look at emergency room visits due to asthma and other breathing conditions that could be brought on by secondhand smoke. The rate of decline in asthma visits to the emergency room was 24 percent for adults and 18 percent for children. This is one of those measurable impacts in a reasonably short period of time. Professor Hahn has also been working with a lot of communities throughout Kentucky. She had a conference about two or three months ago where approximately 150 people came from around the state to learn how to position their communities to be smoke-free communities. She is to be applauded for her efforts in this study.
Congressmen Hal Rogers and Representative Geoff Davis visited campus recently to unveil more than $1,426 million in federal funds to support research at the UK Center for Applied Energy Research on refining coal into liquid transportation fuels. The university has a pilot plant at the center to do that, but this allows the university to enhance that plant and at the same time look at some carbon sequestrations to make that plant more environmentally acceptable. There is another $1 million earmark lined up behind that, and in addition, the Secretary of Energy and Environment Cabinet Len Peters contributed $350,000. The university now has a good amount of money to go after that issue.
The UK Center for Computational Sciences that Dr. John Connolly has headed for a number of years has won a grant from the National Science Foundation for $2.7 million. This is a consortium with the University of Florida, the University of Illinois, and the University of Maryland for the grid's cyberinfrastructure. Appearing in contracts with those types of universities with that level of funding should be drawn to the Board's attention.
The "Class of Kentucky" was greeted on the football field at a recent football game. This is an initiative that was a brainstorm with Kelley Bozeman and Catherine Edelen. The concept was to approach the high school counselors in every high school in Kentucky and ask them to nominate their top sophomore. Those sophomores are invited to campus during the summer for a campus tour. There is a luncheon, a motivational speaker, and the students are given a certificate. Many times the students bring their parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles. It is the first time that many of them have been on a college campus. The students and their parents are then invited back for a football game. A class of these students graduated from high school, and 25 percent of them came to UK. This initiative is a success, and it is something that will definitely continue.
Former Dean Kay Clawson and former Board member Robert Clay had an idea to start the Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship which involves Transylvania University and the University of Kentucky. The senior senator from each state would nominate a student to come to Lexington for a week