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Big Thoughts and Big Tex – New at the State Fair

The State Fair of Texas has partnered with Big Thought, a leading non-profit in curriculum development in the Dallas area, to create a community-centered, STEM-focused curriculum for grades four through eight.

From corn dogs to chili cook-offs, the Ferris wheel to games on the midway, pig races to the livestock barn, there is something for everyone at the State Fair of Texas. Since 1886, the Fair has been proudly educating and entertaining families in the heart of Dallas, and this year, for the first time ever, the fun extends to the classroom.

The State Fair of Texas has partnered with Big Thought, a leading non-profit in curriculum development in the Dallas area, to create a community-centered, STEM-focused curriculum for grades four through eight.

“Students sit inside the classroom every day, but learning is everywhere,” says Krissi Oden, curriculum developer for Big Thought. “And the Fair itself is a mecca for learning.”

Students will learn the science behind fried food, study Big Tex as a cultural icon, and discuss how producers and consumers work hand-in-hand at the Fair.

For each project, all subjects—from math and science to writing and art—are fully integrated. Lessons take place before, during, and after a class’s visit to the Fair. If the project is to design a midway, for example, the first component will discuss the history of carnival midways and how designers think about noise, light, and people when creating these environments.

While at the Fair, students will sketch what they see, record the sounds they hear, jot down ideas for their own projects. And once back in the classroom, a group of students will work together to design and build their own midway, incorporating what they learned on site.

“The Fair has fun and food and excitement and noise that we all enjoy without really thinking about how it works, how it was made, what the thought process behind it was,” says Oden.

Now, kids will not only be eating the most delicious funnel cake, but they will also be wondering how it is made, how it is sold, who designed the booth and signage—and that’s an education they can take anywhere.

The State Fair of Texas ends Oct. 18. For more information: bigtex.com

President and CEO Robbie Briggs independently owns and operates Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty with offices in Dallas, Fort Worth, Uptown, Lakewood, Ranch and Land, The Ballpark and Southlake

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