Despite the cold temperatures over a thousand students still turned up for the 3rd Annual Night of Innovation hosted by the Franklin-Simpson Middle School on Nov. 14.

"It is set up, really to get students exposure to maybe things that they aren't used to in a normal school setting, but in either professions or things they might find interesting," said Justin Mitchell, organizer for the event and an 8th grade social studies teacher at FSMS.

He said the night is to show not only students, but also their parents that learning can be fun and doesn't have to stop once high school or college is over.

"It started off as an assignment for one of my classes at Western [Kentucky University] and it has grown into something that our school district and our community have continued to request that we do, so we try to come up with, since it is the night of innovation, some new things each year," Mitchell said.

The WKU Alpha Phi Alpha step group performed twice, which was a new activity added to the event this year. A DJ and scratch station taught by Matt Holmes, a 7th grade language arts teacher at FSMS who has been DJing for the past 20 years, was also a new setup for students and parents to see.

"It is nice to show kids and give them the opportunity to go out and do this kind of stuff," Holmes said. "It is fun to watch kids that have an interest in music actually see and participate in what they hear on the radio all the time."

One of the art stations was fresco painting taught by Michael Nichols, an art teacher at WKU who was invited to the event. He said it sounded like a fun time and he heard it was a pretty popular night.

Fresco painting is actually his medium of choice, though it is a very ancient technique that is rare, he said.

"I consider myself a fresco advocate, so it might be fun to go and show people the technique that many people don't see," Nichols said.

Logan Wilson, 13, who attends FSMS, said one of the best stations at the Night of Innovation was the woodburning station. He was working on burning a design into a block of wood.

"We try to have a variety of things, you may not like everything here, but maybe you'll find something that you'll like," Mitchell said.

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