Iowa State will have lively presence at the Iowa State Fair


Iowa State Fair goers will enjoy the exhibit created by an Iowa State team for the 2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival held last month in Washington, D.C. Photo by Kanji Takeno.

Visitors to Iowa State's exhibit at the Iowa State Fair (Aug. 9-19) can share the experience enjoyed by a million people this summer on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

The university's 2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival exhibit will be featured in the "Celebrating our Morrill Act Heritage" display in the air-conditioned Varied Industries Building. The exhibit was selected to be part of the national celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act, which laid the foundation for land-grant universities. It showcases how Iowa State faculty, staff and students apply design to help communities solve problems.

"Our exhibit celebrates what makes Iowa State special for students and the taxpayers of Iowa," said university marketing director Carole Custer.

"Iowa State is one of the most accomplished land-grant schools in the nation -- open to students without regard to gender or economic or social class. It's where students learn how to apply their knowledge to be job-ready upon graduation, where we make major research breakthroughs and discoveries and then take that knowledge to the citizens of Iowa for their betterment," Custer said.

Interactive games let visitors think like designers

Using advanced digital technology and old-fashioned conversation, the featured exhibit demonstrates the techniques and processes designers use to create, innovate and transform communities.

Interactive games and activities led by design and ISU extension and outreach faculty and staff let visitors explore the world of design and think like designers.

Exhibit staff will demonstrate how designers use technology like a MakerBot to create prototypes and models. A MakerBot is a 3D printer that uses thermoplastic extrusion to make 3D objects.

The exhibit also shares examples of projects generated through collaborations between the university and Iowa communities -- including before-and-after photos from the Extension and Outreach Community Visioning program and work from design students' studio class projects.


Giveaways, special guests and merchandise

Iowa State also will celebrate the Cyclones' athletic success of the past year with a display of the CyHawk football game trophy, the CyHawk series trophy, the Big 12 women's cross country championship trophy and a video of athletic highlights.

Women's basketball head coach Bill Fennelly will greet fans Sunday afternoon, Aug. 12 (2-3 p.m.). The University Book Store portion of the exhibit will offer special Iowa State merchandise for the fair, and Cy will make periodic appearances.

Visitors can sign up at the ISU exhibit for prize drawings held daily. Visitors can win a pair of football game tickets, a pair of volleyball game tickets, two tickets to a show from the Stephens Auditorium 2012-13 Performing Arts Series, or a copy of the new book, The Land-Grant Act and the People's College: Iowa State University.

Post your fan photo to Iowa State's Facebook page

Tens of thousands of Iowa State tattoos, football posters and football schedule cards will be given away. And this year, Cyclone fans can snap photos of their tattoos or pose beside the athletic trophies and upload the shots to Iowa State 's Facebook page. Each day during the fair, one fairgoer fan snapshot from the online photo album will be chosen for Iowa State's profile picture.

4-H: More than livestock

You can't have a fair without 4-H. The 4-H Exhibits Building will be packed with projects, displays and interactive learning presentations. This year's events include:

  • Robotics Challenge, Aug. 10-11 (9 a.m.): 11 teams of Iowa youth show off their robot designing and programming skills in a live challenge
  • Cook This! 4-H Culinary Challenge, Aug. 12-14 (10 a.m.): 25 teams of fifth through 12th graders demonstrate their creativity in the kitchen
  • 4-H Hall of Fame inductions, Aug. 19 (1:30 and 3:30 p.m.): A program will honor the dedicated adults who contribute tirelessly to the development of Iowa's youth

And in the 4-H Exhibits Building, displays from each college at Iowa State will give fairgoers the opportunity to learn more about majors and degree programs on campus.

Food finder App

Developed by the Des Moines Register and sponsored by ISU Extension and Outreach, the Food Finder app for the iPhone is the fairgoers' guide to all things edible. The app can search and map foods at the fair by type or vendor, find healthy fare and nutrition information, and calculate how much activity it takes to burn calories. The app will be available at the App Store or at

Go on a scavenger hunt and visit the CyCone

Fairgoers can discover more about ISU Extension and Outreach with a scavenger hunt, beginning at the 4-H Exhibits Building and continuing around the fairgrounds. Completed scavenger hunt forms can be submitted for a chance to win an iPad. And ISU Extension and Outreach has again participated in the fair's concrete sculpture painting event. This year's sculptures are ice cream cones, and the "CyCone" is located outside the 4-H Exhibits Building.

Show your Cyclone pride on Aug. 11

On Saturday, Aug. 11, visitors are invited to help turn the fairgrounds into a sea of cardinal by wearing their Iowa State colors.

Doctor making house calls

Dr. Bruce Leuschen, a clinician in the department of veterinary diagnostic and production animal medicine, once again will serve as the Iowa State Fair's veterinarian. Veterinarian and ISU alum Dr. Courtney Blake and four ISU veterinary medicine students will assist him. They are responsible for the health of the thousands of animals being exhibited, as well as those participating in special events such as the rodeo and harness racing.