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IdeaFestival Bowling Green 2019

How old do participants need to be to attend?
IdeaFestival Bowling Green is designed for middle and high school students and interested community members, but there is no age requirement. We ask that all participants be able to be mature enough to sit quietly during the speaker sessions, be respectful of the activities space, etc. 

Do I have to be part of a school to attend or can anyone come to the festival?
Anyone can attend! Individual registration is available.

How will lunch work?
Lunch is provided to all IFBG participants at Fresh Food Company, the main cafeteria on campus, located on the first floor of the Downing Student Union (DSU); the cost of lunch at Fresh is included in the cost of the registration fee. When participants check into the festival in the morning, they will be provided with a lunch pass to use at Fresh (please note: we cannot replace lost lunch passes.) Participants can get lunch during the activities time; activities will be located on the third floor of DSU. Because WKU classes will be in session, the cafeteria may be crowded. We will designate lunch times to each school group to help with overcrowding.

Other options: We know that some participants will be eager to try out some restaurants not normally available to them. Please note, however, two things: first: we cannot reimburse you if you do not eat at Fresh. Second: we plan on participants eating during the activities time, so eating at a location other than Fresh could reduce the time you have to spend at the activities. All campus restaurants will be operating on a normal schedule. Links to a list of restaurants, map, and hours of operation can be found on the WKU Restaurant Group webpage: https://www.wku.edu/wkurg/

Will food be available before lunch?
The morning speaker sessions will be at Van Meter Hall. Please note that there are no restaurants or coffee shops in Van Meter, so you will need to eat breakfast (and get coffee as needed!) before arriving at the festival.

Do I need to pre-register?
Yes; due to space constraints, all participants must be registered in order to attend.

When does registration start?
Registration will open for the 2019 festival on December 3; if you are on our email list, you will be notified when registration is open. Click the Request Information button on our homepage to get on our email list. Note: The Center for Gifted Studies will be closed for WKU's winter break December 15 - January 1. Any registrations received during that time will be processed when we reopen.

What will be the last day to register?
The last day to register will be January 30; if we sell out before that date, you will be placed on a waiting list.

When will payment be due?
Payment will be due by January 31. Anyone who has not paid by that date will be moved off the registration list in order to accommodate those on the wait list. 

Is there a limit on how many students can attend from one school?
Up to 50 students from each school may attend. If you have more who want to come, contact us and we’ll see what we can work out.

What if you sell out?
We will have a waiting list and notify you as soon as possible if we can fit your group in.

Do chaperones pay?
Each school will receive one free chaperone registration per every ten students attending. Bus drivers will also receive free registration. 

What if I bring a different number of students than I registered for?
Please be as accurate as you can when you register and notify us if your numbers change before the payment deadline of January 31. If you bring fewer students than you registered for, we cannot provide refunds after January 31. On the day of the event, if you bring more students than you registered for and provide payment for them, we will attempt to accommodate them but cannot guarantee we will have space. Contact us with any questions or concerns.

Is there a choice of speaker sessions?
All participants will see all speakers.


Will all the activities be the same as last year?
No; although a few may be the same, most of our returning activity creators will be changing things up. We also will have brand-new activity creators with brand-new experiences to share. Additionally, we encourage participants to take the opportunity to talk to the creators about their work and career paths; to reflect on how ideas in the speaker sessions apply to the hands-on, minds-on activities; and to share their own ideas with other participants. 


What is the schedule for the day, and what if we need to leave early?
The day will begin with registration and live music from 8-9:00 a.m. CST at Van Meter Hall. Starting at 9:00 a.m. CST, there will be two speaker sessions with a break in between with more music. At 11:25, participants will go to lunch and explore the activities at the Downing Student Union until 2:30 p.m. CST. If your school needs to leave early, we can schedule you for the earliest lunchtime, but we the activities will not be available until after the speaker sessions. 


May participants bring cell phones?
Yes; we trust our participants to use their technology sensibly and respectfully. During the speaker sessions, we encourage the audience to submit questions to speakers via Twitter, and we love when participants take photos of activities, especially when they tag us. We are on Twitter at @IdeaFestivalBG, Instagram at @ideafestivalbg, and Facebook at IdeaFestival Bowling Green. For all posts, use the hashtag #IFBG19.


Where do we park?
Parking information will be sent out and posted here in early February.


Where will we be on campus?
Our morning speaker sessions will be in Van Meter Hall, which is at the top of the hill on campus. After, participants will walk down the hill to Downing Student Union for lunch and activities, where they will stay for the remainder of the festival. See the WKU campus map.


What if I have questions about accessibility and accommodations?
Please let us know on the registration form if anyone in your group will need assistance getting from Van Meter Hall to the Downing Student Union. Please also let us know on that form about any other accessibility/accommodations questions or concerns. You can also contact us via email or phone at erika.solberg@wku.edu or (270) 745-3015.


How should my students prepare for the festival?
After you register, will sending out a packet with ways to engage your students before and after the festival.


What happens in the event of bad weather?
In the case of bad weather, we will notify registered individuals and school groups as soon as possible of any delays or cancellations. We will make every effort to hold the festival because rescheduling will likely not be feasible. If WKU has not closed on February 13, we will hold the festival, even if some school districts have closed due to weather. Refunds will only be given if WKU is closed or if your school district closes.


Updated December 12,  2018.

IdeaFestival Bowling Green Just Imagine logo

February 13, 2019

Van Meter Hall & Downing Student Union
Western Kentucky University


Minds-on, Hands-on, Activities


Past Festivals



Participant Engagement Material/Contests





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 Last Modified 1/30/19