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Media Advisory.

Media Advisory

U of M State Fair schedule for Thursday, Aug. 23

STEM Day kicks off the ‘Great Minnesota Get Together’

Contacts: Matt Hodson, University News Service,, (612) 625-0552

August 22, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (08/22/2012) – The University of Minnesota has a busy schedule planned for the opening day of the Minnesota State Fair, also designated as the annual Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Day by fair organizers.

Fairgoers are invited to visit the university’s main building and stage located at the corner of Dan Patch Avenue and Underwood Street, Minnesota State Fairgrounds, St. Paul, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday.

STEM-related university research, education and outreach is also showcased in other locations throughout the fairgrounds, including the Eco Experience Building, located at Randall Avenue and Cosgrove Street, and Carousel Park in front of the grandstand.

Thursday’s stage and booth highlights include:

On the U of M stage
9:45 a.m. U of M Alumni Band
10 a.m. Physics Force
11 a.m. Physics Force
12 p.m. U of M Raptor Center
1 p.m. U of M Extension 4-H
3 p.m. U of M Extension 4-H
4 p.m. U of M Alumni Band

Inside the U of M building

College of Science and Engineering GO FIRST Robotics Team

Have you ever seen a flying robot? The University of Minnesota student group GO FIRST provides students with the opportunity to design and build robots for a collegiate robotics competition. They also volunteer in the community by mentoring high school robotics teams. Come see a flying robot and play with a variety of other robots.

BioTechnology Institute’s International Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) Team

iGEM brings together teams of undergraduate students who rise to the challenge of designing, building and testing a biological system that could operate within a cell. For example, in the past, students have synthesized a small compartment inside bacteria, called a bacterial microcompartment, that can be used to produce new chemical reactions. Stop by the iGEM booth for fun, hands-on activities for all ages and to visit with university students.

Inside the Eco Experience building

Bell Museum of Natural History, “Sustainable Shelters: Dwelling within the Forces of Nature”

What can we learn from nature to make our dwellings more sustainable parts of the Earth’s natural systems? Observe and explore two full-sized house sections from the popular 2010-11 Bell Museum original exhibit, Sustainable Shelters, which investigates the ways that human dwellings extract, use and discard energy, water and other precious natural resources. The two sections compare conventional construction to high-performance construction featuring innovative new building technologies and strategies that can help restore the health and viability of natural cycles.

Center for Sustainable Polymers

We see the ads for plastics made from plants, but did you know that the University of Minnesota is leading the way in sustainable plastic research? These plastics are part of a transition society is experiencing as we move from petroleum-based plastics toward more sustainable plastics. Visit this booth to learn how plants are an important new resource for plastics, packaging and products we use every day—and meet faculty, students and staff with the U’s Center for Sustainable Polymers.

In Carousel Park

Bell Museum of Natural History’s ExploraDome

From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., embark on a one-of-a-kind journey through space in the Bell Museum’s ExploraDome! The traveling planetarium takes visitors to the farthest reaches of the Universe from the comfort of their seats, peeking at planets, soaring through stars and exploring Earth’s surroundings in an immersive environment. The ExploraDome travels the state year-round visiting schools and community events with shows for all ages. Note: in the event of rain, the ExploraDome will not be operating.

Bell Museum of Natural History: Power of Pollination!

Discover the power of pollination with educators from the Bell Museum. Build and take home your very own Orchard Mason Bee house, and see why becoming a beekeeper means playing a critical role in life cycles of flowers, insects and – eventually – in the production of the food we consume for survival.

College of Science and Engineering Physics Force and Alpha Chi Sigma Chemistry Fraternity

Experience STEM in a fun and interactive environment. Visitors can engage in hands-on activities and interactive demonstrations and watch main stage events that include the U of M Physics Force show (9 a.m., noon and 2 p.m.) and demonstrations by the U’s Alpha Chi Sigma Chemistry Fraternity (11 a.m. and 4 p.m.). Physics Force is comprised of U professors and Minnesota high school teachers who blend slapstick, prop comedy and science to educate and entertain K-12 students.

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

Tags: State Fair

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U of M at the Minnesota State Fair