Purdue Extension to host exhibits at fair

Daily Reporter staff reports

INDIANAPOLIS — Last year’s Indiana State Fair celebrated the state’s rich agricultural tradition. This year, Purdue Extension looks to the future with a series of exhibits focused on helping people make easy, everyday choices to develop healthier bodies and stronger communities.

The 2017 Indiana State Fair runs Aug. 4-20. The theme of this year’s fair is “The Wonderful World of Food.” The Indiana State Fairgrounds are located at 1202 E. 38th St., Indianapolis. Purdue Extension exhibits are located in the Agriculture/Horticulture and 4-H buildings, both on the west side of the fairgrounds near the midway.

The exhibits are:

Be Heart Smart

Heart disease is the number-one cause of death in Indiana and the United States. Purdue Extension’s Be Heart Smart exhibit will show how even small lifestyle changes can help lower the risk of heart disease and how physical fitness and healthy eating can be fun.

Visitors will have a chance to learn about the heart. They can get their heart rate up with a few moderate physical activity challenges then cool down by visiting the relaxation station — a place to learn how to lower stress and heart rate through the use of “guided imagery” and deep breathing.

The exhibit also includes a lighted pathway to help visitors make healthier lifestyle choices. There will be demonstrations of heart healthy recipes throughout the fair.

Enhancing the Value of Public Spaces

What will Indiana look like in 2030? Fair-goers will have an opportunity to bring their own visions of the future to life in an interactive community-planning simulation developed by Purdue Extension’s Enhancing the Value of Public Spaces program.

The all-ages computer simulation demonstrates real-world processes of community planning. If they choose, visitors can anonymously submit their plans to a database where the plans will be cataloged and preserved.

Indiana Soundscapes

Developed by Purdue’s Discovery Park Center for Global Soundscapes, this exhibit takes visitors back in time to sonically experience what the Indiana prairie was like two centuries ago, and what it looks and sounds like today.

“The exhibit is designed to raise awareness of changes in our soundscapes and how decisions we make today will affect our entire ecosystem in the future,” said Bryan Pijanowski, director of the center.

Indiana’s Climate Crossroads

Earth’s climate is changing, with an increase in extreme weather events reported worldwide. Studies show global temperatures have increased by 2 degrees Fahrenheit. What does this mean for Indiana, a state whose agricultural sector depends on a reliable temperature and rainfall patterns?

The exhibit will help visitors better understand how changes in the climate will affect Hoosiers and what they can do about it. One display will highlight some of the steps Indiana communities are already taking to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.

Where Food Waste Goes

Intended for elementary school-age audiences, the exhibit consists of four highly interactive and colorful sections. The first section mimics the popular “Plinko” game from the TV game show “The Price is Right.” The second section is a play kitchen where visitors learn about how to conserve and preserve food, such as taking smaller portions during meals and labeling leftovers in a freezer. A third panel shows visitors how to reduce waste at school. The fourth section shows how food waste in landfills has a negative impact on water quality.