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Purdue Extension to unveil interactive technology at Indiana State Fair

Put your imagination and creativity to the test with advanced coding robots, 3D printers, laser cutters, virtual reality goggles and more at the Indiana State Fair, set for July 30-Aug. 22.

Purdue Extension will partner with the Indiana Manufacturing Competitiveness Center (IN-MaC) and STEM Education Works to bring innovative technologies to people of all ages through a design and innovation studio located at the Mac Reynolds Barn. The studio will host a variety of basic technology used throughout industry, allowing everyone to learn by doing.

“Purdue Extension is a resource for all Indiana communities facing new challenges daily. We are excited to be back at the Indiana State Fair and to provide new opportunities for learning, including the design and innovation studio,” said Jason Henderson, director of Purdue Extension and senior associate dean of Purdue College of Agriculture.

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Design and Innovation Studio participants can:

  • Learn about block and text coding with BOLT – Sphero’s most advanced coding robot to date.
  • Draw, write, engrave or 3D print with the Dobot Magician robotic arm.
  • Create a masterpiece with Glowforge, the best-in-class laser cutter.
  • Using virtual reality technology, concentrate to move a robotic arm.
  • Complete a survey to receive a 3D-printed ear of corn with the 4-H emblem.

“These studios are the next step for Indiana 4-H in preparing today’s youth for tomorrow’s workforce,” said Casey Mull, assistant director of Purdue Extension, 4-H youth development.

Indiana 4-H projects will be on public display Aug. 4-22 in the 4-H Exhibit Hall, Centennial Hall and the Purdue Extension Ag/Horticulture Building with hands-on activities for all youth on Fridays through Sundays. 4-H’ers will also exhibit their animal projects throughout the fair. The full animal exhibition schedule can be found here.  

Another annual Purdue event at the fair is the Purdue Extension panel discussion of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s August crop production report. This year the discussion will be held at 2 p.m., Aug. 12 in the Farm Bureau Building Ballroom.

The Indiana State Fairgrounds is located at 1202 E. 38th St., Indianapolis. The fair is open Wednesday through Sunday. Purdue Extension exhibitions are located in the Mac Reynolds Barn on the north side of the fairgrounds and the Purdue Extension Ag/Horticulture Building, located on the west side of the fairgrounds near the midway. All equipment will be sanitized each hour, and sanitizing wipes will be available for people to use before and after use.

For media requests, contact Abby Leeds, mayer36@purdue.edu or 765-494-7817.

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