■ The Broadcom Foundation and Society for Science & the Public have announced the selection of 300 semifinalists in the annual Broadcom MASTERS, the nation's most prestigious science, technology, engineering and math competition for middle school students. The eight contenders from Kentucky include these two Fayette County students:
Brenna Wallin, an eighth-grader at Lexington Traditional Magnet School, with her project "Acoustium Leviosa: Investigating the Lifting Power of Acoustic Levitation," and Akhil Kesaraju, a freshman at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, with his project, "The Effects of Calcium Hydroxide as Pretreatment in Cellulosic Ethanol Production."
Both students qualified by virtue of their showing in last year's Central Kentucky Regional Science and Engineering Fair; Brenna was at LTMS and Akhil at Winburn Middle School.
Thirty finalists, who will be announced Sept. 17, will receive an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C., from Oct. 24 to 28 to compete for awards and prizes, including the top education award of $25,000 presented by the Samueli Foundation.
■ As a student at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Lexington, Andrew Brennen helped create the Student Voice initiative so students could have a say in what worked — and what didn't — in the classroom when i mprovements in education were being discussed. Now, he is a freshman at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a Robertson Scholar, which includes a full scholarship and student privileges at Duke. He plans to major in business administration and political science, work with the Center for Teaching Quality and participate in student government.
■ Kara Wade of Lancaster, a junior majoring in occupational science at Eastern Kentucky University, has received a $1,000 Jo Anne J. Trow Scholarship, awarded by Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society. Wade is only the third EKU student to receive the scholarship.
■ The Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky has been named the No. 1 high school in the nation by The Daily Beast for the third consecutive year.
The Gatton Academy, on the campus of Western Kentucky University, ranked No. 1 in 2012 and 2013 on the Newsweek/The Daily Beast joint list, and this year's list is solely from The Daily Beast, an award-winning online news site.
The Gatton Academy was ranked first in three of the five main categories judged. The Gatton Academy ranked first in college-bound students, as 100 percent of the students go to college, and first in graduation rate, with 100 percent of the students graduating from high school. The rigor aspect was the Gatton Academy's other No. 1 ranking, with 100 percent of students enrolled in Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses, and students taking an average of 3.3 exams.
For more information about The Gatton Academy, go to Wku.edu/academy or call (270) 745-6565.
■ Fayette County Public Schools students who participated in the "Countdown to Kindergarten" program this summer and received six or more stamps on their passports are eligible for a prize drawing that features a boy's or girl's bike, four club-level tickets to a Lexington Legends baseball game, a family membership to The Living Arts & Science Center and four passes to the Explorium of Lexington.
Families may turn in children's completed passport forms at any Lexington public library or mail to: Countdown to Kindergarten, c/o United Way of the Bluegrass, 100 Midland Avenue, Lexington Ky., 40508. The deadline is Sept. 23.
■ The Lafayette Alumni Association will hold its annual Picnic Potluck from noon to 2 p.m. Sept. 20 at Outbach Farm on Redd Road. Meat and beverages provided. All alumni are invited to celebrate Lafayette's 75th anniversary. For reservations and more information, call (859) 881-9498.