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August 9, 2002

Governor Opens 5th Annual Tech Town

Springfield -- Governor George H. Ryan today opened Tech Town at the Illinois State Fair inviting all fairgoers to take the opportunity to learn and explore state government and services. This is the 5th year Governor Ryan has opened Tech Town to provide all fair attendees with hands-on examples of government technology in action.

"Tech Town has always been a fun and interactive fair experience for families to enjoy," said Governor Ryan. "With over 20 state organizations represented, this exhibit is a great way for citizens of Illinois to see what government is doing to serve them more efficiently and effectively."

Tech Town is again organized by “neighborhoods” which showcase the latest technology in use across state government.

“The neighborhoods in Tech Town demonstrate Illinois’ commitment to technology throughout state government,” Ryan said. “From education to public safety and the environment to business, Illinois is a leader in the use of technology.”

Exhibitors include:

Town Square

  • VentureTECH grand entrance, modeled after the Chrysler building at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair with highlights of statewide technology initiatives including Public Key Infrastructre/Digital Signatures and display of the 1st place “Digital State” award.
  • The Governor’s Desk will be in the center of Tech Town where visitors will have an opportunity to see an interactive review of previous state fairs dating back to the early 1900s.
  • Route 66 Cyber Café - Allows fair attendees to surf the net and check their email.
  • Brookfield Zoo - Video link on the interactive videowall allowing fair attendees to see animals and interact with zookeepers daily.
  • Shedd Aquarium - Direct connection on the videowall to the Coral Reef allowing questions and interaction with divers daily.
  • “Sights of Illinois” live camera shots at North Point Marina, SIU-Carbondale, James R. Thompson Center, State Capitol, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and over 15 fairground camera shots.

Learning Lane

  • Future Factor - An interactive game for young adults to learn about higher education and careers. Participants earn free books, handed out in the Governor’s Tent, as a part of the Reading Passport.
  • Illinois Community College Board – Demo registration and participation in online Community College classes plus an interactive computer game.
  • Illinois Student Assistance Commission - Information on the Monetary Award Program and the interactive adventure "Who Wants to be A College Graduate."
  • Illinois Math and Science Academy - The Science of Bubbleology. Visitors will learn science and math concepts and experience what it is like to be a scientist through two hands-on experiments using soap bubbles.
  • Illinois Online Leadership Council - Presentations to help people understand the capacity, speed, convenience of online/virtual learning opportunities. This includes the Illinois Virtual Campus, Illinois Virtual High School and State Library.
  • State Board of Education - Visitors to this year’s Illinois State Fair will have the chance to measure the size of their foot to that of Sue, the world’s largest, most complete, best preserved, and most famous Tyrannosaurus Rex. Thanks to the generosity of the Field Museum, a plaster cast of Sue’s right foot will be available for viewing in Tech Town. This model is identical to Sue’s actual foot and is used for educational and research purposes. The Illinois State Museum is providing other skeletal feet to compare to Sue’s foot. After viewing the exhibit, children may visit the Museum in the Classroom website to link-up with the Field Museum and learn the complete history of Sue. Teachers and students will also be on hand daily to demonstrate classroom technology projects.
  • Illinois Reads/Reading Passport – Tech Town is the stop on the passport program where children get their picture taken. The program allows children to collect stamps from around the fairgrounds to earn a book. Books will be handed out at the Governor's tent once Passport is complete.

Business Boulevard

Outdoor Trail

Public Service Place

  • Southern Illinois University – Highlighting telemedicine initiatives with rural hospitals.
  • Illinois State Police - Highlighting the latest public safety technology and wireless communication, including a fully interactive undercover car and motorcycle.
  • Attorney General's Office - Interactive exhibit to learn about safe surfing guidelines for children and adults.
  • Department of Human Services - "Be an Investigative Reporter" game in which fair attendees can search the web to complete the full story in the "Press Room."
  • Department of Children and Family Services - Demonstration of the new online Statewide Automated Child Welfare System.

Multiple exhibitors in Tech Town and around the fairgrounds will be using wireless technology. In addition, Tech Town will also host an assortment of giveaways and drawings for technology equipment.

Once again all major expenses for Tech Town are paid for by corporate sponsors. Major sponsors include: Apple Computer, Dell Computer, Bronner Group, Cisco, Insight Communications, SBC Ameritech, Microsoft, Chicago Systems Group, Compaq, Novanis, Primo Designs, IBM, 3M, Gartner Group, Peoplesoft, Staff Carpeting and Vtel.

Housed in an air-conditioned pavilion on Central Avenue between the Coliseum and the high-dive show, Tech Town will be open during the State Fair from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily.


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