Desert Empire Fair 2007

Posted by Debby on 19th October and posted in Cultivating Communities, Robotics

Cerro Coso Community College was well represented at the Desert Empire Fair this year with three different exhibitions – the general college booth, the Automotive Hybrid Car booth, and the Students Intrigued by Technology booth. I think I was at the fair almost the entire time and it was a wonderful opportunity to talk about what we do up here. Between the three areas we had set up, fair visitors saw Cerro Coso at just about every turn!

Janis Hybrid Car

As always, it was a huge group effort and many thanks to all of those who worked, brought in supplies, etc. I’d especially like to thank John Daly and his crew, who as always, did a phenomenal job of getting things set up. Michelle Montemayor was instrumental in organizing and coordinating our S.I.T. booth. We couldn’t have pulled it off without her! Everyone who worked one of the booths, including lots and lots of students, deserves a big hand for representing our college in such a positive way.

S.I.T. Booth S.I.T. Booth

We had several activities going on throughout the fair. Club members set up a row of computers running the Linux operating system for fairgoers to try out. We initially wanted to network them altogether, but there was a little problem with the server. They used some of the computers that were rebuilt from the Salvage Project last spring. Visitors enjoyed watching our members work on the machines on site and we even got several requests to fix computers. Maybe we should go into business!

Server Problems Learning on Linux

Another activity we set up was the LEGO sandbox. We had non-stop kids (and parents as you can see!) putting together bricks to see what they could come up with. It was fun to watch kids, teenagers, and adults using their creativity to build interesting objects.

LEGO Sandbox LEGO Sandbox

On one side of the booth, we set up several laptops using different operating systems so that visitors could see the differences. The Macbook running a cool little program called PhotoBooth was definitely the most popular. People would walk by and catch a glimpse of themselves on the monitor and stop to make silly faces. It was just like that Photo Booth bit that Jay Leno does on the Tonight Show!

Visitors PhotoBooth

Our ASCC President (and S.I.T. Club Treasurer) Robert Villicana had the opportunity to judge the Lego Building Contest, along with Sandy Smith, another club member. It was a hard job to decide after talking to all of the little kids about their creations. In the end, Sandy and Robert selected a winner and presented the Grand Prize ribbon that was sponsored by the club.

LEGO Building Contest LEGO Building Contest

Finally, the highlight of the weekend (for us anyhow!) was the Build-It-Here contest that we sponsored. Each contestant was given a bucket of LEGOs or Duplos and had 30 minutes to build anything they wanted. Awards were given for Most Imaginative, Most Technical, and Cutest in each of the four age categories (2-5, 6-9, 10-13, 14-17). We had 27 kids involved in the LEGOs categories and 7 kids involved in the Duplo category. It was energetic, chaotic, crazy, insane fun and somehow we pulled it off. All of the kids got to take their bucket of LEGOs home (with a sticker that had the club and college name on it of course) and the winners were given certificates.

Winners Ages 6-9 LEGO Robot
Building Building Building Lots of Legos

If you are interested in donating to the club to offset the cost of the LEGOs, please contact our Treasurer, Robert Villicana ( We’ll be happy to give you a receipt for tax purposes 🙂

It’s going to take a while to recover (at least for the advisor) but the club members are already tossing around ideas for the fair next year. I can’t wait to see what they come up with!!

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