Once again, I am amazed by and grateful to this fabulous community for the time, talent and energy that was given to ensure the success of the 8th annual TouchTomorrow festival. I am humbled by the outpouring of support and proud to work with so many people who are as passionate and dedicated as you are. It was truly a day we should all be proud of as we came together to inspire the next generation in STEM and robotics. I am certain we will see many of those young faces as WPI students some day!
Here are some fun facts for you:
· 8,526 people pre-registered for TouchTomorrow
· 1,707 registered on festival day
· Based on these numbers and the materials that were distributed we are estimating 9,000 visitors
· 36 WPI exhibits
· 9 WPI scheduled lab tours/demonstrations
· 14 WPI K-12 activities
· 4 WPI Workshops for Educators
· 70 external exhibits
· 7 stage shows
· 2 films
· Expanded external exhibits at Gateway Park!
A special thanks to President Leshin for welcoming our VIPs and sponsors and making them feel special, it was a wonderful way to start the day!
Thank you to the ATC, WPI Campus Police, Chartwells, the Events Office, Facilities, IT, Marketing, Lens & Light, and everyone who gave their time to volunteer at the festival.
We are grateful to faculty and staff members who led exhibits, as well as those who supported them. The names listed below certainly don’t cover all of the great help these exhibitors had, please know you are all appreciated.
Faculty members who organized a wide variety of activities, exhibits, talks and tours across the campus:
· Mitra Anand, Scott Barton, Tiffiny Butler, Jie Fu, Mike Gennert, Germano Iannacchione, Dianna Lados, Jane Li, Eleanor Loiacono, Sneha Narra, Cagdas Onal, Erin Ottmar, Carlo Pinciroli, Marko Popovic, Craig Shue, Ralph Sutter, Kunta-Wu, Jing Xiao, Jamal Yagoobi, and Yu Zhong
And thanks to these exhibit teams:
· Advanced Manufacturing: Toby Bergstrom and James Loiselle
· ASSISTments: Cristina Heffernan and Neil Heffernan
· Biomedical Engineering: Jeannine Coburn, Kris Billiar, Glenn Gaudette, George Pins, Marsha Rolle, and Provost Wole Soboyejo
· CEE/AE and Sustainability exhibits: Cindy Bergeron, Paul Matheson, and Liz Tomaszewski.
· Chemistry & Biochemistry exhibits: Arne Gericke, Ron Grimm and Alonzo Ross
· ECE/Smart World Café: Alex Wyglinski, Steve Bitar, Ted Clancy, Andrew Clark, Ulkuhan Guler, Maqsood Mughal, Berk Sunar, and Xinming Huang
· Energy Boom: Cameron Armstrong and members of the Chemical Engineering Graduate Student Organization
· The Face of DNA exhibits: Jill Rulfs, Mike Buckholt, and Joe Duffy
· Fire Protection Engineering Lab Tours: Ray Ranellone and Albert Simeoni
· K-12 Activities – Sue Sontgerath, Jenna Noel-Grinshteyn
· Mathematical Science exhibits: Burt Tilley and Stephen Sturm
· Physics in Motion and Future of Photonics: Doug Petkie, James Eakin, Rudra Kafle, Doug Leonardi and Hekor Kashuri
· Robots Making Robots: Kevin Harrington and Craig Putnam
· The Science of Football and Concussions– Chris Robertson and Songbai Ji
· Spark Your Imagination: Jim O’Rourke and Bill Appleyard
· Surgical and Assistive Robotics: Greg Fischer and Chris Nycz
And I would especially like to thank the best committee ever! Each of you plays an important role in TouchTomorrow and together you created an inspiring day of fun and learning. I can’t imagine doing this without you!
Claudia Aviles, Bill Battelle, Jillian Brooks, Camille Bouchard-Chhoeuk, Evan Brunell, Mary Centrella,
Jennifer Cluett, Kristie DeJesus, Mike Dorsey, Mia Dubosarsky, Katie Elmes, Adam Epstein, Matt Foster, Sheila Georger, Sarah LaFrance, Liza Laurent, Linda Looft, Kristin Marengo, Ryan Meadows, Jenna Noel-Grinshteyn, Kara O’Connell, Andrew Palumbo, Stephanie Pasha, Ali Reed, Jesse Rives, Suzette Santiago, Theona Scola, Christine Sharry, Colleen Shaver, Sue Sontgerath, Bill Spratt, Donna Taylor, Melissa Terrio, Colleen Wamback.
Here are some visitor quotes…wonderful testaments to a great day!
“I thoroughly enjoyed all of the activities and presentations I attended - very imaginative, and well-suited to both children and adults. The volunteers were friendly, enthusiastic, and welcoming as to questions - truly a terrific staff!”
“I wish we had more time to experience everything. My son had a great time and his interest in STEM was even further piqued.”
“The whole experience was phenomenal.”
“This was our first time attending, and it won't be our last! Our 5 year old son, who always is saying he wants to be a scientist (chemist, in particular) when he grows up, can't stop talking about our day there and how much fun he had at all of the exhibits! The students and volunteers were especially helpful, warm, informative and welcoming.”
“Thank you so much for a wonderful family friendly afternoon and for inspiring our 9 year old son. He wants to be a 3rd generation WPI grad!”
“The tour of the photonics area by the Physics Dept was EXCELLENT as well as mind-numbing! The tour of the 3-D printing area in the Foisie Studio was like Christmas for my teen son!”
Again, thanks for a great year! I look forward to doing it all again, June 13, 2020!