Competition sparks local ideas

Students across the Shoals area are using their creativity to make the area a better place through the Shoals Spark competition.

Shoals Spark is a competition to foster ideas to enhance the Shoals area. It is open to middle school, high school and college students.

Students are allowed to submit ideas on any topic, such as education, business, recreation and community development, according to the press release.

Sophomore Chuck Davis said he thinks this competition will allow young people to contribute to the community in ways they may not have had the opportunity to before.

“I think it will challenge the older generation to look at (ideas) from a new perspective because it’s different,” Davis said.

Students submitted 3-minute videos explaining their idea before the Feb. 5 deadline. They were allowed to work as individuals or in teams and submit multiple entries, according to the website.

As encouragement, those who submitted an idea received a free T-shirt.

Judges will judge the students’ ideas based on the problem the idea addresses, imagination and creativity, potential idea benefits, idea practicality and student presentation.

Between the Feb. 5 deadline and Feb. 22, judges will review submissions.

The chosen students will submit their ideas for the Shoals Spark finale March 8 at 5p.m. in the Guillott University Center.

This event is free and open to the public, according to the press release.

Contestant officials will notify participants the judges selected by Feb. 22.

Sophomore Spencer Finch said he is glad to hear the community is taking steps to ensure everyone has an idea to voice their ideas.

This competition is an initiative under the Shoals Shift, a program grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission funds.

This initiative involves local partners, such as UNA, The Shoals Chamber of Commerce, Shoals Entrepreneurial Center, Florence-Lauderdale Public Library and Listerhill Credit Union.