Family Fun at Imagine RIT!

May 8, 2014

Ready to go exploring!

On Saturday, our family attended the Imagine RIT Innovation and Creativity Festival. This was our first time attending, but it will definitely not be the last! There was so much to do for children of all ages, that I will definitely be marking the calendar each year for this event.  Our entire family attended, including 2 teenagers (17 and 15) and 2 elementary students (9 and 7).  We had a blast exploring the entire campus.  There were so many things to do it was hard to decide what to do first.

I really appreciated the Plan Your Day section of the Imagine RIT  Website.  You could choose from preselected itineraries (we chose Elementary and High School) as well as a build-your-own itinerary that we tried out as well.  Along with the map, the itineraries were very helpful in figuring out where we wanted to go, and what we wanted to see.  Upon arrival, we were greeted at one of the several Welcome Centers, where we received a full size map and events listing that really helped us as we navigated our way through our itinerary.

Sustainability Passport

Sustainability Passport

Some of the buildings we went through quickly, while others we really explored all they had to offer.  In the Sustainability Hall we had fun filling our a Passport at the different exhibits.  There was so much to see that you really could spend the whole day there and not see it all.

The one exhibit that we had talked about ahead of time, that was on our “must do” list was the robotic s’more maker.  Of course this was all the way at the other end of campus from where we parked, and we saw some very cool stuff on our way across campus.  From the Concrete Canoe to the Robotic Fish, there were interesting things to learn about at every turn.

The robotic fish drew a huge crowd

The robotic fish drew a huge crowd

The Cement Canoe really floats!

The Cement Canoe really floats!

Along with informational displays, there were hands-on opportunities throughout the festival.  We made pinwheels as we learned about alternative energy sources, had faces painted as we learned about eco-friendly materials and learned about electromagnetics as we tried to pop balloons with an electromagnetic dart.

We took a wrong turn trying to find an exhibit and found ourselves in the Project Lead The Way department.  This ended up being a nice little detour as my older boys (who both participate in PLTW at Brockport High School) were able to explain the many projects on display to their younger siblings.

Overall, this was a great experience and a really nice event to take the family too.  Even with a wide range of ages, we found things of interest to everyone – parents included!

Making a pinwheel to demonstrate alternative energy

Making a pinwheel to demonstrate alternative energy

If you went to the festival, RIT would love to hear from you!  Please fill out their survey to let them know about your experience.  Survey participants have a chance to win a prize if they complete the survey by May 14, 2014.

They have already announced the date for next year, so mark your calendars:  May 2, 2015.

Tammy Bonisteel works for the Fingerlakes STEM Hub and maintains the Hub Website along with the STEM Hub blog.  She lives in Brockport, NY where she is an active community volunteer.


Imagine RIT this weekend!

May 1, 2014
Imagine RIT

Come explore the many hands-on demonstrations at Imagine RIT!

Imagine RIT: Innovation and Creativity Festival is a campus-wide event held at the Rochester Institute of Technology that showcases the innovative and creative spirit of RIT students, faculty and staff. Visitors can experience the depth of RIT through interactive presentations, hands-on demonstrations, exhibitions, and research projects set up throughout the RIT campus. With inflatables, games and multiple performance stages with live music and entertainment, visitors of all ages will be amazed at all that Imagine RIT has to offer. In its seventh year, Imagine RIT is the kickoff to Rochester’s rich festival season.

“The festival’s mission goes beyond showcasing the thriving RIT campus. We see it as a call to national service. Innovation is one of our country’s last competitive advantages. Young Americans want to walk to the beat of their own drummer, and their desire to be different is an innate American characteristic. At RIT, we help students channel that passion in constructive ways and foster the United States’ leadership in technical innovation and creative ideas for new products and services.”
– RIT President, Bill Destler

The first Imagine RIT festival launched in 2008, drawing in more than 15,000 visitors to the RIT campus to see more than 300 interactive exhibits and displays. Now in the festival’s seventh year, Imagine RIT draws in more than 35,000 people to RIT each May to see exhibits and exciting new displays of the university’s unique talent to innovate and create. The Imagine RIT festival is a result of what happens when the right and left brain collide. With innovation and creativity being integral components of this extraordinary festival, each year the festival just seems to get bigger and better.

