"Learning is WonderBull!"

By Kim Tucker


TAMPA, Fla. (Feb. 25, 2010) – A fun-filled Saturday awaits children three to 13 years of age at the University of South Florida’s annual Children’s Festival, Mar. 6, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., where “Learning is WonderBull!” is the theme of the day. Free and open to the public, this event offers children the opportunity to visit numerous booths where all the learning activities are fun and games. Free parking is available in the unreserved spaces surrounding the College of Education (Lot 1). For directions visit: 


The Florida Center for Instructional Technology's (FCIT's) Laptop Lounge will be open for children to explore. The lounge features several stations with activities designed for children, including "Photo Booth" software with funhouse mirror-type filters that can be used to create unusual images. Participants will be able to email the pictures to themselves and others. Children will also have the opportunity to try several learning games, including games related to geography, typing and music. One such program, "Garage Band," allows users to sing and play different instruments.


The XRKade Research Lab in the School of Physical Education and Exercise Science will be available. The laboratory is a teaching and research facility established to investigate and promote the use of interactive gaming technologies. This movement is known as interactive fitness or exergaming – technology-driven screen-based games that require the participant to use his or her body to play the game. Exergaming is increasingly being used in school systems, YMCAs, recreational centers, and private fitness clubs to help children of all ages increase levels of daily physical activity.


A large African Sulcata Toroise named Spike will be at the festival, courtesy of Crystal Springs Preserve. Spike, discovered walking across a dirt road in Wesley Chapel, is an exotic tortoise that directly competes with Florida’s native Gopher Tortoise for habitat. Attendees will be asked to guess Spike’s age. Also, Lowry Park Zoo and Nature’s Classroom will be bringing animals for the children to interact with and observe.


Multiple booths with educational games and activities operated by College of Education students and family play therapy services will be available. 


Also in attendance will be VSA (formerly Very Special Arts) of Florida and the Children's Festival logo design winner, Katie Cassidy, a 6th grader from St John's Episcopal Parish Day School in Tampa.


The Children's Festival at the USF College of Education was launched 31 years ago, in 1979. It was held annually through 1996, and attended by thousands of Tampa Bay area children and their families, who participated in approximately 100 learning activities sponsored by classes, clubs, and organizations. The festival was revived in 2006.



Kim Tucker is the communications & marketing officer in the College of Education.




The USF College of Education is ranked 54th by U.S. News & World Report of graduate schools in the country, is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and is fully approved by the Florida Department of Education. The USF College of Education is the 4th largest public college of education in the nation. For more information about the USF College of Education, visit: www.coedu.usf.eduor Itunes.usf.edu.


The University of South Florida is one of the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of only 25 public research universities nationwide with very high research activity that is designated as community engaged by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.  USF was awarded $380.4 million in research contracts and grants in FY 2008/2009. The university offers 232 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The USF System has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 47,000 students on institutions/campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.