More than 230 Iowa high school students gathered this week at Iowa State University to "confront the single greatest challenge in human history" - feeding the more than 9 billion people expected to be living on the planet by 2050.

The students participated in the third annual World Food Prize Iowa Youth Institute, a partnership between the World Food Prize Foundation and ISU's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

The Iowa Youth Institute challenges Iowa high school students to become leaders in the global fight against hunger. Students were encouraged to explore science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers to ensure food security. They presented research papers on food security issues and conducted hands-on science activities led by nearly 45 ISU faculty and student mentors in agriculture, life sciences and other field.

The World Food Prize Iowa Youth Institute is a positive sign there is a growing commitment to meet "the greatest challenge" through education and science. The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences supports the students' aspirations, offering $500 scholarships to those who choose to enroll at ISU.