Classroom briefs

Art, essay contest entries open

The Columbus Human Rights Commission recently announced that submissions are open for the 2024 J. Irwin Miller Art Contest and the Benjamin M. King Essay Contest. The contests are open to students in grades 5-12.

Students will be divided into three divisions, and one winner will be selected for both contests from each division. Students are welcome to enter one or both contests. Divisions are:

Division 1: Grades 5-6

Division 2: Grades 7-8

Division 3: Grades 9-12

Winners will be selected anonymously by a panel of volunteer judges, and each winner will receive a $100 award, an ward-winning book and tickets to the 2024 Human Rights Commission’s Annual Dinner.

The deadline for submissions is Monday, April 30 at 5 p.m.

The Human Rights Commission is also seeking judges for the contests. Those interesting in volunteering should contact the Human Rights Commission office, 123 Washington St., by Tuesday, April 25.

For more information, visit the Human Rights Commission website at, call 812-376-2532, or email [email protected].

College to offer CampGRIZ

FRANKLIN — Franklin College is offering a distinctive summer camp tailored for sixth to ninth grade students called CampGRIZ, a week-long immersive experience that instills the importance of career-technical education and exploration, postsecondary readiness and digital fluency in a dynamic world.

The camp will take place from Monday, June 10 through Friday, June 14 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day. Morning and afternoon snacks, as well as lunch, will be provided to all campers at no additional cost.

Participants in the camp will receive direct instruction from Franklin College faculty, engage with current students and alumni, and explore the advantages of higher education to empower them in achieving their aspirations. Participants will cover diverse fields such as science, technology, engineering, mathematics and the arts with the assistance of Franklin College professionals.

The five hands-on learning experiences provided this year for students to choose from include:

· “AquaQuest” – Dive deep into stream ecology with AquaQuest. Join our team of ecologists to explore local streams, learn about water sampling, study macroinvertebrates and discover fish. Experience hands-on techniques used by environmental biologists to monitor stream health and its inhabitants.

· “Catapults and Trebuchets” – Explore hands-on physics in Catapults and Trebuchets. Unleash your scientific curiosity and craftsmanship as you construct and operate a real catapult, discovering the principles behind hurling heavy objects through the air.

· “Clay Creations” – Get hands-on with Clay Creations. Dive into the world of clay, exploring techniques like slab, coil and pinch construction. Discover the joy of crafting clay pieces from scratch in this exciting and creative experience.

· “Creative Writing” – Unleash your creativity in Creative Writing. Explore the art of crafting stories, poems, and personal essays, drawing inspiration from established authors as you craft your own masterpiece.

· “Startup Camp” – Embark on the journey of entrepreneurship in Startup Camp. This dynamic experience blends practical lessons with hands-on creativity, empowering aspiring leaders, builders, and innovators to lay the foundation for their own startups.

The cost per camper is $275. Students who qualify for free-reduced priced lunch can apply to attend the camp at no cost. Limited free bus transportation will be provided for campers in Marion County who can transport to and from one of the designated bus pickup locations.

The camp will conclude on Friday with a late afternoon Family-Community event where campers’ families are invited to campus to view and watch final projects and demonstrations, interact with camp staff and community partners, tour campus and learn about postsecondary opportunities and resources for their children.

CampGRIZ is made possible through the Lilly Endowment Inc. Indiana Youth Programs on Campus (IYPC) initiative.

For more information and to register, visit

Parks to have open house

Columbus Parks and Recreation will have an open house and ribbon cutting ceremony for its new Parks and Recreation Headquarters and Community Center at NexusPark on Friday, April 12 from 4 to 6 p.m. The ribbon cutting will take place at 4:10 p.m.

All Parks and Recreation facilities and the Circle K Fieldhouse will be open to the public during the open house.

Free concessions will be provided by the Columbus Parks Foundation.

Entries sought for competition

WASHINGTON — Rep. Greg Pence, R-Indiana, announced entries are being sought for the annual Congressional Art Competition.

Each spring, a nation-wide high school arts competition is sponsored by the Congressional Institute. The Artistic Discovery Contest, now in its 43rd year, is an opportunity to recognize and encourage the artistic talent throughout the nation, as well as in the Sixth Congressional District.

The Artistic Discovery Contest is open to all high school students in the Sixth District. The winning artwork of our district’s competition will be displayed for one year in the U.S. Capitol.

The exhibit in Washington will include the winning artwork from all participating districts from around the country. The winning artwork is also featured on’s Congressional Art Competition page, and the winner will receive two round-trip tickets to Washington D.C. to attend a reception and meet Pence.

The following is a summary of the Congressional Art Competition rules:

Artwork entered in the contest may be up to 26 inches by 26 inches, may be up to 4 inches in depth, and not weigh more than 15 pounds. Artwork must arrive framed and must still measure no larger than the above maximum dimensions.

  • Paintings – including oil, acrylics, and watercolor
  • Drawings – including pastels, colored pencil, pencil, charcoal, ink, and markers (It is recommended that charcoal and pastel drawings be fixed.)
  • Collages – must be two dimensional
  • Prints – including lithographs, silkscreen, and block prints
  • Mixed Media – use of more than two mediums such as pencil, ink, watercolor, etc.
  • Computer-generated art
  • Photography

All entries must be original in concept, design and execution and may not violate any U.S. copyright laws. Any entry that has been copied from an existing photo or image (including a painting, graphic, or advertisement) that was created by someone other than the student is a violation of the competition rules and will not be accepted. Work entered must be in the original medium (that is, not a scanned reproduction of a painting or drawing).

The deadline to submit artwork is May 3rd, 2024. For an entry form, visit