USF students showcase inventions and innovations

The Cirque du Student Success is not your typical academic celebration

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In broad and statistical terms, the University of South Florida is categorized by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as being in the top tier of research universities in the country. Broken down and dissected, this statistic is a product of the great, innovative minds of students who attend the university.

Over the past few years, USF has become one of the fastest growing research universities in the country. The school ranks in the top 10 universities granted the largest numbers of patents worldwide.

The nearly 50,000 enrolled students who do the creating, exploring and experimenting are the cogs in the machine — they make the university a productive, colorful whole.

On Wed., Aug. 27 from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., these creative minds will be celebrated and showcased in the Cirque du Student Success. The event will feature demonstrations of outstanding student inventions, innovative research and entrepreneurial ideas. It will take place on 7th floor of the Interdisciplinary Science Building (ISA) at USF’s Tampa campus.

A fusion of education and entertainment, the interactive showcase will embody the energy and whimsy of a “Cirque.” The 15, fast-paced demonstrations will feature work from almost all of the colleges at USF (Arts & Sciences, The Arts, Engineering, Business and Medicine) and the Florida Center for Cybersecurity at USF, the Student Innovation Incubator, the School of Physical Therapy and the USF Sarasota-Manatee College of Hospitality & Technology Leadership.

Business bigwigs, legislators and members of the Florida Board of Governors will attend the showcase, which is an invitation only event. Being that USF has the 50th highest research expenditure in the country, the event is a testament to what can be achieved with proper funding and academic innovation.

Celebrating the fun and interactivity of creation, “Cirque du Student Success" will feature a demonstration of a 3-D printing technique by the Alliance for Integrated Spatial Technologies that keeps historical treasures intact, a performance by Touch (a band that creates music with only the aid of iPads), and a Tesla Coil created by the X-Labs that shoots four feet of electricity into the air (accompanied by choreographed music).

The demonstrations, which will be performed by the student creators and some faculty advisors, will begin outside the ISA building. During the presentations, guests will be able to interact with the presenters.

The highlighted innovations will include a generator that turns waste water into clean water, a cyber-security system that can protect businesses from attacks and a wheelchair that can traverse through difficult terrain/water.

According to Adam Freeman, media/public affairs coordinator for USF, the event will facilitate a rare and special interaction between students and supporters of the university's programs.

"This is a special reception for our supporters and partners to see how their investments are paying off and helping students achieve amazing things with a global impact," Freeman said. "We often talk about our outstanding students, but we want our state leaders and others to see them and experience their innovations firsthand."

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