A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Council on Postsecondary Education report shows degrees, credentials up 11.4 percent over five years

A new degree and credential production report issued by the Council on Postsecondary Education shows Kentucky’s public and independent colleges and universities awarded a record 72,936 degrees and credentials in the 2017-18 academic year, representing a 4% annual gain and an 11.4% increase over five years. (Click for full report) The five-year report describes the state of postsecondary education...

Dr. Paula Grisanti: Curing today’s incurable diseases begins in the classroom — by middle school

Earlier this month, for the first time in the history of space travel, a marshmallow “astronaut” named Marvin traveled to space in an experiment designed by the National STEM Scholar Program. Marvin was launched into space May 2 in a NanoLab onboard a Blue Origin New Shephard rocket from its launch facility in West Texas. A NanoLab is about the size of a full-size Kleenex box and designed with...

Bluegrass Tomorrow presents IdeaFestival day for juniors; Astronaut Story Musgrave to speak

Famed NASA Astronaut Story Musgrave, who holds one of his several graduate degrees from the University of Kentucky, returns to Lexington to headline IdeaFestival (IF) Student Day on April 16 for nearly 1,000 Fayette County Public School juniors. Presented by Bluegrass Tomorrow’s Bluegrass Higher Education Consortium, the program is designed for students to focus on the next step into their...

Toyota, PLTW award $150k to eleven schools; five Harrison County schools among winners

Toyota, together with Project Lead The Way (PLTW), awarded $150,000 in grants to eleven K-12 schools to help prepare students for the next generation of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) jobs. The grants, funded by the Toyota USA Foundation, provide a curriculum focused on computer science, engineering, and biomedical science, while helping create engaging, hands-on classrooms for students...

IdeaFestival Student Day for middle, high school students coming to Norton Center on March 29

IdeaFestival Student Day is returning to the Bluegrass Region March 29, highlighted by the unique Career Maker Faire which focuses on helping students with their college and career awareness. IF Bluegrass will take place at the Norton Center for the Arts, presented by the Bluegrass Higher Education Consortium, an initiative of Bluegrass Tomorrow.  IF Bluegrass, a one-day festival, is free to middle...

Verizon awards $25,000 to Kentucky Commission on Women to Expand STEM Challenge for Girls

The Lieutenant Governor’s STEM Challenge for Girls, which begin as a pilot program at two Fayette County Middle Schools, has been awarded a $25,000 grant to continue and expand the program in 2018. “Thanks to Verizon the Lieutenant Governor’s STEM Challenge for Girls will now be piloted in the Louisville area, giving middle school girls opportunities for training and mentoring from female STEM...

Student Engagement: Teachers across the state are using drones as classroom supplement

By Mike Marsee Special to KyForward Anne Lopez has seen what drones can do for students. She has seen her students’ eyes light up when a drone whirrs to life, and she has seen those students throw themselves into a project in which they design and build their own drones. Drones are circling around an increasing number of Kentucky schools as teachers like Lopez, a STEM instructor at Eastside Middle...

Constance Alexander: What Kentucky needs is more college graduates, commitment to lifelong learning

My parents believed girls were best suited to teaching or nursing, and boys to engineering. As a result, my oldest sister became a nurse, and my big brother went off to college as an engineering major. The remaining three Alexander girls majored in education, mostly at my mother’s insistence that women had to have something “to fall back on,” like in the game of Monopoly, a sort of “Get out...

Tates Creek fifth-graders pitch STEM problem-solving apps to Awesome Inc. experts

By Tammy L. Lane Special to KyForward Fifth-graders at Tates Creek Elementary took on the challenge of developing apps that solve everyday problems, and they came up with several intriguing prospects in STEM lab. The catch was selling their ideas to a pair of experts from Awesome Inc., a local company that supports high-tech startups. “Our group was excited to present and ready to get feedback....

Destination Imagination contests enable FCPS team to experience creative process, hone improv skills

By Tammy L. Lane Special to KyForward When these half-dozen lively sophomores get together, they produce a mixed bag of creativity, quick thinking, problem-solving, performance arts, and smiles. Their team’s name, “We need more tape,” also speaks to their collective sense of humor. “Teamwork is the biggest part,” said Shamik Chandrachood, who got involved in Destination Imagination or DI...

