University of Minnesota

4-H, political conversations highlight U presence at State Fair

4-H Day is Saturday, August 24

August 23, 2013

The University of Minnesota has a busy schedule planned for the week ahead at the Great Minnesota Get-Together.

4-H Day kicks off the weekend Saturday, August 24.  Fair guests are encouraged to visit the animal barns, the Warner Coliseum and the brand-new AgStar Arena for 4-H livestock competitions, and visit the 4-H Building for project displays.

There are several exciting science activities to try in the 4-H Building, including Rube Goldberg machines, mini-and human-sized hovercrafts, a remote controlled super robot and a Makey Makey maker. Fair-goers are also encouraged to stop by the 4-H Building to check out the State Arts-In, an eight-day intensive art experience where youth prepare a musical play and perform it throughout the run of the Fair. 

4-H, a University of Minnesota Extension youth development program, engages K-12 participants from all 87 Minnesota counties. More than 6,000 exhibits and performing arts shows will feature the knowledge and skills 4-H’ers have acquired throughout the year.

Other upcoming and noteworthy U of M activities and events include:

U of M Stage

Conversations with Minneapolis Mayoral and Gubernatorial Candidates
Join us Saturday, Aug. 24 at 2 p.m. for a conversation with candidates for Minneapolis mayor and Sunday, Aug. 25 at noon for a conversation with Republican candidates for governor. Moderated by Larry Jacobs, director of the U's Center for the Study of Politics and Governance, the discussions will cover challenges and opportunities facing the city and state, and candidates' plans for addressing them.

Preview of the 2014 Legislative Session
Larry Jacobs will also welcome Representatives Jennifer Loon and Erin Murphy and Senators Terri Bonoff and Michelle Benson to the stage Sunday, Aug. 25 at 2 p.m. to get the inside scoop on the 2014 Legislative Session.

Gopher Athletics
Various Gopher Athletics coaches and athletes will take the stage Tuesday, Aug. 27 and Wednesday, Aug. 28 to talk about the 2013-2014 sports seasons.

Medical Devices Center
Medical Devices Center Innovation Fellow Laura Paulsen will lead an interactive presentation on how medical devices help the human body Thursday, Aug. 29 at noon.

Alpha Chi Sigma Chemistry Group
Some call it "magic"…they call it chemistry. Join the U of M’s student chapter of the professional chemistry fraternity Alpha Chi Sigma (AXS) in exciting and explosive live demonstrations of basic chemical principles Friday, Aug. 30 from 10 a.m. to noon.

U of M Building
The U of M Building is newly renovated and features exciting discoveries, research and exhibits from various U colleges and schools.

College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 24-25: CFANS will showcase its undergraduate education programs at the U of M building. Along with learning more about the college, visitors can don a pair of Goldy Ears, fill out a "Fair Bingo" scorecard (by sharing photos on social media) and enter a drawing to win an iPad.

Innovative Engineers
Saturday, Aug. 24: See how Innovative Engineers is extending the reach of renewable energy to the developing world. The exhibit includes an interactive display that allows visitors to learn how a 1kW wind turbine generates electricity.

Engineers Without Borders - UMN Student Chapter
Sunday, Aug. 25: Learn how the UMN chapter of EWB has successfully implemented environmentally and economically sustainable projects. Current students are working to improve sanitation, design a rain water harvesting system, provide a clean water supply and improve local transit in communities around the world.

Gopher Motorsports
Sunday, Aug. 25: In this exhibit, visitors will see a high-performance race vehicle capable of nearly 2 Gs designed and built by undergraduates at the U of M. Come see the latest vehicle designed for a competition in Michigan against 120 other Formula SAE teams.

GOFIRST Student Robotics Team
Monday, Aug. 26: Robots everywhere! GOFIRST is a student group at the U that works with robots of all shapes and sizes (even some that fly). Students will be showcasing their favorite robots.

Institute for Global Studies
Monday, Aug. 26: Play global trivia and win prizes. Guests can share their experiences abroad. Learn how the Institute for Global Studies prepares students for global citizenship, puts great minds to work on issues of global significance and partners with the community to promote global knowledge. 

Polar Geospatial Center
Wednesday, Aug. 28: Penguins, polar regions and pictures. Visitors will get this and much more when visiting the Polar Geospatial Center (PGC) exhibit. They can also marvel at maps, collages and videos of research in places like Antarctica, the coldest, highest, and driest place on Earth.

Agriculture-Horticulture Building

College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
Every day of the Fair, CFANS will have information from the Research and Outreach Centers, super taster testing, information on activities at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, kids activities and a CFANS alumni lounge area.

Master Gardeners
U of M Extension Master Gardener volunteers will answer gardening questions each day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Visitors can also watch Master Gardeners present gardening education throughout the day on The Dirt Stage.

U of M Extension Honey Bees Program
Wednesday, Aug. 28 at 1 p.m.: The Honey Bees program team, including Extension entomologist Gary Reuter, will show off a "bee beard."

DNR Building

Wildlife experts
Master Naturalists will be available each day of the Fair to answer questions about wildlife in Minnesota. Sunday, Aug. 25 at 3 p.m., Gary Wyatt, Extension educator in natural resource management and utilization, will present a talk entitled "Controlling woody invasive plants" on the DNR Stage.

Progress Center

Gen Y Eco House
The Gen Y Eco House, constructed this summer by U of M College of Design students and their instructor James Garrett Junior, is exhibited every day of the Fair in the Eco Experience. The Eco House features a SuperWall – a main interior wall that contains all the technology for living - and incorporates an outdoor patio for increased living space, solar PV panels and recycled materials.

New this year, the Health Quest iPhone app shows how the University impacts health in Minnesota. Guests who play could win an iPad mini. Download the app at:

For a complete schedule of stage and booth programs and more information on the U’s state fair presence and activities, visit

Twin Cities Campus: