Around the District

Posted: Wednesday, January 09, 2002

VFW art contest winners go on display

Winning pieces from the central peninsula's Young American Creative Patriotic Art Contest will be on display this month at the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center.

Heidi Biggs from Soldotna High School won for the district. She receives $600 and her project, as well as those of the other winners, will be submitted for the state and possibly national competition.

Brandi Denna took second place at SoHi and the district. Kaitlin R. Walker from Kenai Central High School received third place.

Other school winners also will be displayed.

At Nikiski Middle-Senior High School, Crystal M. Bauer was first, Rex Mack was second, and Mandy Best was third.

At Skyview High School Stephanie Morrison won first, Jennifer Dobson was second, and Carlene Allen was third.

At SoHi, third place was a tie between Riley Kent and Kaitlin Vadla.

At KCHS, second place went to Chantil Lillard and no third place was awarded.

The contest was sponsored by the Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 10046 in Soldotna.

Peninsula students attend Lego robot contest

Students from Cooper Landing Elementary School and Aurora Borealis Charter School traveled to Anchorage Dec. 15 for a special challenge. They attended the second annual Icebreakers Classic, called Arctic Impact. It was the first Lego League tournament presented by the Alaska Robotics Education Association and sponsored by the Challenger Learning Center of Alaska.

Teams from grades six through eight constructed and programmed a robot designed to accomplish various tasks in the mission, as well as researching and developing a hypothesis on global warming.

Twenty-four middle-school teams competed from around the state.

Cooper Landing won two of the nine awards presented at the end of the day. They received the award for hypothesis presentation and the judges' award for cooperation and overall teamwork.

Travis Gephardt of Cooper Landing was interviewed and appeared on Channel 11 News that Saturday.

Conservation district offers speech contest

The Kenai Soil and Water Conservation District invites students in middle and high school to enter a speech contest.

Participants deliver prepared speeches five- to seven-minutes long and must be prepared to answer judges' questions about the content. This year's theme is "Conservation vs. Preservation: What is the Difference?" The first prize will be $100 and an opportunity to compete in state competition. Second place wins $50,. and third place gets $25.

The deadline for entries is Feb. 20.

For more information and entry forms, contact Ruth Lewis at 283-8732, ext. 108.

NASA offers high school camp

NASA is recruiting high school students for paid internships in the course of two camps in June. NASA's Summer High School Apprenticeship Research Program (SHARP) is sponsored by NASA and managed by Modern Technology Systems Inc.

SHARP provides traditionally under represented high school juniors and seniors with opportunities to develop and strengthen their research techniques as well as written and oral communication skills, particularly in science, mathematics, engineering, technology and geography. NASA's top science professionals mentor students selected to participate.

To be eligible, the student also must be a U.S. citizen and at least 16 years old by the start of the program in June.

The main SHARP program only is available to students near research stations, but the second camp is available for those living more than 50 miles from a NASA Field Installation. The sister program, SHARP PLUS, is a university residency program with the same goals as SHARP.

Once accepted into the program, students have transportation paid, plus a salary to perform research for eight weeks in the summer at one of 10 major universities in the United States. The program is managed by the Quality Education for Minorities in Washington, D.C. The Web site for SHARP PLUS is at

Teen musicians offered scholarships to Interlochen

The top high school musicians from around the country are invited to apply for an Emerson Scholars Award to the Interlochen Arts Camp in northern Michigan. One student from each state will receive a full scholarship for the camp.

The Emerson Scholars Award is a $4,944 scholarship, providing full tuition, private lessons and room and board for the eight-week summer program. The camp will run from June 16 through Aug. 12.

Applicants must be in grades nine through 12 and be proficient on strings, winds, percussion instruments or harp. They must submit a taped solo performance with piano accompaniment in conjunction with their application. Applications must be postmarked by Feb. 15. Winners will be announced by April 15. Winners will be determined solely on merit.

Established in 1987, the Emerson Scholars Program recognizes exceptional high school musicians and provides them with an opportunity to hone their talents in an environment recognized around the world. The Interlochen Arts Camp was opened in 1928 by Dr. Joseph E. Maddy and is one of the world's leading arts education centers.

