CCA student wins STEM to the Rescue Contest to support animal adoptions


Canyon Crest Academy sophomore Quinn Campbell won the Helen Woodward Animal Center’s STEM to the Rescue Contest.

Quinn Campbell

Quinn’s idea involved ingestible birth control that dogs can take, which would provide an alternative to surgery. The prize was $250 for Quinn and $750 for her school.

“My idea is to dissolve these powdered hormones in water with diluent, disintegrate and a binding agent and then I would plan to force the solution through a mesh filter and then dry it, and this powder would go into dog food,” said Quinn, 16.

She continued, “This is a better alternative where dogs don’t have to go through the surgery, people don’t have to take time out of their day.”

The contest is part of Remember Me Thursday, a campaign started by Mike Arms, the president and CEO of the Rancho Santa Fe-based Helen Woodward Animal Center, to raise awareness for animals who need homes. Approximately 1 million dogs and cats are euthanized each year.

Participants had to address the problems that dogs and cats without homes face, such as lack of public awareness about pet adoption, malnourishment among orphaned pets and overpopulation that exacerbates the problem. Then they had to come up with multimedia presentations with solutions, such as marketing campaigns, educational initiatives or other ways to support animals and shelters.

Students from elementary school through high school were eligible to participate.

“I saw this opportunity and immediately was very interested in it,” Quinn said. “My project is a way to solve animal overpopulation.”

She added that she became interested in STEM in eighth grade, and the contest allowed her to combine it with her love of animals. Her family’s two Jack Russell Terrier mixes, Gracie and Misty, came from the Helen Woodward Animal Center.

“Quinn’s passion for keeping animals out of shelters and finding a practical solution to the problem, really shows through in her entry,” the center announced in an Instagram post.

For more information about the Helen Woodward Animal Center, visit