Kentucky ranks No. 4 in U.S. in entrepreneurship

flag_of_kentucky_drapeau_bandiera_bandeira_flagga-999pxFrom the Bowling Green Daily News: Kentucky spent the past year muscling its way to the top of a national ranking of entrepreneur-friendly states. Last year, Kentucky sat in 49th place of the State Entrepreneurship Index. Gov. Steve Beshear’s office announced Monday that Kentucky snatched fourth place on the SEI this year.

The SEI ranks states based on establishment growth, establishment growth per capita, business formation rates, patents per 1,000 people and income levels for non-farm proprietors. Kentucky was ranked 46th on the 2011 SEI.

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Oldham launches high school engineering program

High school engineeringFrom The Courier-Journal: For 75 Oldham County high school students, this school year promises 3-D printing, laser etching and an added emphasis on math.

As the district’s 12,000 students headed back to class Wednesday, two sessions of ninth and 10th-graders from all three Oldham County high schools filtered into the workspace of the OCS Engineering Academy, a new half-day program at Arvin Education Center that will prepare students for careers in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The program, which utilizes Project Lead the Way curriculum, was a late addition to the district’s academic offerings, said Oldham County Schools spokeswoman Tracy Harris. School officials didn’t know for certain Engineering Academy would happen until the end of last school year, when scheduling for the 2014-15 academic year had already begun.

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Ebola tobacco drug joins duckweed in plant war on disease

TobaccoFrom Bloomberg News: On a small plot of land incongruously tucked amid a Kentucky industrial park sit five weather-beaten greenhouses. At the site, tobacco plants contain one of the most promising hopes for developing an effective treatment for the deadly Ebola virus.

The plants contain designer antibodies developed by San Diego-based Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc. and are grown in Kentucky by a unit of Reynolds American Inc. Two stricken U.S. health workers received an experimental treatment containing the antibodies in Liberia last week. Since receiving doses of the drug, both patients’ conditions have improved.

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STEM education matters to security, innovation and leadership

STEM explorationAuthor Michele Nash-Hoff recently wrote in a piece for the Huffington Post: Over the last 230 years, the United States became a global leader, in large part, through the genius and hard work of its scientists, engineers and innovators. Today, a little over four percent of the workforce is employed directly in science, engineering and technology. Yet, this small group of workers is critical to economic innovation and productivity.

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are widely regarded as critical to be competitive in the global economy. A growing shortage of science-based talent in our workplaces and universities represents a serious problem for our nation. Expanding and developing the STEM workforce is a critical issue for government, industry leaders, and educators. However, comparatively few American students are pursuing educational majors in STEM career paths.

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Connect a Million Minds: The Connectory

Image courtesy Time Warner Cable

Time Warner Cable’s Connect a Million Minds is a five-year, $100 million cash and in-kind philanthropic initiative to address America’s declining proficiency in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), which puts our children at risk of not competing successfully in a global economy.

Using its media assets, TWC creates awareness of the issue and inspires students to develop the STEM skills they need to become the problem solvers of tomorrow. Program highlights include: original PSAs that challenge public perceptions of STEM; a unique website,, where parents and community members can pledge to connect young people with the wonders of science; “The Connectory”, a one-of-a-kind online resource that makes it simple and easy for parents and students to find informal science and technology learning opportunities in their communities; grants to support non-profit organizations that bring stimulating, high-quality and affordable after-school STEM learning to students; TWC employees, over 51,000 strong, who volunteer their time at community events like science fairs and robotics competitions, and share their passion for engineering and technology with students using TWC’s signature curriculum.

Search The Connectory for activities and resources in your community that inspire young people to develop the important science, technology, engineering and math skills they need to become the problem solvers of tomorrow. If you would like to contribute your own programs and organizations, Join The Connectory!

TWC launched this initiative in conjunction with President Obama’s “Educate to Innovate” campaign, designed to improve the participation and performance of America’s students in STEM. At the official Educate to Innovate launch, President Obama singled out TWC as a leader in developing public-private partnerships that inspire young people to pursue education and careers in STEM. He also announced that TWC Chairman and CEO Glenn Britt, along with four other visionary business leaders and former astronaut Sally Ride, would become the founding Board Members of Change the Equation, a new non-profit, non-partisan CEO-led initiative to solve America’s innovation problem and spread STEM literacy.