Shoals Spark Idea Competition

Shoals Spark

The University of North Alabama wanted to make you aware of an exciting opportunity for students in the Shoals area. Shoals Spark ( is an idea competition for middle school, high school, and college students living in the Shoals area. The purpose is to foster innovation and entrepreneurship by getting young people in our community to generate unique and creative ideas about how to make the Shoals a very cool place to live and work.

What types of ideas?

There are no restrictions on the types of ideas. For example, ideas can be related to business, technology, education, the arts, recreation, families, entertainment, community development, social services, the environment, preservation, sustainability, health care, volunteerism, government, workforce development, philanthropy, special populations (e.g., elderly, homeless), etc. Students can present an idea they think would make the Shoals a better place to live and work.

How can teachers incorporate Shoals Spark into their classrooms?

To assist teachers with incorporating the idea competition into their classrooms, our team has worked in conjunction with UNA faculty to develop over 30 lesson plans that meet Alabama College- and Career Readiness (CCRS) standards across a variety of content areas. To view the Shoals Spark lesson plans, go to

Who can participate?

  •        Any middle school, high school, or college student
  •        Individuals and/or teams (of any size) may submit multiple ideas

Why should you participate?

  •         Student’s idea(s) could make a big difference in the Shoals community
  •         Potential of seeing student’s idea(s) become a reality by working with the Shoals Shift team
  •         Cash prizes totaling $2,500

What is the Timeline

  •    December 15, 2017 – Early Bird Deadline for Video Submissions (for extra prizes!)
  •          February 5, 2018 - Final Deadline for Video Submissions

  •          February 8, 2018 – Video Submissions Given to Judges

  •          February 22, 2018 - Top Finalists Notified

  •          March 8, 2018 – Shoals Spark Competition 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.; Finalists Present Their Ideas


For more information, go to

If you have additional questions, please contact



Amber Paulk, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor

University of North Alabama

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