780 AM | 96.1 FM 


(907) 443-5221

Nome students’ animal alert and snow blower snow cones ideas win at state competition

Denali Walrath and Bradley Rowe were winners at the 2023 Alaska Innovation Competition in Fairbanks.
Denali Walrath and Bradley Rowe were winners at the 2023 Alaska Innovation Competition in Fairbanks. Photo courtesy Doug Walrath

A pair of Nome students were recognized this past weekend in Fairbanks for projects they entered in the Alaska Innovation Competition.

Denali Walrath and Bradley Rowe took part in the competition, with Walrath taking first place in the Cub Division (12 years old-and-under) with her “Animal Alert” app idea. As one of the top finishers, Walrath’s award included $500 cash and a $2,000 contribution to her Alaska 529 college savings plan.

Walrath is a fifth grader at Anvil City Science Academy. She says she came up with the idea last year, while picking berries with her family in Nome. The app would alert users if a dangerous animal like a bear or musk ox had been spotted recently at a specific location.

“I first got the idea when there was attacks,” Denali said. “There was a person who got attacked walking to Nome Elementary School, and that really made me think of the actual idea for that alert, to alert them of the animal.”

Denali’s dad, Doug, says she will get assistance from university students and faculty to patent the app, code it and release it.

“It’s an ideas competition, so, when she finished, she was speaking with some of the faculty at UAF in the engineering department,” Doug said. “They noted how they would have undergraduate students or graduate students that could work with her in the future doing the programming, the coding department, skills an 11-year-old just doesn’t have.”

Rowe, a second grader at Nome Elementary School, took Honorable Mention in the division for his renewable snow cone machine idea. His idea involves a machine that churns up fresh snow using snowblower blades, pulls the snow into the machine, rolls it into balls, puts them into snow cone cups and adds the flavoring on top.

Rowe’s dad, Russell, explained how Bradley was encouraged to take on the project – to make snow days more enjoyable.

“It was presented to him through Nome Elementary School,” Rowe said. “His STEM class presented the idea to him to join this competition, and he had an idea to make a snow cone machine. The idea was to make snow days fun for everyone across the state.”

The competition began in 2009 and makes awards of $45,000 in cash and prizes each year. Ideas do not need to be Arctic-related, it’s free to enter, and individuals and teams of all ages can compete.

Image at top: Denali Walrath and Bradley Rowe were winners at the 2023 Alaska Innovation Competition in Fairbanks. Photo courtesy of Doug Walrath.

Share this story


Recent Posts

MS Westerdam Passengers Recall Icy Approach to Nome

Holland America’s MS Westerdam has arrived in Nome. The cruise ship that holds over 1,900 passengers is anchored just off the coast of Nome, too big to dock in the port. Small tenders that hold about 80 passengers each are ferrying visitors to and from the shore throughout the day.

Read More »

First-Ever KNOM Radio Music Fest Draws a Crowd, Drives Donations

Selma Casagranda serenaded audience members with a few of her original songs. Casagranda is from Seward and one of four finalists from KNOM’s 2023 American Idol search. Audience members joined the King Island dance group for an invitational dance. One of KNOM’s 2023 American Idol search finalists, Martin Paul of

Read More »

June 20: Rick Thoman’s Climate Highlight for Western Alaska

The following is a transcript from Rick Thoman’s weekly “Climate Highlight for Western Alaska” provided to KNOM Radio. Thoman is a Climate Specialist with the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The largest wildfire on the Seward Peninsula since 2019, the Goldbug Fire,

Read More »

Westerdam: First Visitors Expected Around 8 a.m.

Holland America’s MS Westerdam cruise ship will anchor just outside of the Nome Harbor the morning of June 21, bringing with it a wave of tourists to Nome.  According to City of Nome Harbormaster Lucas Stotts, the ship’s passengers will first arrive by tender around 7:45 a.m. The last tender

Read More »



Work for Us:




(907) 443-5221 


(907) 868-1200 

Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that KNOM Radio Mission is located on the customary lands of Indigenous peoples. 

Based in the Bering Strait region, KNOM broadcasts throughout the homelands of the Iñupiaq, Siberian Yup’ik, Cup’ik and Yup’ik peoples.