From Great to Amazing : 12 students compete for $28K

Caring for the KenaiCaring for the Kenai logo 2017

Twelve student finalists will take their innovative projects from great to outstanding in a live competition, Thursday, April 20, 2017.

Four hundred entries culled to 120 semi-finalists when eight judges set the final 12 pick on March 8, 2017, in the 27th annual Caring for the Kenai competition. The final 12 will remain anonymous until the evening of April 20, and have a little more than a month to further research, create, and prepare, in order to dazzle a panel of industry experts for the opportunity to win a portion of $8,000 in cash awards plus funds for their respective school.

High school students from Homer, Kenai, Nikiski, Ninilchik, Seward, Soldotna, and Voznesenka responded 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?”

Live competition – 12 teens present innovative solutions
Everyone is invited!
Thursday, April 20, 2017
6:00 PM
Kenai Central High School Little Theater

Be inspired, learn, and support the twelve teens who will present their original ideas!

Bonus: this year’s CFK competition will be streamed live over the internet by Soldotna High School technology students and has been viewed in the past in countries such as Canada, Colombia, El Salvador, Peru, Germany, Greenland and Japan. If you can’t attend in person, tune in on a device or online. KPBSD will post the link on social media.

In March, the panel of eight judges from the professional community selected 12 Kenai Peninsula Borough high school students, from 120 semi-finalists, to compete for over $28,000 in cash awards in the oral presentation phase of the CFK program, sponsored by Tesoro. Judges reviewed more than 120 entries in the Caring for the Kenai (CFK) environmental and disaster preparedness contest. “The District’s students greatly appreciate Tesoro’s generous sponsorship of this important annual event and all of the volunteers that make this educational partnership possible every year,” said Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Superintendent Sean Dusek. “The opportunity that Caring for the Kenai offers our students to showcase their creativity and ingenuity is excellent,” added Dusek.

Top 12 selection judges

Community Partnerships

The CFK educational partnership is part of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (KPBSD) science curriculum. This year $20,000 will be awarded to participating schools thanks to a matching grant from, Kenai River Raven Lodge, ConocoPhillips, Peninsula Community Health Services, and Hilcorp. 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 Thursday, April 20th at the KCHS Little Theatre, starting at 6:00pm.

Student Recognition Program

In addition to the recognition and prizes that go to the 12 finalists each year, CFK’s Student Recognition award program continues to grow with over 15 local sponsors presenting special recognition awards to entries of the sponsor’s selection. Student recognition recipients will be announced in a Peninsula Clarion full page ad. The 12 CFK finalists will remain anonymous until after their oral presentations Thursday, April 20th.

CFK is being administered as part of the Challenger Learning Center of Alaska’s educational programs. Marnie Olcott, CEO said, “Challenger is thrilled to be part of such a valuable program, for our students, teachers and communities. Challenger shares the vision of growing the program not only within Alaska, but on a national level; we look forward to a long, successful partnership.”

The live feed, complete history and details of the CFK program are available at or visit

Contest Coordinator, Merrill Sikorski, 907-262-4949

2016 top 12 small

2016 Caring for the Kenai Finalists

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