State 4-H offers technology and science fun at state fair | TSLN.com

State 4-H offers technology and science fun at state fair

Roller coasters, robots, and DNA extraction are among the science and technology related activities South Dakota 4-H will offer at the South Dakota State Fair.

The 4-H Ag Center will buzz with a range of scientific discovery and technology-centered activities in what 4-H and South Dakota Cooperative Extension Service staff call the “State Fair’s Largest Classroom.”

“We often say that 4-H is much more than cows and cooking, and the events on Aug. 28 will show everyone that is true,” said Kathryn Reeves, a 4-H and youth development specialist with the South Dakota Cooperative Extension Service. “From 9 a.m. until noon, we’ll explore science with a focus on helping young people devise questions and then answer them.”

Interactive exhibits include water-powered rockets, potatoes used to power a light, DNA extraction from bananas, roller coaster design, an electricity exhibit featuring insulators and conductors, bubble science, paper bridge and aircraft design, and a tinfoil ship building exhibit.

On Aug. 30, the Ag Center will host a Robotics Challenge, where teams construct and program LEGO Mindstorms NXT robots. This event is in its second year and will feature novice and advanced divisions.

The novice division will take place from 12:30 p.m. until 3 p.m., with the advanced division starting at 3 p.m. Membership in 4-H is not required. A maximum of 20 teams in each division are permitted, and robot-builders who seek to take part should call the West River Agricultural Center at (605) 394-2236 before Aug. 28.

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The Robotics Challenge is a non-competitive event designed to introduce the 4-H robotics program. The South Dakota Space Grant Consortium is co-sponsoring the event.

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