Merced County Times Newspaper
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Fair provides glimpse of university’s Mobile Maker Space

This year, the Merced County Fair featured an interactive space for kids to learn.

UC Merced’s Mobile Maker Space is an innovative mobile science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) hub with hands-on activities and workshops geared toward students in kindergarten through high school.

Fair attendees had an opportunity to experience the Mobile Maker Space before it launches to the public early next year.

Once it is on the road, the Mobile Maker Space — made possible through the generous support of Mike and Lori Gallo and the University of California, Merced, Foundation — will visit county fairs, schools and community events across the San Joaquin Valley, providing engaging ways for students to embrace science, technology, engineering and math.

“There are new ideas and concepts that are important for children to learn, especially in the STEM fields, and we wanted to ensure that students in the Valley have the opportunities to learn these critical skills,” said Mike Gallo.

Lori Gallo added, “This will help better our workforce in the county and the Central Valley and prepare our children for the future.”

The space’s activities include:

• Scribble Bots — users harness the power of angular motion to create motorized robots that produce works of art;

• Paper Circuits — users build electrical circuits out of paper and household materials to produce light;

• Augmented Reality — users view molecules that make up everyday materials;

• Drone Cage — users fly drones through obstacles and experience the growing field of unmanned-vehicle flight; and

• Recycling Games — users work to recycle different kinds of materials to help keep the environment green and sustainable

To relive other moments from the Merced County Fair, readers can check out our coverage of the opening ceremonies that included a groundbreaking of a new shade structure, the Merced Speedway that packed the grandstands, the jr. livestock auctions and showmanship competitions that brought 4-H and FFA’s best and brightest together, the special needs Friends Helping Friends Day on Friday, or the live music performance of Canaan Smith. Those interested in seeing the sights of the Merced County Fair again can check out our photo gallery post covering the attractions, rodeo, and more from this year’s fair.

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