August 01, 2005

Illinois State Fair in Springfield Demonstrations, exhibits highlight SIU tent

by Tom Woolf

spring field fair

Caption follows story

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- CARBONDALE, Ill. — Fans of this year's Illinois State Fair in Springfield may want to build some extra time into their visit to the fairgrounds so they can take full advantage of everything planned in the Southern Illinois University tent.

Of course, visitors to the tent during the fair's 10-day run, Aug. 12-21, will enjoy the myriad of giveaways from SIU Carbondale and SIU Edwardsville.

Staffers and volunteers will hand out items such as jar grippers, pencils (#2 of course, right before the start of school) and Saluki Paw Print window clings. Two lucky fans will win an autographed Saluki football and basketball provided by SIUC's Athletics Department, and yet a third will win a ceramic Saluki puppy statuette donated by the SIUC Student Center craft shop.

But the focus in the tent is on everything the University offers, and admissions experts and others will be on hand throughout the fair for exhibits, demonstrations and hands-on activities for young and the young-at-heart alike.

Of particular interest in Springfield will be SIU Carbondale displays, exhibits and entertainment on Saturday, Aug. 13, when it's SIUC day in Campus Town, formerly the home of Tech Town. Representatives of all of the University's colleges and professional schools, housing and the Graduate School will be on hand with information, as will the admissions office, and there are sure to be several surprises along the way. Campus Town is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Admissions representatives from SIUE and SIUC will be available in the SIU tent each day of the fair from noon to 5 p.m.

Here are some of the highlights during the fair. All events and activities will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the SIU tent, across the street from the Illinois Fire Services Museum and next to the Emmerson Building,

Friday, Aug. 12: Transportation Day will feature representatives of SIUC's highly regarded aviation and automotive programs, both part of the College of Applied Sciences and Arts. Aviation department Chairman David NewMyer will provide literature, have model aircrafts on display and hand out always-popular wooden gliders. Automotive displays will include engines and model cars, along with detailed information on the nationally renowned program.

Saturday, Aug. 13: SIUC day at Campus Town is an event unto itself. Here's a look at some of what's planned:

• Representatives of the University's eight colleges, two professional schools (law and medicine), housing, admissions and the Graduate School will be available with plenty of brochures and other literature.

• Students from the College of Engineering will display a Formula 1 race car they built, as well as a moon buggy and hovercraft created by students. Visitors to Campus Town will be able to try out a flight simulator thanks to the aviation department, while automotive technology will display a cutaway of an engine along with other displays.

• Representatives of the much-honored English department will have displays and information about the award-winning creative writing program, Crab Orchard Series publications and the highly successful annual Young Writer's Workshop.

• Artisans will display their talent making clay objects on a pottery wheel.

• A masks exhibit provided by the theater and anthropology departments, along with University Museum.

• Computer-based weather forecasting, courtesy of the geography department.

• The School of Music is providing a faculty trio for musical entertainment.

• Catch a blast from "Dawgzooka," the creation of the electronic systems technologies program that shoots Saluki T-shirts into the air.

Sunday, Aug. 14: Get your hands dirty and slimy during our Earth Day activities. Plunge your hands into buckets filled with dirt and earthworms (or watch the experts) and learn about the value of composting.

Tuesday, Aug. 16: Agriculture Day. The landscape design department will display five different examples of diversity in use, including home, city/community, church and campus. Representatives of the turf management program will have a display of four to five plots of sod and plenty of expertise to share about improving your lawn, ball field or golf course. Also, representatives of the food and nutrition program will tout the virtues of soy products, giving away individual packets of savory soy snack mix. United Airlines is giving the snack mix to its passengers.

Wednesday, Aug. 17: Get Healthy Day, featuring faculty, staff and students from the SIUC medical school. They will offer glucose and blood pressure screenings, and representatives of the Alzheimer's Center, Cancer Institute and ThinkFirst program also will be available to discuss these essential services.

Friday, Aug. 19: The World of Robots. Martin Hebel, assistant professor of electronic systems technologies, will demonstrate programmable and remote-control robots – he will have robots that can help with home learning and higher educational systems. And he'll be firing Saluki T-shirts into the crowd with "Dawgzooka."

Sunday, Aug. 21: Alumni Day, always a crowd favorite because it means a visit from real live Saluki dogs provided by alumni and volunteers. The Saluki is SIUC's mascot.

(Caption: SIU School of Medicine students and staff conduct blood pressure screenings at the SIU exhibit at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield.)