Alaska Winner Codes to Help the Decline in Salmon Population

Kiley Hayden, from Alaska, was recognized with the 2022 Broadcom Coding with Commitment award while in 8th grade at Jack Egnaty Sr School for her project “Where Did the Chum Go?!”

Broadcom Coding with Commitment recognizes students in grades 5-8 who combine STEAM learning with coding to solve a community problem they care about that aligns with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. 

Kiley lives in Sleetmute, Alaska, a remote village with 100 residents. Growing up she remembers an abundance of chum salmon populations and reflects, “it was hard to pick them out of our fish wheel on the middle Kuskokwim River.”

But during the summer of 2021, “there was only one chum salmon caught in our fish wheel the whole time,” Kiley said.

Using coding she learned from, Kiley was determined to analyze and discover why there was a decline.  She performed regressions using coding and analyzed population data to determine if high river temperatures contributed to low chum salmon populations.

“Coding is really fun, so I wanted to use it in a science fair project,” Kiley said.  “I hope to help future scientists figure out the mystery of the decline in chum salmon numbers.”

Raspberry Pi has free resources to help anyone learn how to code.  Visit the Projects site to get started.

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