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Agent Worms' to debut at Ag Open House
Barlow, Life Sciences Editor
(217) 333-5802; email@example.com
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- "Secret
Agent Worms," corn as a vitamin and fuel, and kenaf as an alternative
cash crop are among the exhibits to be displayed March 2-3 at the 12th
Annual College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
(ACES) Open House at the University of Illinois.
This yearÕs theme is "Science
All Around Us."
"The Open House truly will
have 'Science All Around Us' as visitors will have the opportunity to
explore everything from plant and animal sciences to economic, home
and engineering sciences," said Scottie Miller, associate director of
development and director of special events for the college. "They can
extract DNA, talk to Master Gardeners about their spring garden plans,
and hold a variety of animals and insects."
Open House hours will be
from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. The gateway to the ACES Open House
will be the Plant Sciences Laboratory, 1201 S. Dorner Drive, Urbana.
Inside the Plant Sciences
Laboratory, guests can learn about the insect world. The Insect Place
allows for getting up close, including close enough to pet. Another
exhibit discusses the Asian long-horned beetle. Another focuses on the
bugs of Illinois.
Children can get their first
look at Napoleon Soil and Jane Blonde, two "Secret Agent Worms" poised
to debut in a series of full-color childrenÕs books and activity packets.
The first book featuring the zany agents is geared for third- through
fifth-grade readers. Creator Doug Peterson, an Extension communications
specialist, will be on hand to lead demonstrations with visiting parents,
teachers and children.
This yearÕs Floral Design
to Music demonstration, titled "Beauty and the Beat," will be at 11
a.m. and 2 p.m. each day in the Plant Sciences Laboratory.
In the Agricultural Engineering
Sciences Building, 1304 W. Pennsylvania Ave., visitors will find a variety
of food booths and the always popular orange-and-blue Illini ice cream.
There also will be exhibits involving food, too, such as "Where Do Vitamins
Come From" that, among other examples, tell how Vitamin E comes from
Another exhibit on corn focuses
on the crop as fuel, particularly how the dry-grind ethanol production
process offers potential relief from high gas prices. Another exhibit
focuses on sun power. It will show how solar cells, once used to power
satellites, can be harnessed at low cost to help out on the farm --
operating gates, pumping water for livestock and maintaining oxygen
levels in fish ponds.
The Technology Systems Management
Student Club, in one display, will show how manure can make a profit
and, in another, answer the question, "What do a glass of Guinness and
a spray nozzle have in common?" Other exhibits will highlight opportunities
for students in agricultural and consumer economics, provide overviews
on various financial management programs, and detail the work of the
Council for Food and Agricultural Research (CFAR) to promote science.
In addition to the Plant
Sciences Laboratory, exhibits and demonstrations will be set up in the
Stock Pavilion, 1402 W. Pennsylvania Ave., where there will be a spring-like
area developed by the new Junior Master Gardeners Program. Visitors
also can see the floor plans for the ACES Library, Information and Library
Center, still under construction.
They can also learn about
"Biodiversity Blitz 2001," which is a one-day photographic trip to capture
on film the flora and fauna of Allerton Park. The public will have the
opportunity to watch and learn as scientists of the UI and Illinois
Natural History Survey blitz the park in a 24-hour period beginning
at 2 p.m. June 29.
Young visitors at the Stock
Pavilion can milk a cow, plant seeds, watch a sheep-shearing demonstration,
and pet pigs and other animals. The Maize Genetics Stock Center will
display mutant, colorful corn. The mutant examples provide insight into
the metabolic, developmental and other biological processes studied
by crop scientists.
The department of natural
resources and environmental sciences will have exhibits on the "ABCs
of Selling Timber" and "Kenaf: The Fiber of the Future?" Kenaf is seen
as a potential, short-term alternative crop for Illinois farmers. UI
researchers suggest that this non-wood fiber plant, native to east-central
Africa, could be tapped for fiber production if predictions of a wood-fiber
As always, the Meat Sciences
Laboratory, 1503 S. Maryland, will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both
days of Open House so that guests may purchase beef, pork and lamb products
to take home.
Guests may park free at
the south end of University Lot E-14, at First Street and St. MaryÕs
Road just southwest of Assembly Hall in Champaign. Free Open House shuttle
service will run between Lot E-14 and the Plant Sciences Laboratory,
the Stock Pavilion and other Open House locations beginning at 9 a.m.
and running continuously until 4 p.m.
On Saturday, on-street and
campus-lot parking will be available. A free campus shuttle bus also
will be operating every 30 minutes both days from the Stock Pavilion
between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. so visitors can travel across campus
to the Engineering Open House.
There is no admission charge
to the Open House, which draws more than 20,000 visitors each year.