■ Zach Dailey and Austin Robinette of Eastside Technical Center in Lexington earned first place in the state finals of the Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Competition, held May 7 in Louisville. Each senior received a total of $53,000 in scholarship offers, a $150 tool set from Snap-on and a $250 credit from NAPA Tools. About 400 students took the written test, and 20 advanced to the finals. This is the first time Eastside Tech has produced the top pair to represent Kentucky in the nationals. Zach, Austin and automotive instructor Bobby Riddle get an all-expenses-paid trip to the competition June 13 to 15 in Dearborn, Mich.
■ Michael Druggan, a junior at Tates Creek High School, is one of the nation's top 12 scorers in this year's USA Mathematical Olympiad.
In June, Michael will travel to Washington, D.C., for an awards ceremonies and to compete for one of six spots on the national team that later will go to Kazakhstan to compete against teams from around the world in the International Mathematical Olympiad.
■ Three students from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School earned honors in the 2010 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, the premier global science competition for students in grades 9 to 12. In the grand awards ceremony, Joseph Corbett Ferguson and Roshan Palli received second place in the team projects category and a $1,500 prize for "RNAi as a Safe Method of Insect Population Control." Eugenia Pushkarskaya received third place in animal sciences and a $1,000 prize for "The Effect of Plumage Coloration on Extra-Pair Paternity in the Indigo Bunting." Ferguson and Palli also received a Ricoh Sustainable Development Award of $12,500.
■ Julius Marks Elementary was runner-up in the elementary division of the statewide Color of Success video contest and will receive a $750 equipment package for the school. These students, whose rap video (titled Freggies) urges kids to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, will be recognized at the association's June 29 state conference in Covington: Kason Speir, Cavon Coffield, Bailey Tillery, Chai Washington, Laura Mendenhall, Madison Wunder, Lily Heitmeyer, Skylar Scott, Spencer Sidebottom, Angelica Malkowski, James Holbrook, Kaleia Clay, Katherine Newnam and Chanisty Davis.
■ An eighth-grade team from SCAPA Bluegrass has earned the top award among Kentucky's middle schools in the Siemens "We Can Change the World Challenge," a K-12 sustainability program. "The Green Girls," who are mentored by teacher Ashlie Beals, are Madi Fogarty, Janie Herbener, Sarah MacDonald and Jenine Tackett. Their project focused on the importance of washing clothes in cold water to save energy and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Siemens also noted honorable mentions, including three from SCAPA: "Suns On, Lights Off" by Zion Austin, Ellis Bryson, Casey Dalager and Andy Edwards; "Eco Drivers" by Mitchell Kilgore, Dylan Rowe, Coleman Stivers and Robert Wendroth; "Go Loco for Local" by Margaret Kelly, Paloma Paulin, Devan Schmidt and Olivia Yessin.
■ Claudia Terhune, a fourth-grader at Mary Queen of the Holy Rosary School, won the 2010 "Real Life To Me" essay contest sponsored by Real Life Radio 1380. Claudia received $1,000. She wrote her essay about the Rev. Norman Fischer, pastor of St. Peter Claver Catholic Church and chaplain at Lexington Catholic High School. Claudia's essay was chosen as a grade-level finalist, then the grand-prize winner, from more than 450 entries.
■ The 2010 Fayette County Public Schools' Ninth-Grade Improvement Award encourages students who might have experienced a rough start to high school but have turned the corner and found the path to success. Each spring, the five FCPS high schools select as many as 20 freshmen apiece for this recognition, which honors determination, effort and resiliency. Five of this year's winners were deemed by their schools to be the most improved freshmen overall. Each received an MP3 player, courtesy of Dell Inc.: Tamera Glover, Bryan Station High School; Brittany Snowden, Henry Clay High School; Thomas Condra, Lafayette High School; Chase Jones, Paul Laurence Dunbar High School; and Kayla Denton, Tates Creek High School.
■ Students from Fayette County Public Schools fared well in the Kentucky History Day competition May 8 in Frankfort. These 10 children also will participate in the national contests June 13 to 17 at the University of Maryland. Junior paper (grades 6-8): Aaron Weittenhiller, Winburn Middle School, first place. Junior Web site: Elizabeth Minor, Winburn Middle School, first; Michael Sommer and Jeremy Robison, Winburn Middle School, second. Junior individual documentary: Ben Swanson, Winburn Middle School, second. Junior group documentary: Ben Gardner and Andrew Tapia, Winburn Middle School, first; Erin Taylor, Allison Laski and Mackenzie Mirre, Beaumont Middle School, second.
■ The St. Benedict Homeschool Association in Hardin County, together with St. Christopher Roman Catholic Church in Radcliff and St. Helen Roman Catholic Church in Glasgow, is hosting the first Kentucky Catholic Homeschool Conference on June 5 at St. Christopher. To register, visit www.kycatholichomeschooling.org or call (270) 307-6326.
■ Wayne Stevens, a teacher at West Jessamine High School, has been selected to participate in a three-week study tour to China this summer. This study tour is organized by the East Asian Studies Center at Indiana University. Twenty teachers from six states will experience Chinese landmarks such as the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square and the Terracotta Warriors Museum, and attend the Shanghai World Expo. The group also will visit several schools to observe classes and exchange ideas about education with administrators, teachers and students. When they return, tour participants will develop a curriculum project to implement in their classrooms during the 2010-11 school year.