By Olivia Buster, ’20
Teacher Laura Moore glances around the dark auditorium. Flashes of white light emit from the phones of her students. The faint sound of pencils moving fervently against notepads is barely audible over the booming voice of a passionate speaker. The speaker is one of many who presented at Chicago Ideas Week, a week dedicated to spreading ideas and supporting innovation.
After students and teachers attended, they were left inspired by the speakers’ stories of success, failures and determination. On Feb. 9, UAHS will have its own day dedicated to the exchange of ideas, the first of its kind in any high school in Ohio.
“Idea Day is a day of interactive workshops, dynamic speakers, and experiences that are intended to push students outside the norm of day to day academics, and give them . . . different ideas or different ways of seeing the world,” Moore said.
Moore is an event organizer for Idea Day, which is modeled after Chicago Ideas Week.
“We were in a dark auditorium, you could hardly see anything, and they started taking notes even if they didn’t have to with the flashlight on their phones, because they wanted to write things down that they were so moved by. I’ve never seen students take out a notepad and voluntarily start taking notes before in a lecture, in my life,” Moore said, reflecting on her trip to Chicago Ideas Week.
Students will be introduced to motivational speaker Shaun Derick and inventor Chris Hawker to kick off the start of Idea Day. Like Chicago Ideas Week, there is a theme centered around multiple sessions and speakers. After, students will be introduced to a panel of speakers as well. Students will attend sessions in categories such as business, innovation, humanities, visual arts, performing arts, health and wellness, STEM and life skills.
Idea Day is partially student-run, having both teachers and students in charge of different aspects. Committees have chairmen in charge of multiple subjects such as transportation, social media and staging.
Students on the Idea Day committee include sophomores Rachel Berk, Grabiel Shell, and Audrey Strickling; juniors Dylan Carlston; seniors Lily Goldberg, Ben Hobson, Jack Weimer and Cindy Tang.
“Since this is so student-oriented and so student-involved, it’s going to be something people are actually going to love,” said senior Cindy Tang, operations and project director of Idea Day.
The event will be highlighting a wide range of speakers, including UA alum Disha Shidham. Shidham created the app Savy that allows costumers to shop online while making offers on the amount they want to pay for items. In the proccess of creating her app, Shidham learned that failure is essential to improvement, and is excited to speak to current students about her endeavors as a business woman.
“The fact that UA is dedicating an entire day to explore the value in failure and other unconventional ideas that can ultimately lead you to the life you want to live is absolutely incredible,” Shidham said.