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.
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.
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!
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.