Registration open for first ideas challenge at KU

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

LAWRENCE, KS—The University of Kansas Libraries and partners will host Ideate Lawrence, an ideas challenge, on Saturday, October 24 at 10 a.m. in the Learning Studio at Anschutz Library. The event is designed to encourage interdisciplinary teams of students, faculty, researchers and the Lawrence-area community to generate community-based solutions for water related problems facing the Lawrence area and beyond.

Ideate Lawrence will feature a combination of water and technology related lightening talks, as well as workshops on accessing available resources. Teams will be formed on site and be given time to brainstorm before delivering a pitch at the end of the day. Community experts and mentors will be on hand to assist teams in idea development.

“Hackathons and related idea challenges provide platforms to collaboratively build new solutions using freely-available data and technology to improve our communities and the governments that serve them,” said Dr. Pam Lach, head of KU Libraries Center for Faculty Initiatives and Engagement. “The water theme was chosen for its role as one of our most important resources, and also because it is instrumental in research at KU.” More information about KU’s excellent resources and renowned faculty and staff for water research can be found at

The ideas challenge is intended to prompt a broad approach to questions of water that span all disciplines, from the sciences to the humanities.

“This challenge is an example of the type of programming we would like to encourage in the Learning Studio—collaborative, innovative and community-building,” said Sofia Leung, Learning Studio coordinator.

Ideate Lawrence will serve as the precursor to a spring hackathon, in which teams will use open-source technology and available data to solve local water related problems identified during the ideas challenge. The KU Libraries partners for the fall challenge include the Lawrence Public Library, Natural History Museum, KU Information Technology, First Year Experience, University Career Center, Center for Civic and Social Responsibility and Center for Sustainability.

“Ideate Lawrence 2015: Water” is free and open to the public. No prior technical experience or knowledge is needed to participate, though pre-registration is strongly encouraged. The challenge will be the culminating event of the 2015 Open Access Week: Open for Collaboration.

To pre-register and learn more about the challenge, visit

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