Manual students organize, present at third annual JCPS IdeaFestival



Mukund Venkatakrishnan (11, MST) discusses his innovative project, which giving his presentation. Photo by Josh Jean-Marie.

Fons Cervera

JCPS take the stage of the 2016 district-wide Ideafestival, held at the Kentucky Science Center. Photo by Josh Jean-Marie.
A panel discussion takes place on the stage at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts. Photo by Josh Jean-Marie.

Students and community members hosted the third annual JCPS IdeaFestival at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts and Kentucky Science Center yesterday. Nine Manual students presented at the event, and many more attended with an excused absence as part of a school field trip.

JCPS board chair David Jones Jr. observed the program, which he said demonstrates the courage of today’s young people to discuss challenging topics.

“I find the topics that the students pick to talk about are always interesting,” he said. “Innovation is important to everything. I think you can innovate in absolutely anything and make things better. Take what’s not working and work on it, and try to do it better.”

Manual students have been involved with the planning of JCPS IdeaFestival since the inaugural event two years ago. Erin Woggon (12, J&C), a member of the JCPS IdeaFestival committee, said that the team tried to incorporate leaders from additional local schools.

“We started organizing in May, and we decided that this would be the year that we would bring in organizers from other schools in addition to Manual,” Woggon said. “Overall, I think it went really well.”

Event attendee Ginny Reams (10, HSU) said that she appreciated the diversity of presentation topics, and she was impressed by the accomplishments of her fellow students.

Mukund Venkatakrishnan (11, MST) discusses his innovative project, which giving his presentation. Photo by Josh Jean-Marie.
Mukund Venkatakrishnan (11, MST) discusses his innovative science fair project. Photo by Josh Jean-Marie.

“Mukund’s presentation was my favorite part because it wasn’t just an idea, it is something he has put in place that has the potential to impact the world,” Reams said. “Teenagers can make a significant impact on the world.”

Mukund Venkatakrishnan (11, MST) presented on a custom hearing aid that he developed through his research for last year’s science fair.

The JCPS IdeaFestival committee is currently taking applications for those who would like to organize next year’s program. Visit their website for more information.

Special thanks to On the Record‘s Josh Jean-Marie and Cameron Daniel for their assistance with this coverage.