A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

IdeaFestival Student Day for middle, high school students coming to Norton Center on March 29

IdeaFestival Student Day is returning to the Bluegrass Region March 29, highlighted by the unique Career Maker Faire which focuses on helping students with their college and career awareness. IF Bluegrass will take place at the Norton Center for the Arts, presented by the Bluegrass Higher Education Consortium, an initiative of Bluegrass Tomorrow. 

IF Bluegrass, a one-day festival, is free to middle and high school students of the region, and will feature the unique IF Career Maker Faire, featuring hands-on exhibits and demonstrations from colleges, universities, businesses and industries, and it will also focus on college and career choices and STEM disciplines, science, technology, engineering math. Student and young professional speakers will give TED-type presentations which focus on the most popular career pathway strands available in the Bluegrass, according to Individual Learning Plan (ILP) information.

Rob Rumpke, President/CEO of Bluegrass Tomorrow reflected that “last year was a such an immersive experience for students in their quest for knowledge of college and career opportunities ahead. This is such a great service to the community by Centre College and the 11 other BHEC member institutions. It is truly unique because you have 12 colleges and universities, academic programs, businesses, industries and professional organizations all participating giving students something to see, touch, do, see and feel.”

Back again this year is a partnership with KY FAME (Kentucky Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education) and BCTC (Bluegrass Community & Technical College) who presented an advanced manufacturing exhibit featuring a remarkable robotics and virtual interactive display for the students. Bechtel Parsons Bluegrass and the Bluegrass Chemical Agent Pilot Plant also brought interactive robotics.

Some other exhibitor examples:  RJ Corman again gave students an opportunity to drive heavy equipment through its computer simulator.  Sullivan University’s Culinary Program brought six chefs preparing pasta, cheese, and other delectables. Messer Construction gave students the opportunity to work with and see architectural plans on current projects.  The Kentucky State University Aquaculture Program brought their living aquaculture exhibit. GRW Engineers brought interactive engineering schematics.  Morehead State University I.T. offered a thought-provoking virtual experience. And there was so much more there for students to see and experience with over 50 exhibitors.

In the past two years, over 1,300 students have attended and expanded their horizons relating to college and career awareness.

The event is being planned and facilitated by the Bluegrass Higher Education Consortium, which advances the Bluegrass Region academically and economically, and is comprised of the 12 colleges and universities in the region including: Asbury University, Berea College, Bluegrass Community and Technical College, Centre College, Eastern Kentucky University, Georgetown College, Midway University, Morehead State University, Kentucky State University, Sullivan University, Transylvania University and the University of Kentucky.

For more information and Career Maker Faire exhibitor and sponsorship information email Rob Rumpke at rob@bluegrasstomorrow.org.

From Bluegrass Tomorrow        

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