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Fourth annual IdeaFestival Bowling Green March 15 at WKU

The fourth annual IdeaFestival Bowling Green will be held in the Downing Student Union at WKU on March 15 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. CST.

Sponsored by The Center for Gifted Studies at WKU, this year’s festival expects over 600 regional high school and middle school students for morning speaker sessions and afternoon hands-on activities focused on the theme of “Make Nice with your Ideas.” From innovators whose use of technology drives their nice creations to social entrepreneurs whose fresh ideas make the world nicer for everyone, participants will be inspired to make their own “nice” — and with over a dozen hands-on activities, festival-goers will be able to get started making and doing right away.

Zachary Bush, of Zachary Bush Voice and Acting Studio, will start the day by leading participants in an improvised musical warm-up intended to sharpen their minds.

Afterwards, the first of two speaker panels will focus on Creative Technologies. Music video director Max Moore (WKU ’13) of Max Moore Films and Vilas Entertainment; project manager Luiggi Carlin (WKU ’11) of Southern Made Co.; and Megan Tan (WKU ’14), creator and host of the podcast Millennial, will discuss both the many ways to create with technology as well as the many paths one can take to pursue one’s goals.

The second speaker panel will focus on Social Entrepreneurship. Health equity strategist Hannah Drake of IDEAS xLab; Alex Kimura (WKU ’12), executive director and co-founder of Sharing America’s Marrow (SAM); and WKU freshman Kenan Mujkanovic, founder and chief executive officer of Young Visionaries Foundation, will discuss the challenges and triumphs involved in creating innovative strategies to improve our world.

This year’s festival also features an expanded hands-on activities venue on the third floor of the DSU from noon to 2:30 p.m. A makerspace will be created by Ben Hibben of LVL1, Jennifer Sheffield of the Green River Region Educational Cooperative, and Anne Heintzman of WKU Makerspace. The Kentucky Innovation Network will have 3-D printing pens, and the Potter Gray Elementary 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 2017.

Additional activities include Circle Poetry with Leigh Cheek, WKU graduate student in creative writing, and festival speaker Hannah Drake of IDEAS xLab; Pitch Perfect, a pitch practice station with entrepreneur Sarah Nuse of TippiToes Dance; Microscope Madness with the Bioambassadors of the WKU Department of Biology; Positive Postcards, where participants can write postcards to spread positivity with festival speaker Alex Kimura of SAM; and Smartphone Microscopes with WKU’s SKyTeach. Further activities include a photobooth provided by WKU’s Admissions Office, a chance to compete against WKU Honors College students in strategy games, and the opportunity to chat with the morning’s speakers.

Additionally, festival mural facilitator Andee Rudloff’s exhibit “Road Trips & Celebrations” will be open for viewing in the Intercultural Student Engagement Center on the second floor of the DSU, with Rudloff giving an artist’s talk at 1:30. Outside DSU, the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce will set up its popular On Track Cars for viewing.

Sponsors for the festival are The Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce, AT&T, the Kentucky Innovation Network, the WKU Small Business Incubator, the WKU Center of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, WKU Department of Biology, WKU Department of English, WKU Department of Political Science, WKU Center for Citizenship and Social Justice, the WKU Honors College, and WKU School of Journalism and Broadcasting.

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.”

Over 19 Kentucky schools are expected to be in attendance at the festival.

More information on the festival can be found at www.wku.edu/gifted/ideafestivalbg.

Contact: Erika Solberg, erika.solberg@wku.edu or (270) 745-3015

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