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See U at the fair

August 20, 2012


A youngster holds up a free U of M "Driven to Discover" backback from the state fair.

More than 100 University experts and scholars will be on hand at the U of M building to share their insights on student opportunities, research innovations, and life-changing discoveries that have impacted Minnesota and the world.

Photo: Patrick O'Leary

The U will again have a large presence at the Great Minnesota Get Together

By Rick Moore

It hardly seems fair, but it's true. The dog days of summer are giving way to nights with a palpable autumn chill, and back-to-school clothes and supplies are flying off the shelves.

And that means it's time for the Great Minnesota Get Together, that 12-day run where a million-plus people—sporting far too many tank tops, fanny packs, and mustard stains—collide in a hedonistic, overeating frenzy. Like it or leave it, it’s a much-heralded marker of the seasons.

Once again, the U will be one of the largest attractions at the fair. From the opening day, August 23, through Labor Day, more than 100 University experts and scholars will be on hand at the University of Minnesota Building (at the corner of Dan Patch Avenue and Underwood Street) to share their insights on student opportunities, research innovations, and life-changing discoveries that have impacted Minnesota and the world.

In addition, University research, education and outreach will be showcased in seven other locations throughout the fairgrounds.

The U building will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day, and there will be informative and entertaining stage programs outside each day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors can watch robots climb stairs, tumble, and fly; play an interactive online game designed to help teens understand the critical importance of concentration while driving; and meet Golden Gopher student-athletes.

Visitors can also learn more about the U’s impact in their community, pick up a free voter education guide, and pledge their support for the University at the “Support the U” booth.

Watch a video by the U's Academic Health Center about consuming—and burning—all those calories at the fair.

Highlights at the U of M building include:

•  The U’s popular Physics Force will take the stage at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. on August 23 and September 1. Never have science and fun been so intertwined.

•  See presentations by the U of M Raptor Center at noon August 23 and at 10:30 a.m. and noon August 24.

•  Maroon and Gold Day at the fair is August 26!  Wear your maroon and gold proudly and stop by the U's building to hear the alumni band and see Goldy Gopher, then watch the U of M in the State Fair parade.

•  Stop by the stage area to play “Transportation Jeopardy!” and win cool prizes at noon and 1 p.m. August 27. Sponsored by the Center for Transportation Studies and the Intelligent Transportation Systems.

•  Golden Gopher student-athletes from almost every sport will appear on the U stage from 10:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. August 28 and August 30.

•  On August 29, check out the latest in wind energy research by the Eolos Wind Research Consortium, part of the University of Minnesota. The Eolos exhibit includes a model wind farm, animated data analysis, and live footage of the Eolos wind turbine.

•  Come see the future of medical device research at the U of M on August 30. The Medical Devices Center, Minnesota Supercomputing Institute, and The Visible Heart Lab will be there throughout the day.

In addition to the many experts and attractions at the U building, fairgoers can experience the University’s statewide reach by visiting the 4-H building. A University of Minnesota Extension youth development program, 4-H engages K-12 participants from all 87 counties. The building, located at the intersection of Cosgrove Street and Wright Avenue, houses more than 6,000 exhibits and hands-on demonstrations showcasing the knowledge and skills acquired by youth throughout the year.

Last but not least, what Minnesota State Fair attraction would be worth its weight in gold and maroon without giveaways? You may wish to consider replacing your fanny pack with a spiffy University of Minnesota “Driven to Discover” backpack. The handsome and utilitarian totes will be given out each day at noon and at 6 p.m., while supplies last.

For a complete schedule of U-related activities at the fair, visit the U’s State Fair website. Once there, you can download a map and guide to the U at the fair.

Tags: All administrative: President, Provost, etc.

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Related Links

U of M State Fair website