Kids Do State Fair Math - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

Kids Do State Fair Math

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If kids designed the Nebraska State Fair, fairgoers would get chandeliers and glow in the dark rooms, even a moon rock exhibit. 

"I put a humongous game arcade," Kyra Baker showed on her drawing.

Tucker Vahle showed off something he'd get from NASA. "I had a zero gravity machine."

While Baker had another novel facility. "I had a gift shop. Most fairs don't have a gift shop."

Vahle, a sixth grade student at Westridge Middle School even thought of an arena for alpaca races. 

"Just because you don't think of alpacas or llamas racing," he said with a laugh.

Tucker's blueprints pleased the fair's livestock superintendent because he featured lots of animal barns. 

Tucker said, "Fairs are getting more for rides so I didn't put much in there because that's not that's important to me."

Livestock Superintendent Jana Hafer said, "That makes me very happy. I'm thrilled to see that he incorporated animal agriculture into the grounds."

It's a math lesson on a huge scale. But the cost the kids calculated is far below the $42 million Jana Hafer explained it's really costing. 

"We had some deer in the headlights looks," she said. "I think that is a large amount of money for them to conceptualize but we're able to stretch the dollars, do quite a bit on the grounds with the money."

If it were up to Jan Sorensen's class, the buildings would be squares, circles, and trapezoids, a little different than the rectangles currently under construction.

With that big investment, the hope is 4-H kids like Tucker will be joined by first time fairgoers like Kyra.

She said, "I never got to go. My parents always said it was too far."

Hafer said, "It's a phenomenal thing Nebraska's getting and we should be proud that it's  built for us to be able to showcase all of the different things we do in the state."

Next up, the kids are working on probability. That may include the odds of winning a game on the State Fair midway. 

Reporter's Notes by Steve White:
The kids were expected to use different shapes in their fair drawings. They had to calculate area, circumference, and perimeter.

Hafer visited the class twice, first to introduce the project and later to listen to their presentations.

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