A diverse panel of judges select top 12 proposals from 140 semi-finalists to compete for over $26,000 in cash awards in annual Caring for the Kenai competition.
From more than 450 entries submitted in this year’s Caring for the Kenai (CFK) environmental and disaster preparedness contest, a panel of eight judges from the professional community has selected twelve Kenai Peninsula Borough high school students to compete for over $26,000 in cash awards in the oral presentation phase of the CFK program sponsored by Agrium and Chevron.
From the total entries submitted nearly 140 were advanced to the semi-finalist round of judging. All semi-finalist entries will be on display Saturday April 7th in the foyer at Gottschalks in Soldotna.
The CFK competition offers cash awards to the best twelve proposals addressing the prompt, “What can I do, invent, or create to better care for the environment on the Kenai Peninsula, or to improve the area’s preparedness for a natural disaster?” Participating schools this year included Kenai, Nikiski, Soldotna, Homer, Hope, Ninilchik, and several home school students. “I commend Chevron and Agrium for their continued investment in this amazing program. It was an honor to be part of the proposal judging this year and help to choose the final twelve. The caliber of the student’s essays was impressive and the competition is so well thought out and designed, it was a wonderful experience,” said Sammy Crawford, Kenai Peninsula Borough school board member.
The educational partnership is part of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District science curriculum. This year $20,000 will be awarded to participating schools thanks to a matching grant from Chevron, Agrium and the Kenai River Sportfishing Association. 750 dollars cash will be awarded to each school assigning the CFK project to offset classroom expenses or to purchase special science supplies or equipment. The remainder of the $20,000 in CFK grants will be divided proportionately to participating schools based on where their students place in the final oral presentation competition to be held April 19th at the KCHS Little Theatre, starting at 6:00pm.
In addition to the recognition and prizes that go to the 12 finalists each year, CFK’s semi-finalist award program has grown to over 40 local businesses and organizations that award special recognition prizes to entries of the sponsor’s selection. This year the Challenger Learning Center of Alaska has offered a free mission for all students in the class that has the most entries in the final 12, and the Kenai River Sportfishing Association will be awarding 500 dollar college scholarships.
All judging is done anonymously with the student’s name and school not being revealed until after the final oral presentations. This year’s competition will be streamed live over the internet by Soldotna High School technology students. The feed will be available at www.caringforthekenai.com. Complete details and history of the CFK program are available at www.caringforthekenai.com.
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