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14-year-old Iowa scientist named finalist in national 3M competition with emission-reducing idea

Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

We listen back to a conversation with author Katy Swalwell about her A to Z guide published by Raygun, Amazing Iowa Athletes, which highlights both prominent and little-known Iowa athletes who have accomplished extraordinary feats.

During the podcast we also hear from some of the athletes featured in the book. Jen Loeb, the first Iowa woman to summit Mount Everest, describes her experiences climbing the tallest mountains in the world. Ice skater and 2019 U.S. Pairs National Champion Timothy LeDuc talks about the significance of his experience coming out as gay, and his partner, Ashley Cain-Gribble, reveals how she has dealt with body shaming while competing on the world stage.

This interview was originally produced on November 18, 2019.

Then, 14-year-old Shanza Sami is a finalist for her catalytic converter emission-reducing design in the national 3M Young Scientist Challenge. She is joined by her 3M mentor, Patrick Zimmerman, a division scientist in the Global Automotive and Aerospace Solutions Division.


  • Katy Swalwell, author,  ISU associate professor of Education 
  • Jen Loeb, mountain climber, humanitarian
  • Timothy LeDuc, ice skater, 2019 U.S. Pairs National Champion, and 2019 World Team Trophy Champion
  • Ashley Cain-Gribble, ice skater, 2019 U.S. Pairs National Champion, and 2019 World Team Trophy Champion
  • Shanza Sami, 3M Young Science Competition finalist
  • Patrick Zimmerman, 3M Young Scientist Competition mentor, division scientist
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Dani Gehr is a producer for River to River and Talk of Iowa. Dani came to Iowa from her hometown in the northwest suburbs of Chicago to attend Iowa State University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in journalism, international studies and French. Before coming to IPR, Dani covered local government in Story County for the Ames Tribune and Des Moines Register.