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County Fair Provides Glimpse of University’s Mobile Maker Space

June 5, 2019
Two kids flying a drone at the Mobile Maker Space at the Merced County Fair.
Flying a drone is one of several STEM-related activities students can enjoy at UC Merced's Mobile Maker Space at the Merced County Fair.

The county fair offers food and fun, and thanks to UC Merced, this year’s Merced County Fair will also feature 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. Attendees have an opportunity to experience the Mobile Maker Space at the fair’s Discovering Science exhibit 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 UC Merced Foundation — will visit county fairs, schools and community events across the Central 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.

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

Kids playing at the Mobile Maker Space.
The Mobile Maker Space is set to hit the road early next year.

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

The Mobile Maker Space will be joined in the Discovering Science exhibit by the Kids Discovery Station, which will become part of a future Children’s Museum in Merced. This is the second year the Merced County Fair has featured the Discovering Science exhibit.

“We could not be more grateful for UC Merced’s partnership on the Discovering Science exhibit and for choosing the fair to debut their new Mobile Maker Space,” said Teresa Burrola, CEO of the Merced County Fair. “The incredible activities they are bringing to our fairgoers, and in turn our community, will really excite the minds of our youth and provide hours of entertainment at the fair — and it’s all for free.”

A student plays with the scribble bots.
UC Merced's Mobile Maker Space will be open through Sunday from 5-9 p.m.

Kenneth Mashinchi

Senior Public Information Officer

Mobile: (209) 643-5418

kmashinchi@ucmerced.edu