■ Northern Elementary took national first-place honors in the K-4 division of the 2013 "Water is Life" classroom mural and art challenge. Art teacher Kim Vaca guided third- and fourth-graders during the month-long project, in which everyone contributed to the 5-by-10-foot image (including a second-grader who helped after school).
The contest, sponsored by the Wyland Foundation, drew entries from more than 9,000 students in 45 states. Students were encouraged to explore how people interact with water and the way water shapes the world.
Northern's entry included the phrase: If we take care of our water in Kentucky, we are taking care of all water.
One of the judges comments included, "Great message — not only is the water issue important locally, but what we do locally affects us nationally ... and worldwide. Love the variety of sea life, especially the blowfish looking straight at the viewer, almost imploring us to 'get' the message and take it to heart."
Northern Elementary plans to use its $250 prize to hang its mural in the school.
■ Taylor Bagley, a junior at Lafayette High School, has been nominated to attend the Congress of Future Medical Leaders in Washington, D.C., Feb. 14-16. He was selected by Dr. Connie Mariano, medical director of the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists, based on his academic achievement, leadership potential and determination to serve humanity in the field of medicine.
During the session, Taylor will hear Nobel laureates and National Medal of Science winners talk about leading medical research, hear advice from Ivy League and other top deans on what to expect in medical school, and learn about cutting-edge advances and the future of medicine and medical technology.
For more information, go to FutureDocs.com.
■ Cheerleading squads from Henry Clay, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Scott County and Madison Southern high schools advanced to this year's state championships after strong showings in Class 2A Region 11. Henry Clay placed first in the super large division Nov. 24 regional contest at Madison Central, with Dunbar as runner-up. A Dunbar squad came in first in the large division. Madison Central took top honors in the small division and Tates Creek was second. Scott County won first place in the medium division; Madison Central took second. In the coed division, Madison Southern placed first and a squad from Woodford County came in second.
First-place squads from each category move on to the Kentucky High School Athletic Association Competitive Cheer Championships Saturday in the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park.
■ More than 200 students from 16 Fayette County schools participated in the annual Student Technology Leadership Program Fall Showcase regional competition Nov. 14 at the University of Kentucky. The projects fell under the categories of community service, instructional or technical expertise and judges scored each student group during a 10-minute interview.
Seventeen groups will improve and complete their projects and then compete again at the state championship April 22 at Rupp Arena. There, one showcase from each grade group (elementary, middle and high) will be chosen to represent Kentucky at the International Society for Technology in Education national technology conference.
Elementary showcases advancing to state:
Cool School Rules — Julius Marks Elementary
Stop, Drop and Adopt! — Julius Marks Elementary
Video Tech-Know-How — Julius Marks Elementary
Middle school showcases advancing to state:
Application Development — Lexington Traditional Magnet School
Computer Science: Community Service = CS:CS — Edythe J. Hayes Middle School
EJH Connected — Edythe J. Hayes Middle School
iT — Jessie Clark Middle School
The Warrior Report — Winburn Middle School
Video Game Designers — Beaumont Middle School
Warrior Tech Squad — Winburn Middle School
Warriors Give Back — Winburn Middle School
High school showcases advancing to state:
Defender News Network — Bryan Station High School
Dunbar Connects — Paul Laurence Dunbar High School
Eco-Computer — Bryan Station High School
Educational Gaming — Eastside Technology Center
ITAcada.me (Web app) — Bryan Station High School
ModZ — Eastside Technical Center
In addition, individual students were interviewed for work slots at the state championship, helping with the live reporting, production company, Twitter service and Kentucky National Guard satellite setup.
Student workers from Fayette County Public Schools include:
Aidan Clark, cyber shorts — Lexington Traditional Magnet School
Lainey Geddes, cyber shorts — Eastside Technology Center
Taylor Tomlin, cyber shorts — Eastside Technology Center
Lucas Williams, production company — Eastside Technology Center
Zeke Castle, Twitter service — Eastside Technology Center
The mission of the program is to advance the individual capabilities of students, to motivate students and to create leadership opportunities through the use of technology.
■ Each year Women Leading Kentucky identifies 8-10 undergraduate students in Kentucky colleges and universities for a one-time scholarship award of $1,000-$1,500 based upon their leadership abilities. The application deadline is Feb. 3. To apply go to Womenleadingky.com/scholarship-application/.
■ Second-graders at Veterans Park Elementary collected $218 for Red Cross relief efforts in the Philippines, where their new pen pals' school was damaged by Typhoon Haiyan in early November. On the cusp of Thanksgiving break, they sent the donation along with their first letters and a cultural-exchange package containing such items as UK decals, VPE bookmarks and pictures of horses.