August 15, 2014 6:01 a.m.
First the good, uplifting, inspiring news: Four local high school students were honored this week as Southwest Washington winners in the first Congressional Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Academic Competition. Led by first-place winner Mason Bruce of Vancouver's St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic College Preparatory, the students were honored for software applications — or apps — they invented. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, was on hand to laud the students for their creative work, which reflects a push to boost STEM education across the country. And on Thursday, Gov. Jay Inslee announced a new grant that will add to the state's efforts.