GOOD NEWS FROM SCHOOLS: Local students compete in regional science event

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Two students from Gwinnett County Public Schools contended for the top prize in a math, science and technology competition last week.

Sitan Chen of Suwanee and Jaya Janadhyala of Duluth took part in the regional finals administered by the College Board.

Students presented their research Friday and Saturday to expert university judges at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.

A list of winners had yet to be released. The Siemens Competition awards one $3,000 prize to an individual and one $6,000 prize to a team at each of six regional competitions.

A senior at Northview High School, Chen competed with a research project that looked at new methods for studying graphs.

Janadhyala, a senior at Gwinnett School of Math, Science and Technology, competed with a research project that attempted to increase the efficiency of identifying and classifying bacteria outbreaks in food.

Siemens Foundation President Jennifer Harper-Taylor said the event "has a proud history of attracting awe-inspiring research projects from America's best and brightest, and we are pleased to see this year is no exception."

UGA students get Coca-Cola scholarships

ATHENS -- Several University of Georgia students have been awarded the Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarship for the 2011-12 academic year.

Students from Gwinnett County included Ana Barrera of Berkmar High, David Barnes of Collins Hill and Phuong Le, also of Collins Hill.

The award provides $5,000 per year in addition to the HOPE Scholarship to "academically outstanding" undergraduates who are the first in their families to attend college.

Funded by the Coca-Cola Foundation since 2007, the scholarship can be renewed for an additional three years of undergraduate study if recipients maintain certain academic standards.

Essay contest focuses on U.S. Constitution

ARLINGTON, Va. -- U.S. high school students and their teachers are invited to participate in the Bill of Rights Institute's sixth annual "Being an American" essay contest.

The contest explores the founding principles outlined in the Constitution. It is administered by the Bill of Rights Institute, a nonprofit educational organization in the Washington, D.C. area "devoted to educating young people about the Constitution and founding principles."

The top three student winners from each of five geographical regions will be awarded cash prizes of $1,000 for first place, $500 for second place and $250 for third. Teacher sponsors for each student winner will receive a cash prize of $100.

Students must answer the following essay question: "How does the Constitution establish and maintain a culture of liberty?"

Students in grades 9-12 who are U.S. citizens or legal residents and are either attending public, private, religious or charter schools, being home-schooled or participating in a GED or correspondence programs (but are not older than 19) are eligible.

Essays must be submitted to www.billofrightsinstitute.org/submit by Dec. 15. Visit www.billofrightsinstitute.org/contest for complete guidelines.

Frank Reddy writes about education. Good News from Schools appears in the Sunday edition of the Daily Post.