The new season of Project Runway which premiered this week features two St. Louis contestants: A.J. THOUVENOT is a 26-year-old designer for TrashBiscuit, a local independent fashion label. And 31-year-old MICHAEL DRUMMOND is a knitwear designer and freelance stylist. Tune in to Lifetime every Thursday to see what’s in store for these two for the remainder of Season 8!

    The SAINT LOUIS SCIENCE CENTER is growing: On the day it celebrated its 25th anniversary, the Science Center announced it’s breaking ground on a new, 13,000-square-foot exhibition hall. Scheduled to open next summer, the facility will connect to the east side of the Science Center and will eventually replace the Exploradome to accommodate traveling exhibitions.

    The DONALD DANFORTH PLANT SCIENCE CENTER has been named one of 2010’s ‘Best Places to Work in Academia.’ The Scientist magazine ranks the Center 18th on its survey, up from No. 66 last year. Care to learn who came in first? Princeton University.

    Harris-Stowe State Univer sity president HENRY GIVENS, JR. is in Washington, attending his first meeting as a member of the Capital Financing Advisory Board for the White House’s Initiative of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). The HBCU panel provides advice and counsel to the Secretary of Education and informs Congress on the progress of the program. The Obama Administration appointed Givens to the board earlier this year.

    St. Louisan PATRICK ERCOLE is in the running as a finalist for the 2010 Energizer Keep Going Hall of Fame, a program that celebrates everyday people who live with passion and perseverance. For 10 years, the 27-year-old founder of Organization for Community Health Outreach has been part of a medical mission team to a town called Atima, one of the most underserved and remote areas of Honduras. He’s also working to build a health center there. Ercole is one of 10 finalists from across the country vying for the Hall of Fame honor. Ercole works as a statistician and consultant for the Goldfarb School of Nursing. If he wins, he’ll get a $10,000 cash prize, plus a $5,000 donation to his favorite charity. To vote for Ercole, visit

    Best-selling suspense author RIDLEY PEARSON won’t have very far to go for his next book-signing. Pearson, who calls St. Louis home, will make an Aug. 6 appearance to discuss his latest book, In Harm’s Way, at St. Louis County Library headquarters. The author and his family divide their time between St. Louis and Sun Valley, Idaho, which serves as the setting for the new book, as well as Pearson’s popular Killer series.

    St. Louis author and financial go-to guy LARRY SWEDROE is out with Wise Investing Made Simpler, his follow up to Wise Investing Made Simple. Swedroe’s premise is that sound investing isn’t rocket science, just good old-fashioned common sense and a willingness to look past what he calls the marketing machine of Wall Street. Swedroe is a principal with and director of research for Buckingham Family of Financial Services.

    Shop ‘til you drop (and for a good cause)! Beginning Aug. 1, every time you use your SAKS FIFTH AVENUE credit card at the St. Louis store, Saks will donate 10 percent of the total to one of five following charities: FOOD OUTREACH, FRIENDS OF WINGS, HAVEN HOUSE, HUMANE SOCIETY OF MISSOURI or the SAINT LOUIS ART MUSEUM. The charity drive ends Oct. 1.