For Teachers

Special thanks to Morgan Steel – our CFK CEC sponsor!

Logo 60th Anniversary

Krysten Maxon (2014 CFK 2nd Place) and KCHS science teacher Kristin Davis processing books purchased with CFK in-classroom cash award funds!
Krysten Maxon (2014 CFK 2nd Place) and KCHS science teacher Kristin Davis processing books purchased with CFK in-classroom cash award funds!


Caring for the Kenai is a unique environmental contest and a wonderful educational opportunity for your students; and it’s a cinch to incorporate into your curriculum. Teachers who use CFK as an aspect for their lesson plans have said, “the great thing about Caring for the Kenai is that it’s not just another thing to cram into your overflowing curriculum, but something that can be substituted for other projects as a real-life, hands-on, community-oriented opportunity.”

2017 CFK Teacher In-Service

The 2017 teacher in-service day was held Tuesday, September 27, with great feedback that the information provided was relevant and addressed questions which were posed at the end of last year’s contest.

During this year’s in-service, we kept a tight focus on technology, with the main presentation of the day provided by Talia Klepper of Talia made sure teachers were familiar with the submission system and answered a variety of curly questions, from how to access community comments to the size limit of contest groups. These questions and answers will be posted on a FAQ page for future use.

Our social media channels have had a makeover this year, and CFK’s Katie Quinn reviewed the tools available on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. This year, a steady stream of updates and inspiration will be available through all three platforms.

We also used our in-service day to pull back the proverbial curtain on CFK judging. Andrea Anderson of KPC explained how she grades the mechanics portion of the essay submissions. The sorting and content judging was explained by Marnie Olcott, Merrill Sikorski, Pegge Erkeneff, and Dick Erkeneff. Dick and Pegge more closely explained what community judges are looking for as they select the final 12 and the overall winning idea.

KPBSD superintendent Sean Dusek encouraged teachers to spend a little extra time with students who submitted wonderful ideas, but didn’t reach the finals. He reminded us of the importance of each student and the potential they have to change our community for the better. Mr. Dusek asked teachers to watch for ideas which need a little extra work, and could be resubmitted in future years.

The day concluded with a quick discussion about how to use technology effectively during the final oral presentations. It will help tremendously this year to have the presentation files submitted a few days in advance, to make sure they run seamlessly on the big night.

A huge thank you to Arby’s, Everything Bagels, and Kaladi Bro’s for donating some delicious and healthy food and drink, allowing us to focus on the content of the day!

Photos and notes from past years’ in-services…

Caring for the Kenai curriculum unites science and language arts with the real world…


  • Kristin Davis – KCHS Science Teacher, Science Specialist, and Teacher Mentor

2017-18 Timeline – Important dates to remember

  • Tuesday, September 26, 2017 – Teacher In-Service at the Challenger Learning Center of Alaska, Kenai
  • Friday, January 12, 2018 – Rough Draft Entry Deadline
  • Thursday, February 1, 2018 – Commenters Deadline
  • Wednesday, February 28, 2018 – Contest Entry Deadline
  • Wednesday, March 7, 2018 – 12 Finalists Selected
  • Thursday, April 19, 2018- Oral Presentation competition for finalists
  • Saturday, April 28, 2018 – 27th Anniversary VIP Awards Banquet at the Challenger Learning Center of Alaska, Kenai

Student Proposal Requirements
This document can be used by teachers, students, and parents to help show what makes a winning proposal.

AB Pile Judges’ Criteria– This document gives an idea of how the essays are sorted into the ‘A’ and ‘B’ piles.

Judges’ Scoring Rubric– This document gives an idea of how the judging is conducted at the semi-finalist scoring.

Oral Presentation Judging Rubric – This document provides snapshot of how students are judged during the Oral Presentation of the finalists.

Oral Presentation Long Rubric – This give a detailed look at the specific criteria of the oral judging process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Final Scoring at the Oral Presentation – The FINAL scores for the twelve contest finalists will be calculated accordingly: 1/3 semi-finalist round score and 2/3 oral presentation score. The total final score determines the winners and placing.

Past Oral Presentations

We also encourage teachers to view past oral presentations. You can find them at the following addresses. Please note you will need Windows Media Player to view the presentations.

Click here to view 2017’s Oral Presentation

Example Essays & Writing Tips

Caring for the Kenai and national standards

Caring for the Kenai is an important local program, but how does it connect to national standards and lifelong environmental education?  The answer to this question has been addressed by the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) who have developed four strands of contest standards that detail the cross-curricular relationship between environmental education and the major disciplines of language arts, math, geography, economics, and history.

These strands are summarized below with direct links to the national standards of each subject area.  In addition, examples have been showcased from the Caring for the Kenai contest that model and illustrate specifically how these students connected their projects to the major NAAEE strands as well as national standards in other subject areas.
Content Standards Correlation to CFK Project

Caring for the Kenai meets all Alaska standards for science and english.

For Science: Caring for the Kenai meets all Alaska Content Standards, (A-D). A- A student should understand scientific facts, concepts, principles, and theories.  B- A student should possess and understand the skills of scientific inquiry.  C- A student should understand the nature and history of science.  D- A student should be able to apply scientific knowledge and skills to make reasoned decisions about the use of science and scientific innovations.
To view AK Content Standards for Science, visit

For English: Caring for the Kenai meets all Alaska Content Standards, (A-E).  A- A student should be able to speak and write well for a variety of purposes and audiences.  B- A student should be a competent and thoughtful reader, listener, and viewer of literature, technical materials, and a variety of other information.  C- A student should be able to identify and select from multiple strategies in order to complete projects independently and cooperatively.  D- A student should be able to think logically and reflectively in order to present and explain positions based on relevant and reliable information.  E- A student should understand and respect the perspectives of others in order to communicate effectively.
To view AK Content Standards for English, visit