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EDUCATION NOTEBOOK: Liu, Sash get slots in Senate program | 72 applicants to get start-up funds | Residential school enhances internet

by Cynthia Howell | January 16, 2022 at 2:46 a.m.

Liu, Sash get slots in Senate program

Richard Liu, a senior at Little Rock Central High School, and Neil Sash, a junior at Episcopal Collegiate School in Little Rock, have been selected for the U.S. Senate Youth Program.

The two were selected from among the state's top student leaders to be part of the 104-student delegation to the program. They will each receive a $10,000 college scholarship for undergraduate study.

Chosen as alternates to the 2022 program were Sydney Lane England of Little Rock, who attends Mount Saint Mary Academy, and Colette Lucia Tesoro of Centerton, who attends Bentonville West High School.

Because of the ongoing pandemic, the 2022 Youth Senate Program will be held online. Student delegates will attend online meetings and briefings with senators, the president, a justice of the Supreme Court, leaders of Cabinet agencies and others.

Liu is a nationally ranked debater and was elected lieutenant governor of Arkansas Boys State. As executive assistant to the CEO of Arkansas Associations of Asian Businesses, Liu's experience in Mandarin and English helped bridge the cultural and linguistic gaps between Asian and Western business owners. He plans to apply to the Huntsman Program at the University of Pennsylvania for dual degrees in international relations and business.

Sash is an appointee to Sen. John Boozman's, R-Ark., Congressional Youth Cabinet. He is one of 15 students in the state selected for the Arkansas Communication and Theater Arts Association promoting debate and art. He is the vice captain of the debate team and captain of the Quiz Bowl team, and won first place in the Congressional App Challenge. One of few students worldwide admitted to three selective Massachusetts Institute of Technology programs, Sash plans to study political science, public policy and get a law degree.

72 applicants to get start-up funds

Seventy-two applications from Arkansas school districts have been selected to receive about $2.5 million in Career and Technical Education State Start-Up Grants for programs of study in subjects such as robotics, nutrition science and unmanned aerial systems.

Other programs are being planned in the subjects of education, television production, banking, pre-engineering and sports medicine.

The funds are being provided by the Arkansas Department of Education's Division of Career and Technical Education and Office of Computer Science Education.

The start-up grants cover 85% of the costs associated with a school's new program, with the school district committing to cover the remaining 15% of the cost. Some schools applied for and received funding for more than one area of study.

The list of the grant-approved school districts and schools -- and the fields of study -- are available at this link: https://bit.ly/3ERtWWw.

Residential school enhances internet

The Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts, a residential public high school in Hot Springs, is now connected to the Arkansas Research and Education Optical Network (ARE-ON), allowing a tenfold increase in campus internet bandwidth.

ARE-ON is a not-for-profit consortium of all of Arkansas' two- and four-year higher education institutions, as well as several select organizations such as Arkansas Children's Hospital, the National Center for Toxicological Research, Arkansas PBS and the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, according to representatives of the school.

ARE-ON provides a high-speed fiber-optic network throughout the state to its members and other affiliates, including regional optical networks and commercial service providers.

Joining ARE-ON's network gives the math- and science-themed high school access to a 10 gigabit Ethernet connection, up from the 1 gigabit service the school had.

A gigabit allows up to 1 billion bits of data per second to be downloaded by the user. Faster download speeds and larger bandwidth permissions enable students to access information in a shorter period of time.

"While having internet access for classroom and other learning experiences are important for every school, having the same reliable access for students outside the classroom is just as important for a residential campus such as ASMSA," school Director Corey Alderdice said in a news release.

"Students live their lives both online and offline, and ASMSA is their 'home away from home' for the better part of the year," Alderdice continued. "We want to ensure students have access to email, streaming video and music services, gaming and other appropriate uses."

Print Headline: Education notebook

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