IdeaFestival Bowling Green 2018: What's the Big Idea?
Student Engagement Activities
One of our goals at this year’s IdeaFestival Bowling Green is to increase the engagement of the participants. To get the most out of the festival, we would love for students to come in having begun to think about some of the ideas our speakers and activity creators will be exploring with them; to use their time at the festival to connect ideas, ask questions, and share their own ideas; and after the festival to think about what they have learned and what ideas they would like to explore further.
To that end, we are providing teachers with suggested activities to do with their students. These activities are not required, but they can make the IdeaFestival Bowling Green experience more exciting and more valuable. Please let us know if you have any suggestions for what we can do in the future to support your teaching.
Before the festival: General
- Ask your students, “What’s YOUR big idea?”
- Is there something you want to create or do?
- Do you have a new way of looking at a familiar topic?
- Is there a cool connection between ideas you’ve been exploring in school or on your own?
- Do you have a big plan for your life?
- Do you have a big question that you think need to be answered?
- Gather your students’ answers and email them to firstname.lastname@example.org by February 12. We will create a word cloud of the ideas our participants are bringing to the festival.
- Encourage your students to visit the Idea Mentors during the afternoon activities time to share their big ideas with others.
Before the festival: Speaker Sessions
- Read and share the packet of information about our speakers, including links to articles, video clips, and websites. Using these materials, ask
your students to answer these questions:
- What do you think this person’s big idea is?
- What interests you about this speaker?
- What questions would you like to ask this speaker — about their work, about their field, about their background, etc.? (There will be a question and answer panel at the end of each of the speaker sessions where you can tweet question to the speakers, using the hashtag #IGBG18. You will also have the opportunity to talk to the speakers yourself during the afternoon activities at Speaker Chats.)
- Also included are questions our speakers would like your students to think about before and after they listen to their talks. Share these questions with your students and have a discussion, or ask them to write some answers in response, etc. They may even want to share their answers with the speakers during the afternoon’s Speaker Chats.
At the festival: Speaker Sessions
- Encourage your students to think about the following during the speaker sessions:
- In the word cloud of Big Ideas, do other people seem interested in the same things you are? Are there any topics you’d like to think or talk more about?
- Did you correctly guess what each person’s big idea is?
- Did the speakers touch on any of the questions they asked you ahead of time?
- Encourage them to tweet their questions to the speakers using the hashtag #IFBG18
After the festival: Speaker Sessions.
- Some questions to explore with your students:
- Which speaker would you most like to have dinner with? Why?
- Which big idea resonated with you the most?
- How did the speaker meet or not meet your expectations? What ideas did they share that most interested you?
- How could you pursue some of the ideas the speakers talked about?
- Talk to your students about their answers to the questions posed by the speakers in the information packet for after their talks.
- Encourage your students to fill out the survey that will be sent out after the festival, including suggestions for next year’s speakers.
Before the festival: Activities
- Read the packet of information about the activities. Using this information, ask your students to plan out their afternoon by listing the top four activities that they want to do. Have them explain their choices.
- Also included in the packet are questions our activity creators would like your students to think about before and after they experience the activities. Share these questions with your students and have a discussion, ask them to write some answers in response, etc.
- Encourage your students to visit the Idea Mentors to share ideas and interact with students from other schools.
At the festival: Activities
- Encourage participants to take time to talk to the activity creators about their work and career paths and their answers to the question the creators listed in the packet.
- Encourage participants to reflect on how ideas in the speaker sessions connect to the activities.
After the festival: Activities
- Some questions to explore with your students:
- Which activity did you learn the most from? Why?
- Which activity did you find most interesting? Why?
- Which activity did you want to explore more? Why?
- How could you pursue some of the ideas the activities presented?
- Talk to your students about their answers to the questions posed by the activity creators in the information packet for after experiencing the activities.
- Encourage your students to fill out the survey that will be sent out after the festival, including suggestions for next year’s activities.
After the festival: General
- Did you have an ah-ha moment at the festival? What was it?
- Has the big idea you arrived with changed?
- What new, big ideas do you have now?