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Experience Busch Gardens Live at the USF College of Education’s Children’s Festival March 2

Busch Gardens Live booth with tame animals, exergaming (interactive gaming), computer learning activities and more…

TAMPA, Fla. (Feb. 15, 2013) - Learning is WonderBull!” is the theme of the University of South Florida College of Education’s annual Children’s Festival, Saturday, March 2, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Tampa campus.

Children of all ages can interact with small, tame animals at the “Busch Gardens Live” booth and enjoy a variety of other fun-filled learning activities. The Children’s Festival is free and open to the public. Free parking is available in the unreserved spaces surrounding the College of Education (Lot 1) and the Leroy Collins Blvd. parking deck (excluding reserved parking spaces).

The Florida Center for Instructional Technology’s (FCIT’s) iTeach Lounge will also be open. 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 e-mail the pictures to themselves and others. Children will also be able to try several learning games, including those related to geography, typing and music. One such program, “Garage Band,” allows users to sing and play different instruments with keyboard accompaniment.

The XRKade Research Lab in the Department of Physical Education and Exercise Science will also be available for use. 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/her body to play the games.  Exergaming is increasingly being used in school systems, YMCA’s, recreational centers, and private fitness clubs to help children of all ages increase levels of daily physical activity. 

VSA (formerly Very Special Arts) of Florida will also be leading participants in chair painting and other activities.

The Children’s Festival at the USF College of Education was launched 34 years ago, in 1979, 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.


The USF College of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), and is fully approved by the Florida Department of Education. For more information about the USF College of Education, visit: or

The University of South Florida is a high-impact, global research university dedicated to student success. USF is classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in the top tier of research universities, a distinction attained by only 2.2 percent of all universities. It ranks 50th in the nation for federal expenditures in research and total expenditures in research among all U.S. universities, public or private, according to the National Science Foundation. The USF System has an annual budget of $1.5 billion, an annual economic impact of $3.7 billion, and serves 47,000 students in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland.



Media contact: 

Barbara Melendez

(813) 974-4563

Story sources:

Kim Tucker

(813) 974-7440

Aaron Greaser

(813) 974-6399





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