Extension News

ISU Extension Kicks Off State Fair with Fun Exhibits

solar car


AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State University (ISU) Extension opened its first day at the Iowa State Fair, greeting thousands of visitors in the 4-H Exhibits Building, located in the southwest corner of the fairground. The building is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily through Aug. 19.

Have You Wii’d Yet?
The 4-H E-SET (Extension Science, Engineering and Technology) display attracted hundreds of game players during its opening day run. The Nintendo Wii game promotes fitness through technology as players young and not-so-young go through sports motions (such as bowling), control in hand, and watch the results of their efforts on screen.

Kids stopping off at E-SET’s Hands On Corner made nearly 100 solar cars during a three-hour stint in the morning. After assembly, kids took their cars outside to race them. They could purchase the cars for $12 and take them home. Otherwise, the car was returned and made ready for assembly again.

E-SET’s Jay Staker works in cooperation with Pat Higby of the Center for Energy and Environmental Education (CEEE) at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI).  Kits and toolboxes for making the cars are available to classroom teachers through CEEE. Higby estimates more than 1,000 youth will be able to assemble the cars through science classes during the next school year. The Iowa Energy Center is a major sponsor for the program, with additional support coming from the Iowa Space Grant Consortium. 

Smile with Cy
Cy has been a huge hit with fairgoers so far, as witnessed by those queuing up to have their photos taken with Iowa State’s mascot. Cy is on hand at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. most days for photo sessions.

Make a Home
Kids entertain themselves with Lincoln Logs and a big dollhouse while their parents find out more about “A Place of Your Own,” in the booth dedicated to a new online course for those wanting to own a home.

Stroll through 4-H Exhibits
Nearly 4,000 4-H exhibits create colorful displays at the building, showing some of the best project work by 4-H’ers during the past year. See outdoor woodworking projects such as two arches, one built by Tori Elphie, a 10th grader from Franklin County, and another by Danielle Butler, an 11th grader from Cerro Gordo County. Also check out the windmill replica built by Adam Ledvina, an 11th grader from Tama County.

“Spooker” the dog will enjoy a fine new home in Henry County, thanks to his young 4-H owner Kaleb Kongable, whose creation sits just outside the 4-H Exhibits Building. Those needing to house a larger dog can check out the model built by Brady Berman of Boone County. It even has a covered porch.

Be inspired by the visual treats offered inside the building, such as the alphabet photography of Johanna Harlman from Mahaska County. Johanna became intrigued by alphabet forms found in the environment when her young nephews used their imagination to find letters in objects inside and outside their house. Look in the home improvement section to find her framed photo collage spelling the name, Shafer.


Contacts :
Carol Ouverson, Extension Communications and Marketing, (515) 294-9640 and (515) 262-3111 ext 380 at State Fair, couverso@iastate.edu
Ben Van Wyk makes a solar car