IdeaFestival Bowling Green Photos

Photo by Bryan Lemon
Photo by Bryan Lemon

The theme of IFBG in 2014 was “Creativity and Innovation.” The nine session speakers were all superb examples of the innovation that is happening in Kentucky. Speakers from Hitcents, Fruit of the Loom, Kentucky Bourbon Trail, Alltech, Connected Nation, and Kentucky Space addressed topics from product innovation to satellite design to economic collaboration.

Dana Bowers, founder of iPay Technologies, explored her entrepreneurial journey and urged the dreamers in the crowd to start their own businesses.

Chris Young and Andrew Swanson, the director and executive producer, respectively, of a Kickstarter-funded TV pilot called Alone Down There, explained how a TV show gets made in 2014.

Kim Huston, author of Small Town Sexy, touched on the movement back toward smaller towns like Bardstown, KY, which was named the “Most Beautiful Small Town in America” by USA Today and Rand McNally.

The keynote speaker was Bill Capodagli, who presented Dreams and Dreamers: How to Innovate Like Walt Disney and the Pixarians.

Photos from IdeaFestival Bowling Green can be seen below.

VAMPY 2013: STEAM Labs Photos

STEAM Labs was taught by Nielsen Pereira at VAMPY 2013. Here’s how the class was described on the VAMPY website:

People around the world now design and build Rube Goldberg®-style machines to satisfy society’s fascination with the creative contraptions. Apply the engineering design process to construct STEAM Machines™ (chain reaction machines that run on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math concepts) using everyday objects and technology such as motors, sensors, and micro-controllers. You will learn real-world engineering skills, gain experience with systems thinking and multi-team collaboration, and start exploring pathways to better understand careers in engineering.

Photos from the class can be seen below.

VAMPY 2013: Problem Solving Photos

Problems You Have Never Solved Before was taught by Catherine Poteet and Amar Patel at VAMPY 2013. Here’s how the course was described on the VAMPY website:

Have you ever had to build a boat out of concrete? Mail a potato chip? Find a way to clean polluted water? Drop an egg with only a few sheets of paper to safely catch it as it hits the ground? This class is designed to stretch your problem-solving and creative thinking skills. You will be required to solve unique, real-world related problems, and then communicate your processes and findings.

Photos from the class can be seen below.

Aquabots Summer Camp Photos

Simpson County Schools hosted the Aquabots Summer Camp last week. Here’s how Community Education Director Robin Hollingsworth described the camp: “This camp provides a hands-on experience for middle school girls in 7th and 8th grades who are not exposed to the engineering designs, information technology tools, and science concepts related to engineering and technology careers. The goal of the camp is to increase awareness at the career opportunities in the local industries that utilize these skills. Aquabots will introduce the Waterbotics, an underwater curriculum and program disseminated through a National Science Foundation grant.”

Here is a slideshow of photos from the camp.

Click here to listen to a podcast with Robin about the Aquabots Summer Camp.

VAMPY 2012: Rube Goldbergineering Photos

Innovate Kentucky seeks to engage high-ability middle grades, high school and college students through existing and new WKU programs. One of the ways this will be accomplished is through three seminars offered through the Summer Program for Verbally and Mathematically Precocious Youth (VAMPY) – sustainability, Rube Goldbergineering (now called STEAM Machines) and problem solving. Rube Goldbergineering/STEAM Machines is taught by Nielsen Pereira and debuted in 2012. Here are photos from the class as students designed and tested their Rube Goldberg machines.

VAMPY 2012: Sustainability Photos

Innovate Kentucky seeks to engage high-ability middle grades, high school and college students through existing and new WKU programs. One of the ways this will be accomplished is through three seminars offered through the Summer Program for Verbally and Mathematically Precocious Youth (VAMPY) – sustainability, Rube Goldbergineering (now called STEAM Machines) and problem solving. Sustainability is taught by David Baxter and Jennifer Smith Sheffield and debuted in 2012. Here are photos from the class field trip to farms in Bowling Green: O’Daniel Farms, Need More Acres farm, Western Kentucky University Farm, and River Cottage Farm.

Capturing the Innovative Spirit Photos

As part of the initiative’s mission to inspire young innovators, Innovate Kentucky sponsored a winter colloquium in 2013 called “Capturing the Innovative Spirit” that focused on the entrepreneurial process. Taught by J. Krist Schell – Executive-in-Residence in Management at WKU – the course featured a field trip to the Innoplexx, the newly launched Student Business Accelerator at The Center for Research and Development. A partner with Innovate Kentucky, the Innoplexx opened the students’ eyes to the opportunities available to young entrepreneurs at WKU.

Girls in Science STEM Day Photos

As a follow-up to the Kentucky Girls STEM Collaborative Conference held October 12 at the National Corvette Museum, Western Kentucky University welcomed girls in grades 5-8 for an afternoon of hands-on, minds-on exploration into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Female STEM practitioners and educators led girls through activities that mirrored real-world STEM tasks and highlighted creative and innovative problem solving. Participants also learned how to best prepare themselves to study STEM fields in high school and college.

The event was facilitated by WKU’s SKyTeach program.

Research Louisville Photos

The Louisville Science Center was buzzing with activity during Research Louisville, as students from  St. Martha in Jefferson County, Phoenix School of Discovery in Jefferson County, Our Lady of Lourdes in Jefferson County, Carter G. Woodson Academy in Fayette County, T.K. Stone Middle School in Hardin County and Adair County Middle School in Adair County observed hands-on demonstrations of research being done in the medical field. Innovate Kentucky had the chance to follow students from TK Stone as they attended demonstrations by the Just for Kids Transport Team and the Paris Simulation Center. Both demonstrations featured life-like dummies that captured the students’ attention and inspired their imagination.

See Blue STEM Camp LEGO Robotics Class Photos

The LEGO Robotics class at the See Blue STEM Camp was a hive of activity the day Innovate Kentucky visited. After constructing their robots the day before, campers set out to program their robots to perform a series of tasks. The first few tasks, which challenged campers to move their robot a set distance and back without knocking over a LEGO figurine, were a warm-up compared to the second set of tasks.

The second set of tasks required campers to program their robots to navigate through an obstacle course and land within a designated area. After that, campers would program their robots to complete the same challenge backwards. It was a challenging task that required precise programming and plenty of trial and error on the part of the campers.