See the robotic s'more maker in action!

See the robotic s’more maker in action!

Hungry for innovation? The MFET Senior Design class here at RIT has created a fully automated, user interactive work-cell capable of manufacturing and assembling the delicious campfire treat known as the s’more! Consisting of robotic arms, conveyer belts, pneumatic systems, and sensors, visitors at Imagine RIT will be able to view and fully customize their s’more experience via a touch screen menu. Check out this video clip to see the robotic s’more machine in action!
Exhibitors from the MFET Senior Design team include: Josh Depot, Cory Deacon, Chung-Wei Chan, Dominic Fioretti, Patrick Adams, Scott Baxter, Nicholas Newland, Duane Beck, Erin Haier, Cody Farr, Anna Lorette, Michael Hymann, and SunWoo Ji.

The festival is held this Saturday, May 3 from 10-5.  Please visit the event page for directions and parking instructions. The festival has it’s own blog as well, if you want further updates.

John Horton is an Imagine RIT Co-op.  He graduated from RIT in May 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management. His future aspirations are to continue his education and to travel.

Imagine RIT 2

Imagine RIT 2010 Innovation + Creativity Festival on 5/1- Don’t Miss It!!!

April 25, 2010


Imagine RIT is an annual festival held by The Rochester Institute of Technology each spring to showcase the innovative and creative spirit of RIT students, faculty, and staff.  In the words of RIT President Bill Destler, the festival shows what can happen when, “the right and left brain collide.”  

This year’s festival will be held on Saturday, May 1st from 10 am to 5 pm throughout the campus of RIT.   

Attendees of the festival will experience  interactive presentations, hands-on demonstrations, and exhibitions. You can plan your day in advance by visiting the festival’s  2010 program and searching for the “Zone” that most interests you.  Zones include: The Think Tank, Artistic Alley, Engineering Park, Computer Zone, Green Place, and Technology Quarter.  You can add specific exhibits from each Zone to your itinerary, download the itinerary, and print it.  Customzing your visit in advance will help you save time and focus on the areas that interest you the most. 

Some of the displays and activities especially designed for young visitors are:

  • Free Popcorn
  • Wonderful World of Tiny Animals
  • Reduced Fat Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream
  • FIRST Robotics/Lego League Experience
  • Make Your Own Kind of Music!
  • Engineering Exploration Lab
  • Auto Etch-a-Sketch
  • Fluids Are Fun!
  • Science In Your Kitchen
  • Automated Hot Dog Assembler

    Another highlight of Imagine RIT is the annual festival poster contest. This year, there were 66 entries and 5,000 votes by members of the RIT community.  Each  entry can be seen on the Imagine RIT website.  This is a great competition that encourages students to merge creativity with the STEM fields.  Thomas Sokolowski, a first-year chemical engineering student from Rochester won this year’s contest with a stunning galactic themed entry.  

    The 2010 Imagine RIT winning poster


    Another unique contest offered through Imagine RIT is the “Dr. Destler’s Green Vehicle Challenge.”   The challenge will take  place at 9:00 am on May 1 at the Simone Circle on the RIT campus and is open to the public.  RIT students will design and construct a vehicle that carries at least one > 150 Ib. person on an approximately 3 mile route along the RIT loop.  The vehicle must use less total energy per 150 Ib. person than Dr. Destler’s electric bicycle.  The winner of the challenge will be announced at the festival’s Opening Ceremony at 10:00 a.m.  The winning team may choose a banjo from RIT President Dr. Destler’s collection or $1,000.  


    Creativity plays an important role in education and RIT understands that.  The Imagine RIT festival shows that STEM education is not simply about science, technology, engineering and math — but about self-expression, teamwork, environmentalism, and mindfulness.  The Center for Excellence in Math and Science highly recommends that everyone in the community visit the RIT campus on May 1, 2010.  

    by Allison Wang – Graduate Assistant – Center for Excellence in Math and Science  

    and Caurie Miner Putnam – Program Coordinator – Center for Excellence in Math and Science STEM Mentors Program