"Scannin" Salmon App!" Wins 25th Anniversary Caring for the Kenai Competition

“Scannin” Salmon App!” Wins 25th Anniversary Caring for the Kenai Competition

Keira Stroh of Kenai Central High School (KCHS) made her place in history as the 25th 1st Place winner of the Caring for the Kenai environmental competition. Keira, the younger sister of two time CFK finalist Courtney Stroh said her sister’s success motivated her to create the Scannin’ Salmon App, “I knew it would take a lot of effort because Courtney had a great idea, really worked hard and never actually took 1st place so that motivated me to do better and work even harder and I’m so happy to have won,” said Keira. Her smartphone app idea with the ability to identify salmon species by simply taking their picture and matching it to an online data base won her top CFK honors and a $1,600 cash prize.

The CFK essay prompt challenges high school students to respond to the question “What Can I do, invent or create to better care for the environment of the Kenai Peninsula or improve the area’s preparedness for a natural disaster?” Taking second place and earning $1,100 was Daniel Wiest of Homer high school who created a Volcano Eruption preparedness kit. “The road to development is always rough but I plan to take my idea to the fullest level of implementation so when the next eruption occurs we’ll be better prepared,” he said.

In third place and claiming a $900 prize was Shania Johnson of Cook Inlet Academy who is creating a “Bear Aware” app for smartphones to report and learn of recent bear sightings in public areas. “It will help prevent bear encounters and DLP killings of bears by knowing where they are and how to avoid them,” she said. Taking fourth place honors and $750 was Kasey Paxton of KCHS who developed a filtration system for skimming oil sheen from storm drains and road run offs. Coming in 5th and winning $650 from Ninilchik was Jacob Roberts with his creative rain gutter garden project. Winning $550 and in 6th place was Lisa Krol of KCHS who engineered an emergency electronic charging device for cell phones.

In addition to the $8,000 in cash awards for the finalists this year $25,000 will be awarded to the science departments of schools that participated this year thanks to the CFK signature sponsor Tesoro Alaska and the community partners Kenai River Raven Lodge, Hilcorp Energy, Kenai River Sportfishing Assoc., ConocoPhillips and ASRC Energy Services. High schools using CFK as part of state standards curriculum were: Ninilchik, Nikiski, KCHS, Soldotna, Seward, Homer, Voznesenka and Cook Inlet Academy. Each school receives $750 for their participation and the remainder of the $25,000 will be allocated proportionately to how the students placed in the CFK competition. Additionally, 20 some students received special recognition awards from local businesses and individuals. “I had heard about this program and was excited about being a judge tonight, but the quality of the work these students put out is amazing and far exceeded anything I had expected,” said Cameron Hunt, Tesoro Nikiski refinery manager who moved to Alaska from Hawaii last fall.

Other finalists that earned $400 each for making it to the final 12 out of 400 some entries were: Leah Johnson of KCHS with her Horse Trail Maintenance Club. Madison Akers of Homer had a great plan for battling invasive plant species. Kelina Polushkin and Ustina Chernishoff from Voznesenka high school are spreading the word about the polluting effects of copper in brakes and where to find alternatives. Matthew Bartolowits of Ninilchik wants to replace studded tires with walnut composition tires that have better traction and don’t harm asphalt. The team of Maddy Carey and Bre DeLon from CIA want to create a “Minuteman” data base to connect high school students with organizations that need volunteers to do community service. And Robert McGinnis of Ninilchik plans to build a mobile recycling trailer to take to large community events this summer to make recycling easier.

In addition to cash awards the finalists received the 25th Anniversary hooded jacket. Saturday, April 25th finalists and guests will attend the CFK V.I.P Awards banquet hosted in their honor by Tesoro at the new Fireweed Fellowship hall in Soldotna. All of the more than 400 participants that entered CFK this year with their ideas will receive a camo knit mountain hat. This year’s oral presentation judges included Paul Ostrander, Chief of Staff for Borough Mayor Mike Navarre, KPBSD Supt. Sean Dusek, Cameron Hunt, Tesoro plant manager, Melanie Hollon, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation Health officer, Matt Connor, Kenai National Wildlife Refuge visitor services manager, Denise Newbould, of the environmental consulting firm ERM Alaska, Dr. Paula Martin, Assistant Director Kenai Peninsula College and last year’s 2nd Place CFK winner Krysten Maxson. Caring for the Kenai is administered as part of the Kenai Watershed Forum’s education program.

"Scannin" Salmon App!" Wins 25th Anniversary Caring for the Kenai Competition
"Scannin" Salmon App!" Wins 25th Anniversary Caring for the Kenai Competition
"Scannin" Salmon App!" Wins 25th Anniversary Caring for the Kenai Competition
"Scannin" Salmon App!" Wins 25th Anniversary Caring for the Kenai Competition
"Scannin" Salmon App!" Wins 25th Anniversary Caring for the Kenai Competition
"Scannin" Salmon App!" Wins 25th Anniversary Caring for the Kenai Competition
"Scannin" Salmon App!" Wins 25th Anniversary Caring for the Kenai Competition
"Scannin" Salmon App!" Wins 25th Anniversary Caring for the Kenai Competition
"Scannin" Salmon App!" Wins 25th Anniversary Caring for the Kenai Competition

More in News

The Seward welcome sign is photographed in July 2021. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Seward vice mayor and council member resigns

The council accept the resignation of Tony Baclaan during its Monday night meeting.

Ben Mohr watches Kenai River Junior Classic participants head out to fish on the Kenai River in Soldotna, Alaska, on Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)
Mohr resigns as director of KRSA

He has been the executive director of KRSA for nearly three years.

Heather and Hunter Phillips walk through the Kenai Community Library Haunted Hunt with their mom Kumi Phillips on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Scary reads

Spooky literary characters come to life at Kenai library haunted house.

Alaska state Rep. Laddie Shaw, an Anchorage Republican, waits for the start of a so-called technical session on the House floor, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, in Juneau, Alaska. The fourth special legislative session of the year began Oct. 4, in Juneau, but there has been little action at the Capitol and little progress toward resolving Alaska’s fiscal issues. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)
Special session plods on with little action

Many legislative offices have been dark and floor sessions in some cases have lasted seconds.

The Kenai Community Library health section is seen on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021. After the Kenai City Council postponed a vote to approve a grant funding health and wellness books, community members set up a GoFundMe to support the purchase of materials. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
After cries of censorship, community raises funds for library

The Kenai City Council voted during its Oct. 20 meeting to postpone acceptance of a $1,500 grant for materials related to health and wellness.

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. (CDC)
11 new deaths reported

Statewide there were 244 COVID-related hospitalizations as of Tuesday, with 37 of them on ventilators.

Rep. Don Young talks during a June 2021 interview with the Empire. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Young to face off with a Begich yet again

Young, 88, seemed unfazed by Begich’s entry into the race.

A remote galaxy captured by the Hubble Space Telescope is greatly magnified and distorted by the effects of gravitationally warped space. (Image via NASA)
Grant brings NASA to library

The grant supports science, technology, engineering, arts and math programming for patrons.

Most Read