjoys tutoring younger students in science and math, playing the piano, word games, and running. Olivia shared that her role model is Eliud Kipchoge, “who was the first person to complete a marathon in less than two hours after many people said it was not possible. It is inspiring to look at his story and see what is possible.”