August 04, 2005

SIU tent at Du Quoin Fair offers family fun

by Tom Woolf

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University's tent will be full of displays, exhibits, demonstrations, hands-on activities and giveaways throughout the 10-day run of the Du Quoin State Fair, Aug. 27-Sept. 5.

SIU Carbondale's faculty, staff and students will be on hand each day to highlight many of the University's academic, service and recreational programs. Representatives of the admissions office will be in the tent from noon to 8 p.m. on the weekends and 5-8 p.m. weekdays. In addition to the popular giveaways, which include jar grippers, No. 2 pencils (just in time for the start of school) and Saluki Paw Print window clings, just to name a few, several lucky visitors will come up winners in drawings for an official Saluki football and basketball donated by SIUC's athletics department, as well as a ceramic Saluki puppy statuette donated by the Student Center Craft Shop.

SIU's tent is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day of the fair. Demonstrations will take place between noon and 8 p.m. on the weekends and between 3 and 8 p.m. weekdays.

Among the highlights:

Saturday, Aug. 27: Representatives of the physician assistant program will be on hand to provide blood pressure checks. Also, Andilee Warner from Plant and Service Operations will provide a hands-on recycling and composting demonstration using plenty of good Southern Illinois dirt and earthworms.

Sunday, Aug. 28: Arts and martial arts day in the tent, with demonstrations on a pottery wheel and members of four student martial arts clubs offering demonstrations throughout the day. Visitors to the tent also will enjoy meeting a live Saluki, the official mascot of the University.

Monday, Aug. 29: Crime and forensics dominate the tent, as the political science and administration of justice programs combine forces to offer a "Law and Order" question-and-answer session. A representative of anthropology will demonstrate the finer points of bone identification and the geography department will offer an interactive GPS display. Members of a student dance club, Fatal Fusion, will perform several times between 6 and 8 p.m. Another highlight will be the drawing for the Saluki basketball.

Tuesday, Aug. 30: Agriculture day will feature exhibits, demonstrations and experts discussing landscape design and turf management. Representatives of the food and nutrition department will offer information on the health benefits of soy products, also offering Savory Snacks Mix to visitors to the tent. That's the same snack United Airlines is handing out to its passengers.

Wednesday, Aug. 31: The tent takes on a decidedly international flavor, with native costumes from different countries on display, international music and international flags also on display. Visitors can learn about the popular study abroad program, and a representative of the foreign languages department will show you innovative ways to learn languages on a computer. Also, student members of the Middle Eastern Dance Enthusiasts Club will perform throughout the day.

Thursday, Sept. 1: Earth Day in the tent will provide visitors another chance to get their hands dirty with dirt and earthworms as part of a demonstration of recycling and composting. In addition, the geology department will display some of its fossil collection and offer tips for fossil hunting. Representatives of the College of Applied Sciences and Arts will be on hand with literature about the college's many programs, and giveaways.

Friday, Sept. 2: Future Salukis Day features a variety of activities geared toward the younger set. SIUC's public broadcasting station, WSIU-TV, will have a large wooden Big Bird cutout that kids can have fun dressing. In a combined viewing/reading area, youngsters can watch some of their favorite programs, read books, color or enjoy activity sheets featuring their favorite PBS characters. There will be a drawing every half hour for various PBS-themed items for children and adults, including books, CDs, DVD/VHS tapes of PBS programs, and more. And there will be loads of giveaways, including stickers, tattoos, bookmarks, balloons and information about WSIU's programs and services.

The College of Education and Human Services will showcase its programs with an interactive display, highlighted by a children's reading corner and hula hoop and bubble gum blowing contests.

Ron Dunkel and other representatives of the Craft Shop also will be in the tent with a large concrete Saluki statue just waiting for kids and adults to decorate with beads, glass and other materials the Craft Shop will provide.

Also, representatives of Disability Support Services will join forces with the Disabled Student Recreation Program to demonstrate equipment and activities, and several personal trainers from the Recreation Center will be available to discuss services they provide for disabled students.

Saturday, Sept. 3: Representatives of the School of Information Systems and Applied Technologies will offer a glimpse into the future with their programmable and remote control robots in action in the tent. They also will shoot Saluki T-shirts into the crowd via Dawgzooka, a crowd favorite at Saluki basketball games.

Sunday, Sept. 4: Faculty, staff and students from the College of Engineering will showcase their Formula 1 racecar, moon buggy and hovercraft.

Monday, Sept. 5: Transportation Day in the tent features flight simulators for the kids to test out, displays of model cars and engines, and the rebuilt 1966 Chevrolet Nova. In addition, representatives of the Boeing Co. will be on hand with exhibits and information.