New ideas for an idea contest...
During the holiday vacation many Kenai Peninsula High School students will be making use of their time out of the classroom to put some work into their ideas and projects for the coming Caring For The Kenai (CFK) contest. Now its 16th year the environmental awareness competition sponsored by Agrium and Chevron/Unocal Alaska through the Kenai Watershed Forum challenges area high school students to respond to 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?” Annually some 500 students submit proposals for cash awards and scholarships.
The driving force of this successful community partnership according to Rick Frederic, former Nikiski High School science teacher, is the teachers who utilize the program as a classroom assignment. Frederic is now a statewide science teacher specialist and for the last two years has lead an in-service program for district science and language arts teachers interested in the CFK curriculum. Frederic says it is important for educators to get together to share ideas to improve the academic excellence of the classroom. Since in-service days were discontinued in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District due to budget issues, CFK sponsors have made a grant available to the District to cover the substitute teacher costs for the day and Arby’s provides lunch for all the participants. This year’s in-service drew science and language arts teachers from Hope to Ninilchik.
Educators & sponsors gather to share new ideas for the Caring For The Kenai contest
This year the CFK program has traced the national and state curriculum standards that are accomplished through the CFK discipline. “When we look today at what curriculum is important in science education, it’s assignments that take the focus outside of the classroom and that make science pertinent to the world we live in and more importantly the world the students live in and will become share holders in,” said Frederic. “This year’s collaboration and information brought in by Ricky Gease of the Kenai River Sportfishing Association regarding the Senator Stevens scholarships has inspired and excited us all over again about the CFK program,” added Frederic. “Every year we are amazed at some of the ideas our students come up with to improve our environment or prepare for a natural disaster. I think last year’s hurricane season showed us how important that awareness is for all of us and we’re expecting some exciting proposals brought forth in this year’s CFK,” said Frederic.
For more information go to www.caringforthekenai.com, or to learn more about Rick Frederic’s work with science teachers go to www.rfrederic.com.
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