Out of the box, into the future — UK workshop introduces middle school girls to a STEM career

By Carol Lea Spence Special to KyForward Sometime during the transition from middle school to high school, girls often find their early interest in science and math steered in other directions, often toward careers that fit comfortably into a box of more “traditional” women’s roles. A recent day-long workshop at the University of Kentucky sought to stem that tide by introducing 120 Kentucky...

Constance Alexander: New poetry book ‘Chance Divine’ shows how the arts and science coalesce

Talk about STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) all you want, but without poetry, their mysteries and metaphors might be inaccessible to most of us. Take Kentucky poet Jeff Skinner’s newest book, for example. “Chance Divine” was inspired by particle physics, its visions and images the result of Skinner’s stint as Artist in Residence at the CERN Particle Accelerator...

Murray State University celebrates innovative Institute of Engineering success

Murray State University is celebrating the success of its innovative Institute of Engineering. Launched as a pilot project in 2014, the new organizational structure brings together the University’s engineering, engineering technology, engineering graphics and design, physics and telecommunications programs into a single academic unit. The Institute of Engineering was and remains the first and only...

Newton’s Attic hosting Fayette County’s FIRST competition robotics team this week in Ohio

For the third consecutive year, Newton’s Attic is proud to host Team 2856, Fayette County’s FIRST Competition Robotics Team, as the team prepares for the annual FIRST Robotics Competition. Newton’s Attic donates the use of their facility and engineering expertise Monday through Friday after school and Saturdays for the six weeks of the build season leading up to the final event. This year the...

‘Four C’s’ could result in science, technology students earning free Legends tickets

The Lexington Legends are stepping into the fields of science and technology through a new educational program. The Legends are working with the Instructional Technology Department of Fayette County Public Schools to provide an incentive for students in the Kentucky Department of Education’s Science and Technology Leadership Program (STLP) to participate in academic activities related to those studies....

William Wells Brown Elementary STEM teacher Sword honored by Teacher of Year award

Kim Sword, the STEM lab teacher at William Wells Brown Elementary, has been selected a 2016 Elementary School Science Teacher of the Year. She will be honored at the Kentucky Science Teachers Association’s annual conference Nov. 11 at the Hyatt Regency in Lexington, and will receive a plaque, a $100 grant, and a one-year KSTA membership with complimentary conference registration. Kim Sword (Photo...

Know a great STEM teacher? Lexmark seeks nominations for Educating Excellence awards

Do you know a science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) teacher who is an inspiring innovator and passionate leader for their students? Lexmark is requesting nominations for its Educating Excellence program, which rewards outstanding K-12 educators in Central Kentucky for excellence in STEM education. The program recognizes deserving teachers with $1,000 cash awards. Awards will be granted...

Agri Bus teaches elementary students to appreciate farmers, understand where food comes from

By Tammy L. Lane Special to KyForward Ten-year-olds Rylie Miller and Nathan Whitaker had a slight edge on fellow fourth-graders when the Kentucky agricultural bus pulled up for an in-school field trip at Wellington Elementary. Both have had some experience with country life, crops, and critters. “My grandparents grow vegetables like cabbage and lettuce, and on their farm they have horses and cows...

More jobs than graduates in food, agriculture, renewable resources and environment, study says

From 2015 to 2020 there will be 57,900 average annual openings for graduates with bachelor’s or higher degrees in food, agriculture, renewable natural resources, or the environment, says a report by Purdue University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But not enough graduates are expected to be experts in those fields, says the report. Of those jobs, 46 percent will be in management and business,...

Chris Burns: Business, educators must work together to solve STEM workforce shortages

Since the dawn of the digital age, employers have been concerned about the lack of skills young workers have coming out of both high school and college. Employers are saying the young employees have an entitlement mentality with expectations of making high salaries, but their lack of experience and work ethics are clearly drawbacks to even getting them employed.   The vast majority are still being...