The fifth annual IdeaFestival Bowling Green will be held in the Van Meter Auditorium and Downing Student Union at WKU from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Feb. 15.
Presented by The Center for Gifted Studies at WKU, this year’s festival expects more than 800 participants from 14 middle and high schools. The morning speaker sessions and afternoon hands-on, minds-on activities will focus on the theme of “What’s the Big Idea?"
Rickey Williams of the WKU Forensics team will emcee the morning speaker sessions from 9 a.m. to noon in Van Meter Auditorium. The audience will listen to talks by representatives of a wide range of fields and have a chance to ask questions.
The first speaker session, titled “Making the Big Idea a Reality: Lessons from Entrepreneurs,” will feature Sarah Nuse, founder and CEO of Tippi Toes Dance; WKU gradate Muamer Razic, founder of Level Lacrosse; and Phillip Ashley Rix, founder and co-owner of Philip Ashley Chocolates.
The second speaker session, titled “Sharing the Big Idea: Why Knowledge Is Power,” will include Kristina Talbert-Slagle, assistant professor at the Yale School of Medicine; Jessica Bellamy, infographic designer/social entrepreneur and Adobe Creative Resident; and Natalie Hinkel, planetary astrophysicist at Vanderbilt University.
This year’s festival also features an afternoon of hands-on, minds-on activities on the third floor of the Downing Student Union from noon to 2:30 p.m. Makerspaces will be created by Jennifer Sheffield of the Green River Region Educational Cooperative, Anne Heintzman of WKU Makerspace, The Maker Mobile and the Kentucky Science Center. The Kentucky Innovation Network will have 3-D printing pens, and the Potter Gray Elementary School Science and Technology Leadership Program will teach participants how to code on computers provided by Dataseam. In addition, local artist Andee Rudloff will facilitate the painting of a mural created specifically for IdeaFestival Bowling Green 2018; Sublime Puppets of Sublime Media will teach puppeteering for TV and film; and engineering educators Newton’s Attic will bring SPINtron, a multi-axis trainer that simulates what an astronaut experiences in a capsule on re-entry.
In addition, several activities will be provided by WKU students, including a poetry station with Hunter Little, WKU graduate student in creative writing; Animal Anatomy 101 with the Bioambassadors of the WKU Department of Biology; and “Are You Smarter Than an Honors College Student?,” where participants will compete in strategy games against students from WKU’s Mahurin Honors College. The American Printing House for the Blind will present Graphiti, a multilevel tactile graphics display, and artist Leslie Nichols will exhibit her work and guide participants in making art at “Typewriters, Women’s History, and Images.” Also, Rico Tyler of WKU’s SKyTeach will show students how to make microscopes with their smartphones, AT&T will demonstrate its virtual reality simulators; the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce will share its mission with festival-goers; and the WKU’s Admissions Office will run a selfie station.
Finally, participants will have the chance to chat with the festival’s speakers one-on-one, and to share their own big ideas with Idea Mentors, WKU undergraduate and graduate students who will listen, ask questions and inspire.
Lead sponsors for the festival are VidMonster and the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce. AT&T is a Supporting Sponsor. Additional sponsors include The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky, the Kentucky Innovation Network, the WKU New Business Accelerator, the WKU Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and the Mahurin Honors College at WKU.
IdeaFestival Bowling Green is done in agreement with IdeaFestival® and supports its mission to “create a dynamic ‘space’ to promote curiosity, disruptive innovation and relevance.”