WVU NRCCE offers ‘sweet’ rewards at state fair

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August 10, 2005

Morgantown, W.Va. — The West Virginia State Fair usually conjures up images of cotton candy, carnival rides and smiling families.

This year, West Virginia University‘s National Research Center for Coal and Energy is adding cookies and feuding to the mix.

NRCCE will host activities Wednesday, Aug. 17, and Thursday, Aug. 18, in the WVU Mountaineer Country Tent, where kids and families can participate in everything from chocolate chip cookie mining to a “Family Feud”-style game.

“We wanted to do something that would get families involved and promote math and science education to children,” said Trina Wafle, NRCCE associate director.

Chocolate chip cookie mining teaches kids how the coal industry works while giving them a chance to sell their “coal” chips for prizes.

At 2 and 4 p.m. both days, two families will face off in a question-and-answer game featuring energy and environmental research. Families play for the opportunity to win a basket with a grand prize of autographed WVU athletic items.

“We figured the kids probably spend all day arguing over things like which rides to ride first or who got the bigger ice cream cone,” said Cassie Waugh, a WVU journalism graduate student and NRCCE intern, who created the game. “We thought parents might want to find a different outlet for all that energy, where they might even walk away with a prize.”

“When people show an interest not only in our games and prizes but also in the research we do at the NRCCE, it makes attending the fair very rewarding,” Wafle added.