Caring for the Kenai contest still making a big difference

Posted: Friday, April 20, 2001

There could be no better advance to Earth Day, which is Sunday, than the Caring for the Kenai contest.

For 11 years, the contest has asked high school students to respond to the question: What can I do, create, invent or improve to better care for the environment of the Kenai Peninsula?

Tonight a dozen finalists in this year's contest will show their answers to a panel of judges at 6 p.m. at the Kenai Central High School Little Theater. They will compete for more than $5,000 in U.S. Savings Bonds. The top prize is $1,500. The public is invited.

As testimony to the quality of the competition, for the third time in four years a Caring for the Kenai project has won a Presidential Environmental Youth Award. Michael Penland, Eric Soderquist and Paul Kim, now graduates of Soldotna High School, are being honored for their work at Soldotna Creek Park.

Not only is the contest a model in challenging students to come up with creative, doable solutions for real-life problems, it's also a model for successful business-education partnerships. Hats off to Agrium and Unocal for co-sponsoring the contest, and Merrill Sikorski for his efforts in coordinating the program.

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