Shhhh… don’t tell the kids! The State Fair is more than fun, it’s also educational. Check out out Top 10 activities to participate in science, technology, engineering and math-oriented (STEM) activities at the fair, Oct. 13-23.
1. The brink floater mussel is the Wildlife Resources Commission’s featured species of the year, and fairgoers can see these freshwater mussels up close to learn more about these invertebrates and their importance to freshwater ecosystems. The exhibit is located near the Village of Yesteryear and the Children’s Barnyard.
2. Stop by the tobacco barn in Heritage Circle to see how tobacco leaves were traditionally cured. Tobacco will be loaded into the barn before, during and after the tobacco-stringing contest at 2 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 14. When full, a fire will be lit, allowing heat to fill the barn and cure the tobacco during the week. Talk to the volunteers of this exhibit to learn how curing tobacco must be kept as certain temperatures to evenly cure tobacco.
3. Check out the working steam-powered sawmill near Heritage Circle. Volunteers will be on hand to explain and show the processes the engine undergoes to transform timber into boards.
4. Visit the N.C. Forest Service exhibit to see Smokey Bear and learn more about maintaining healthy forests and forest fire prevention.
5. “BEE”come a bee expert at the Bee and Honey competition area in the Exposition Center. Beekeepers will be available to talk about beekeeping practices and the critical role bees and other pollinators play in producing our food. The exhibit features an active beehive.
6. Check out the Magic Bean show in Kiddieland, where the act combines magic with agricultural science education to teach kids about how food goes from the farm to the table.
7. Learn about modern farm practices that bring you safe and delicious dairy products by visiting the Mobile Dairy Classroom located between the Graham Building and Exposition Center.
8. Stroll through the Field of Dreams, also known as the fair’s miniature farm, located near Gate 1 and Dorton Arena. This year’s exhibit features four specialty gardens to help kids understand the origins of their favorite foods. Children collects stamps by exploring the Subs and Spuds, Gobble Garden, Pizza Patch and Taco Town gardens, to redeem a prize.
9. Step into the State Fair Ark in the Exposition Center to see more than 60 animals on display, representing the state’s diverse livestock population. Kids can learn about the various breeds of farm animals including beef and dairy cattle, sheep, goats and swine. Visitors can also opt to milk a cow with the help of volunteers from the N.C. State University Animal Society.
10. See a collection of vintage farm tools and machinery at the Antique Farm Machinery exhibit, located near the Village of Yesteryear. Equipment ranging from aged hand reapers and old milk bottles, to antique tractors from the 1930s and 1950s, will be on display.