■ Taylor Bagley of Lafayette High School and Alice Li and Eric Xiong, both of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, have been named semifinalists in the 2015 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, one of the nation's most prestigious honors recognizing high school students' accomplishments. The winners will be announced in May.
The Presidential Scholars are chosen based on their academic success, artistic excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership and demonstrated commitment to high ideals. The group includes one young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and from U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large and 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts.
■ Jasmine Liu, a junior at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, was runner-up nationally in the 2015 Wendell Irish Viola Award competition. Jasmine, whose orchestra teacher is Rebecca Goff, also earned first-place honors in the Southeast Region after advancing as Kentucky's top performer. Jasmine has played the viola since fourth grade.
■ Technology Student Association members from Fayette County Public Schools earned recognition at the 2015 state conference March 23 to 25 in Louisville. The groups included students from Lexington Traditional Magnet School, Southern Middle, Lafayette, Paul Laurence Dunbar and Tates Creek high schools. In addition, Southside Technical Center teacher Scott Davis received the Outstanding Recognition Award from the Kentucky TSA, and Southern Middle student Garrett Kays was elected as the Kentucky TSA's state reporter.
■ Three middle school students from Fayette County Public Schools were among the top award winners in the 2015 Kentucky Science & Engineering Fair. "Best of Fair" honors went to Megan Slusarewicz of Winburn for first place in Life Sciences, David Vulakh of Tates Creek for first in Physical Sciences, and William Klement of Winburn for second in Physical Sciences.
Students in grades 5-12 from across the state competed March 28 at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, with the winners and runners-up in all categories receiving ribbons and monetary awards. Following are the FCPS results in the middle grades and high school divisions.
Animal Sciences: Megan Slusarewicz, Winburn
Biomedical & Health Sciences: Evan Winkler, Morton, and Ishi Aron, Paul Laurence Dunbar
Chemistry: Adil Yusuf, Dunbar
Embedded Systems: William Klement, Winburn
Energy/Chemical: Emma Jinright, Beaumont
Energy/Physical: Elizabeth Moore, Winburn
Engineering Mechanics: Rachel Seevers, Beaumont
Materials Sciences: Brenna Wallin, Lexington Traditional Magnet
Mathematics: David Vulakh, Tates Creek Middle
Microbiology: Bhavani Gudlavalleti, Dunbar
Animal Sciences: Meenakshi Ambati, Cassidy Elementary
Cellular & Molecular Biology: Eric Zhang, Dunbar
Behavioral & Social Sciences: Janet Guo, Dunbar
Earth & Environmental Sciences: Kyra Seevers, Dunbar
Mathematics: Angeline He, Dunbar
Microbiology: Younjin Han, Dunbar
Physics & Astronomy: Angus Maske, Winburn and Theodore Livas, Dunbar
Systems Software: Shuyi Liu, Dunbar
ASM Materials Education Foundation Award: Yutong Gu, Dunbar
Metric Association Award: Rachel Seevers, Beaumont
Yale Science & Engineering Award: Theodore Livas, Dunbar
U.S. Army Award: Brian Pang, Dunbar
U.S. Air Force Award: Rachel Seevers, Beaumont, and Sriyanshi Suryadevara, Dunbar
Broadcom Masters awards:
Emma Jinright, Beaumont
Elizabeth Moore, Winburn
■ Two students from Fayette County Public Schools are among some 800 outstanding African-American seniors who have won National Achievement Scholarships this spring. Brianna Mayo of Lafayette High School, who plans to enter diplomatic service, and Stephanie Smith of Paul Laurence Dunbar High, whose interests are public policy and education reform, each will receive a $2,500 award sponsored by the National Merit Scholarship Corp. Seven other seniors across Kentucky were also announced as 2015 National Achievement scholars.
■ Fayette County Public Schools will again offer the STARTALK Chinese Language Program this summer for students in grades K-5 to practice the language and learn more about the culture. Applicants must currently study Chinese in an FCPS classroom; this two-week program is not for beginners.
The free summer classes will provide authentic Chinese cultural experiences and hands-on activities in an immersion environment as students engage in conversational communication, interpretive listening and presentational speaking. The program will run 9 a.m.-2 p.m. weekdays June 15-26 at Tates Creek Middle School, with the culminating student showcase at 1 p.m. June 26. Enrollment is limited to 100 students, and a waiting list is expected. If the child cannot commit to attend the entire two-week program, please do not sign up. Register by May 8. Info: (859) 381-4162.
■ The deadline is approaching and now is the time for middle-school girls (currently in grades 6-9) and their parents to register for this year's TechSavvy Conference being held May 16 at Kentucky State University. TechSavvy is a day of fun sessions led by women who work in STEM fields in places like Toyota, Alltech, Northrup Gruman, Kentucky State University, University of Kentucky, and more. The deadline to register is Friday. For more information and to register, go to Bluegrass-ky.aauw.net/ky-tech-savvy.