Lexmark Coaches Kentucky’s Brightest Science and Engineering Students Bound for International Competition

Twenty-two Kentucky students will represent the state at the Intel International Science and Engineering fair in Los Angeles, May 11-16. The high school students are the “best of the best” as they received top honors from among hundreds of students who competed across Kentucky in four regional fairs and the Lexmark Kentucky State Science and Engineering Fair held last month at Eastern Kentucky University.

To help the students prepare for the international competition, Lexmark invited the winners to an event at the UK/Lexmark Center for Innovation in Science and Math Education on April 26. The event was hosted by Lexmark VP and GM of ISS Business Products, Tom Knight. The students presented their winning projects to a team of a dozen Lexmark scientists and engineers for an opportunity to get feedback and coaching on their presentations. Students also had the chance to ask questions from the Lexmark panel about choosing a career in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Students questioned examples included: how to file a patent application, how 3D printing works and how much travel opportunities are available to those in engineering roles with an international company. Students have also been offered the opportunity to spend a full day at Lexmark to shadow an engineer or scientist in their field of interest; to further understand what their work like would be like if they choose a career in a STEM related field.

Lexmark has a long history of supporting education in Kentucky as its philanthropic focus is diversity and STEM education.

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Update provided by Shannon Lyman of Lexmark

WKU Receiving Grant Money to Boost Minority Students in STEM Fields

WKU_Center_CampasFrom WKU Public Radio: “WKU is part of a collaborative effort to increase the number of minority students pursuing degrees in the so-called STEM fields.

WKU and eight other higher education institutions in the commonwealth and West Virginia have been awarded a five-year, $ 2.5 million National Science Foundation grant that will primarily focus on undergraduates seeking diplomas in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.”

Click here to read the full article.

UK students compete in innovation competition

lightbulb-campaignFrom the Kentucky Kernel: “A team of UK students competed at this year’s Alltech Innovation Competition Saturday and brought home the  third-place $4,000 Alltech Choice Award.

Eight teams presented forward thinking business plans to improve food and agribusiness in Kentucky while also creating more jobs and higher efficiency.  The UK team produced an enzyme that allows starch processing to be more efficient and less costly.”

Read the full article here.

State economic development leaders pitch programs for entrepreneurs

nucleus-building-201309101551-600xx1697-1131-2-0From Business First: “Two officials with the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development met in Louisville Tuesday to talk with entrepreneurs about resources that are available to help them expand their businesses.

During a presentation of about an hour at The Nucleus building, 300 E. Market St.,Brad Thomas and Shawn Rogers, executive advisers in the Cabinet’s Office of Entrepreneurship, talked about the various resources their office offers to early-stage companies.”

Click here to read the full article.

Episode 29: Kate Jacques, Alltech

Kate Jacques Quote CardMany of the diseases we hear about these days are zoonotic – diseases that transfer from animals to people. Of these diseases, the pathogens most frequently at fault are RNA viruses. These viruses, which include avian influenza, SARS, and HIV, have RNA instead of DNA as their genetic material.

Why zoonotic diseases? Why viruses? The answer lies in our changing relationship with animals and the mercurial nature of the RNA virus. It takes more than a microbe to cause a disease. Alltech’s Director of Nutrition Kate Jacques will look at the ways in which our exploding human population has altered the boundaries between human and animal populations and why the rapidly adaptable RNA virus is the perfect zoonotic pathogen.

This episode of the Innovation Update features Kate’s presentation from the inaugural IdeaFestival Bowling Green: People, Animals and Disease – Perils of a Crowded Planet.


Episode 28: Chris & Andrew, Alone Down There

Chris and Andrew Quote CardToday we live in a world where funding can come from a multitude of sources: friends, family, investors, and now crowdfunding. Alone Down There was fortunate enough to have such an amazing story that supporters on Kickstarter pushed the TV pilot past its funding goals.

The production team was honest with its ideas and expectations and supporters all over the United States jumped on board for the project. That’s what makes crowdfunding unique and is just one reason Alone Down There is a special project.

In this episode of the Innovation Update, Director Chris “Booba” Young and Executive Producer Andrew Swanson will share how their project broke the mold and how they never took no for an answer in their presentation: How to Make a Big TV Pilot on a Not So Big Budget.


IdeaFestival Bowling Green Photos

Photo by Bryan Lemon
Photo by Bryan Lemon

The theme of IFBG in 2014 was “Creativity and Innovation.” The nine session speakers were all superb examples of the innovation that is happening in Kentucky. Speakers from Hitcents, Fruit of the Loom, Kentucky Bourbon Trail, Alltech, Connected Nation, and Kentucky Space addressed topics from product innovation to satellite design to economic collaboration.

Dana Bowers, founder of iPay Technologies, explored her entrepreneurial journey and urged the dreamers in the crowd to start their own businesses.

Chris Young and Andrew Swanson, the director and executive producer, respectively, of a Kickstarter-funded TV pilot called Alone Down There, explained how a TV show gets made in 2014.

Kim Huston, author of Small Town Sexy, touched on the movement back toward smaller towns like Bardstown, KY, which was named the “Most Beautiful Small Town in America” by USA Today and Rand McNally.

The keynote speaker was Bill Capodagli, who presented Dreams and Dreamers: How to Innovate Like Walt Disney and the Pixarians.

Photos from IdeaFestival Bowling Green can be seen below.

Alliance of nine universities seeks to improve diversity in STEM fields

Chemistry-Physics_Building_(U.K.)From The Lane Report: “LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 14, 2014) – University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto, as the principal investigator, will lead a multi-million-dollar initiative with Kentucky and West Virginia universities to increase underrepresented undergraduates studying in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

  • To increase minority student enrollment in the STEM fields alliance-wide by 15 percent by 2016 with a 10 percent to 20 percent increase yearly thereafter.
  • To increase the 4-5 year graduation rate for minority STEM majors alliance-wide by 50 percent or above and maintaining or increasing this rate thereafter.”

Read more about this unique alliance by clicking here.

How a District Ended Student Dropouts with Personalized Learning

Taylor County, KYFrom edSurge: “Imagine, if you can, a school where students do not have specific teachers assigned to them, nor do teachers have specific students on their roster.

Imagine a school where students come each day with a list of standards to work on and accomplish–right when they walk in the door. They can go to the teacher of their choice in order to accomplish the completion of these standards. Or, they can do them on their own in any setting they wish, as long as they maintain accomplishing the minimum amount of standards in a minimum amount of time. Some students, for example, may work individually in the media center not having to go to any classroom.

And last but not least, imagine a district at large where the dropout rate is at zero percent.”

Read more about the developments in the Taylor County Schools here.

Episode 27: Joe Tudor, Hitcents

Joe Tudor Quote CardHis school teachers may hate to hear it, but Hitcents’ Art Director, Joe Tudor, believes his habit of daydreaming helped him land the perfect job. In fact, he claims dreams are the foundation of the company’s success.

In an industry that demands an excess of new ideas, Joe explains how Hitcents stays ahead of the curve while keeping a steady drive of passion behind their work. Learn how the company’s self-described team of “nerds and creative thinkers” put it all together by building from the dream up.

This episode of the Innovation Update features Joe’s presentation from the inaugural IdeaFestival Bowling Green: Building from the Dream Up.