Classroom briefs

Students named National Merit semifinalists

Several area students have been named semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship competition.

They are among 16,000 semifinalists in the 68th annual scholarship program, competing for 7,250 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $28 million that will be offered next spring. About 95% of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing and about half of the finalists receive a scholarship.

Semifinalists include:

Columbus East High School: Anna R. Liimatta

Columbus North High School: Esha V. Aras, Sriniketh Atmakur, Arjun S. Bhadoria, Benjamin W. Genter, Samuel R. Hobbeheydar, Darren L. Li, Ananyta Ramanujapuram, Michael P. Wolf

Schools to compete for grants

INDIANAPOLIS — Schools in Indiana may compete for a $1,000 grant from the American Heart Association and Indianapolis Colts as part of the NFL Play 60 program and this year’s Race To Super Bowl LVII activation.

From Sept. 26 to Oct. 26, students may track their physical activity minutes within the Group Play feature of the free NFL Play 60 app. The Group Play feature, designed for classroom and after-school program use, includes a leaderboard function that allows for competition between classrooms, grades and schools.

At the end of the challenge, 32 schools, one per NFL team, will receive $1,000 to use for physical activity equipment. One national winning school will receive an additional $1,000 grant.

For more information, visit

Purdue sets all-time enrollment record

WEST LAFAYETTE — Purdue University said this fall, total enrollment reached a record 50,884 students, topping last year’s enrollment of 49,639, marking the university’s eighth straight record high.

Purdue received 68,309 applications for the fall, 28,284 more than in 2014. The average new student this fall had a 3.74 GPA, an average SAT total of 1317 and an average ACT of 29.8.

Purdue officials said nearly every Indiana resident who completed an application received an enrollment offer somewhere in the Purdue system and more than 75% were offered a West Lafayette placement.

Purdue’s minority enrollment grew, with 4,326 minority undergraduates representing 12.8% of domestic enrollment. Purdue said 10,108 of domestic undergraduates are U.S. minorities which includes Asian American students, and increase of 13.6% since 2012.

Purdue officials said in 2022, 71% of undergraduate degree recipients received a STEM-related degree, up from 44% in 2010.

IUPUC to have banned book event

As part of Banned Books Week, the University Library of Columbus and the Division of Education at IUPUC are hosting a panel discussion focusing on censorship.

The event will be at 4:30 p.m. today in the Summerville Room at the Columbus Learning Center.

Guest panelists will be Samantha Bresnahan, public policy and community engagement associate for the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana and Jason Hatton, director of the Bartholomew County Public Library. The event is free and light refreshments will be served.

Banned Books Week is an annual event sponsored by the American Library Association that celebrates the freedom to read. Events are held in libraries, schools and cultural organizations across the U.S. to highlight attempts to censor books and the efforts of libraries and educators to push back against censorship.

For more information about this event, visit and for more information about Banned Books Week, visit