For more information, write the Emerson Scholars Program, Interlochen Center for the Arts, P.O. Box 199, Interlochen, MI 49643 or call (231) 276-7472. You also can access Interlochen online at

Ninilchik celebrates science fair

Ninilchik School had its annual science fair Dec. 20.

Do violent video games raise blood pressure? Is there dangerous bacteria growing at the school? What brand of lipstick lasts the longest? These and many other questions were answered at the fair.

Local experts Frank Miller, Mary Ellen Dotty, Mike Wetherbee and Mike Chihuly joined Patti Berkhahn, from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and Rick Jandreau from the Division of Forestry to judge the entries.

Ribbons were given at each grade level, and grand champion medals were awarded in the following divisions:

Natalee Vanderford and Lindsey Rohr placed first in the fourth- and fifth-grade competition for their experiment with colored bird seed and a pet parakeet. Adam Byrne placed second, and Molly Byrne and Brett Vadla took third.

For the sixth- and seventh-grade level, Noah McWilliams' project on the effect of caffeine on blood pressure placed first; Leslie McCombs took second; and Gregory Bosick took third.

In the eighth- and ninth-grade competition, Courtney Schnabl and Nicole Osmar placed first for tests on the vitamin C content of fruits and vegetables; Connor Cooper and Patrick Tilbury took second; and Dylan McKee and Tony Nakjua placed third.

In the sophomore and junior level, Katie and Janelle Moerlein placed first for finding their dogs had preferences based on color; Zack Schindler took second; and Whitney Leman placed third.

The 79 entries examined animal and human behavior, consumer information and many experiments in physical science.

SMS announces Students of the Month

Soldotna Middle School has announced its Students of the Month for December.

They are: Rebecca Kilfoyle, art; Jonathan Coreson, family and consumer science; Ashley Earll, Micah Perletti, Racheal Maryott, Amanda Smith and Michael Knight, language arts; Kimberly Minogue, level three math; Jennifer Vanraden, level two math; William Cox, Chance Tallman, Sierra Madden and Sean Twohy, math; Anthony Pollreisz, music; Jared Struthers, Jeremy Goracke and Kimberly Minogue, physical education; Adam Needs, Quest; Kelsey Shields, Liana Purugganan, Katie Thornton, Micah Perletti and Robert Small, science; Jennifer Stenga, Harley Maxson, Brent Griffin, Paris King and Brian Blossom, social studies; Alex Cox and Rachel Adams, keyboarding; Mario Latona and Anthony Kitchen, business and info systems; Jack Vanvleet, technology; Ahrum Kim and Jeramy Denner, reading; Stephanie Magee, outdoor education; Nolan Christianson, study skills; Michelle Hicks, drama; Michelle Miller, Cayla Cole and Michael Drobnick, principal's choice; Johnnie Dexheimer, Brian Blossom and Lacy Bush, aide; Kirsten Hinz, counselor's choice; Katie Mills, yearbook; and Zach Aragon and Melissa Fay, science exploratory.

The Citizens of the Month for December were: Micah Perletti, art; Leah Swan, family and consumer science; Megan Duwe, Robert Small and Sarah Endrice, language arts; Brook Carver, level three math; Lisa Spencer, level two math; Jajay Kahn, Kelli Cassidy, Bleu Schachinger and Shanowa Riddle, math; Aleks Pfaffe, music; Amirah Marey, Joel Jackson and Alex Cox, physical education; Greg Evans, Quest; Shelley Heffner, Louis Velasco, Sasha Anderson and Caren Smith, science; Julia Torwick, Courtney Julien, Kory Spooner, Jake Bauer and Zach Cowan, social studies; Sasha Andersen and David Blossom, keyboarding; Kenneth Guth and Shelley Heffner, business and info systems; Seth Payfer, technology; Vince Cole and Sara Fulton, reading; Michael Barber, outdoor education; Christa Kennedy, study skills; Kevnea Cain, aide; Kristina Blackburn, Kristy Lloyd and Amanda McDonald, counselor's choice; Amirah Marey and Lucas Thein, science exploratory; Samantha Ducker, School Within a School; Thomas Wyatt, safety coordinator; and Jessica Willis, assistant principal's choice.

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