‘Get On A Stick’ and soak in the knowledge at the 2014 Kansas State Fair

HUTCHINSON, Kan. – From animals to agriculture, crafts to cowboys, the Kansas State Fair is a one-of-a-kind educational event that no student should miss. Whether educators bring their class to the Fair or bring agriculture to their students, the Fair offers a substantial number of learning opportunities.

“The Kansas State Fair is more than a source of entertainment,” said Denny Stoecklein, Kansas State Fair’s General Manager. “It provides a platform of agricultural education for fairgoers of all ages.”

The programs scheduled throughout the Fair give opportunities to learn about the often forgotten or taken for granted agriculture practices.

S.T.E.A.M. Ahead Program

The S.T.E.A.M. Ahead program provides educators and fairgoers with hands-on agricultural activities that align with state standard curriculum while educating students about agriculture. S.T.E.A.M. stands for science, technology, engineering, art and math. This year’s lessons will feature 2nd and 4th grade mathematics activities taught through the use of agriculture. These activities are available at kansasstatefair.com and are identified with S.T.E.A.M. Ahead signage throughout the Fairgrounds.

Scholastic Press Corps

High school students from across the state have the chance to put their journalism and video production skills to the test in the Scholastic Press Corps program. Students are put in realistic job scenarios by covering specific stories on a tight deadline. As part of the program, students create a 4-page newsletter or 4-minute video for a broad audience. Industry professionals volunteer time to rank the various entries and participants are invited to attend an awards banquet in October. Teams consist of no more than five students to compete. The program is in high demand and full for the 2014 Fair.  Kansas High Schools from Wichita, Kansas City, Phillipsburg, Riley and others plan to compete for the prestigious honors. In addition, Kansas Collegiate photography students will be charged with documenting the Fair through photos. Students are mentored through the Scholastic Press Corps program and eventually compete for the People’s Choice Award.

Kansas’ Largest Classroom

The Kansas’ Largest Classroom program supplies teachers with all of the materials they need for a successful field trip to the Fair, including lesson plans. Educators can explore every inch of the Kansas State Fair or design a field trip around a specific subject. For example, 2nd grade math students can gain hands-on practice with graphics that meet State Standards for Math 2.MD.10: draw a picture graph and a bar graph (with single-unit scale) to represent a data set up to four categories. While at the Kansas State Fair, teachers can ask their classes to create a bar graph representing the different weight of pumpkins found in the Pride of Kansas Building.

To view additional lesson plans, see bit.ly/1lhfnwg.

Agriland

While on the Fairgrounds, students can visit Agriland in the Pride of Kansas Building. Agriland helps children understand how Kansas crops and livestock provide us not only with food, but also with numerous other items we use in our everyday lives, from basketballs to bubblegum. Children can weigh themselves on a livestock scale, comparing their weight to the weight of a calf or other young animals. They can view growing crops, touch the various grains, and “drive” a combine. The time to experience Agriland is roughly 20 minutes and it’s open from 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

Birthing Center

Calves, ewes and chicks are born every day during the course of the Fair. Students are given the opportunity to learn about this process and even get to hold some of the baby animals at times. This year, the Birthing Center will feature a new duck pond. Video cameras, television monitors and a P.A. system help students in all areas of the center see and hear what’s happening in the pens.

To learn more about the educational opportunities at the Kansas State Fair, see kansasstatefair.com.

About the Kansas State Fair

It’s always a blast call at the Kansas State Fair – from the opening bell to the final grandstand blockbuster. So get on a stick and head for the world-class Midway, blue-ribbon animals and family-friendly activities. It’s pure Americana – an event not to be missed. Party with your pals and hear the hottest performers at the U.S. Cellular Grandstand. Tour the many agricultural and educational displays. Win prizes. Brave heart-pounding carnival rides. Sample some fried ’n’ joy – and other culinary delights. Enormous vegetables, odd artifacts, homemade crafts and the infamous butter sculpture provide something for everyone. Nonstop fun from Sept. 5-14, 2014, the event is the largest in the state of Kansas with crowds numbering more than 350,000. The fairgrounds are in centrally located Hutchinson, Kansas. Mark your calendars now and plan to join Kansans from across the state – along with visitors of true discernment from around the world. For more information, call 620-669-3600, toll free 800.362.FAIR or visit www.kansasstatefair.com.

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