Teens show off inventions at Google Science Fair

From Mashable: The answer to world hunger could lie in a single naturally-occurring bacteria.

That was the finding of this year’s winning project at the Google Science Fair.

The goal of the annual event— now in its fourth year— is to give students round the world the opportunity to experiment with ambitious scientific ideas. And, of course, potentially change the world.

This year’s competition saw thousands of teenage participants from around the world enter the online contest. The field was eventually narrowed to 18 finalists, representing 15 different projects in three different age groups.

Google hosted all 18 finalists Monday at its campus in Mountain View, Ca., where they showed off their projects to the panel of judges and hundreds of local students. The grand prize winner receives a $50,000 scholarship from Google, a grant for their school, and an expedition to the Galapagos Islands.

The winning project, came from three girls from Ireland who wanted to find out whether a naturally-occurring strain of bacteria could make certain crops more productive and increase food yields.

Gatton Academy again ranked #1 high school in nation

Gatton AcademyCongratulations to the Gatton Academy, one of the partners for Innovate Kentucky, on being named the top high school in the nation for the third year in a row.

From The Courier-Journal: For the third year in a row, a Kentucky high school has been ranked the best in the nation.

The Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Bowling Green topped a list by news website The Daily Beast of the 754 best high schools in the United States.

And by all accounts, the distinction is a welcomed accolade born of hard work — not award chasing.

“It’s a thrill to be a three-peat,” said Julia Roberts, executive director.

Click here to read the full story.

Editorial: Ky. schools making progress, but more hard work needed

Stu Silberman
Stu Silberman (photo courtesy of The Courier Journal)

From The Courier-Journal: The 2014 update of our “Top 20 by 2020” report found Kentucky’s performance in six of the 20 categories measured to be on track to reach the goal. For example, our students moved into the Top 20 in both 4th- and 8th-grade reading in 2010 — and in 2014 they have stayed in the Top 20.

Kentucky’s performance in the categories of Advanced Placement college credits, 4th-grade math scores and the number of high school graduates going on to college is on track to reach the Top 20, and we can get there if our rankings in these areas improve again by as much as they have since 2008.

There is cause for concern when other indicators are considered, however.

Click here to find out what indicators are concerning.

MAKERS Launches Six New Documentaries This Fall

MAKERS: Women & Space traces the history of women pioneers in the U.S. space program. Some, like aviators Wally Funk and Jerrie Cobb, passed the same grueling tests as male astronauts, only to be dismissed by NASA, the military, and even Lyndon Johnson, as a distraction. It wasn’t until 1995 that Eileen Collins became the first woman to pilot a spacecraft. The program includes interviews with Collins, as well as Sally Ride’s classmates Shannon Lucid, Rhea Seddon and Kathryn Sullivan, and features Mae Jemison, the first woman of color astronaut, and Peggy Whitson, the first female commander of the International Space Station. The hour ends with the next generation of women engineers, mathematicians and astronauts—the new group of pioneers, like Marleen Martinez and Dava Newman, who continue to make small but significant steps forward. Produced and directed by Michael Epstein.

MAKERS, in collaboration with PBS, is excited to announce six new documentaries for 2014 premiering on September 30th that focus on specific fields where women have broken new ground and reshaped central American institutions. Building on the 2013 film MAKERS: Women Who Make America, which told the story of the modern American women’s movement, the series will bring a new collection of MAKERS to the site.

The six documentaries will tell the known and unknown stories of women in the areas of war, space, comedy, business, Hollywood and politics. These stories share women’s contributions to some of the most important moments in the history of our country and the world.

The PBS trailer is below.