NTID-Related Exhibits Shown at Imagine RIT Fest

Story Highlights: 
  • A record 35,000 people attended this year's festival throughout the day.
  • A variety of NTID-related exhibits and performances were shown.
  • The Imagine RIT festival welcomes visitors of all ages.
  • Free parking and shuttle service were available at MCC.
  • Next year's event is scheduled for May 4, 2013.


More than 35,000 visitors throughout the day attended this year's Imagine RIT Innovation + Creativity Festival. In its fifth year, the festival is intended to showcase the work, innovations and creativity of RIT students, faculty and staff to the general public.

And there was no shortage of exhibits, demonstrations or hands-on activities to experience from NTID students, faculty and staff.

In the Fireside Lounge, several hundred photographs were taken of smiling visitors young and old who donned graduation gowns and mortarboards while holding a stuffed tiger or a diploma. The images were posted to a website where the visitors could download them.

Nearby, four laptops and printers were busy printing visitors’ names in fingerspelling. ASL poetry was performed, and visitors learned about Imaging the heART of Deaf Culture, a hands-on interactive experience to promote, appreciate and understand Deaf art and literature.

One of the most popular exhibits was hosted by the Hispanic Deaf Club. Visitors were given tiny maracas and could make colorful paper flowers to commemorate Cinco de Mayo.

More NTID-related exhibits were in the Gordon Field House. Students and faculty members played tic-tac-toe on the See-Through, Life-Size Interactive Monitor, a device that allows a teacher to stand behind a screen and write on it, while the images are displayed on the other side of the screen to the classroom. The teacher can see the students and the students can see the teacher, who doesn’t need to turn away to write on the board, making it easier for deaf students to see the teacher’s face and signing.

Nearby, a student handed 3-D glasses to visitors as they looked at a “Planeterrainium,” images on the floor that resembled the surfaces of different planets in the solar system.

Visitors could also ride electric bicycles, witness poetry performances in American Sign Language and experience a virtual classroom.

"I’m thrilled that so many NTID students, faculty and staff participate each year with such enthusiasm for their work," said NTID President Gerry Buckley.

Other highlights:

The Next Big Idea, the top five teams of students who competed for cash prizes for their new product, technology or business to benefit the deaf and hard-of-hearing community talked about their projects. The ideas included a bracelet that stores medication and can alarm you to remind you to take it; a vibrating alarm that could be used with deaf athletes on the playing field; and a waterproof procedure and shield that could enable users of cochlear implants to wear their receivers in the water.

Teaching in a Virtual World, this exhibit put the viewer in the middle of a physics lab where objects changed in size at the click of a mouse.

3-D Imaging for Medical Applications, models of human heads are made on computers for advanced medical applications.

Deaf Studies Laboratory: The Signing Brain. The differences between a deaf person’s brain and a hearing person’s brain, and how that may influence learning, were shown.

Operation Brain Food, presented by the 2012 Premedical Student Association, featured two life-sized versions of the game Operation. A granola bar complete with baristas provided healthy snacks. Children made "brains" with melted crayons.

ASL Poets’ Tribute to Robert F. Panara, RIT’s undergraduate ASL poetry and performance team Dangerous Signs celebrated the career and legacy of ASL poetry pioneer and NTID Emeritus Professor Robert F. Panara.

American Sign Language & Deaf Studies, interactive learning of ASL and awareness of Deaf culture, including craft activities and brochures to help communicate with deaf people.

Rosica Hall 3-D Model, visitors saw what the newest building to the RIT campus will look like.

Silent Laughter — A Live Performance, deaf and hearing actors will be working together without voice interpretation.

Specialty Graphics Printing, NTID Arts & Imaging students demonstrated how they used scale-model cars to produce vehicle wrap signs and decals.

Next year’s Imagine RIT Innovation + Creativity Festival is planned for May 4, 2013.


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