The National Cattle Congress is kicking off their 105th annual fair today in Waterloo, with the traditional carnival rides, rodeos and fried food.
But as KWWL's Jessica Hartman found, children attending the fair are having more than just fun.
It was a wet first day of the fair, however for the many elementary students in attendance, it didn't seem to bother them. Students weren't at their desks, but that doesn't mean they weren't learning. The fair offers a hands-on opportunity teachers can't provide in the classroom. "In our science standards for example, there are lots of standards that talk about cycles of life for animals, for plants. So there are a lot of places where this is a good connect," said Dr. Jane Lindaman, Waterloo Community School District Superintendent. And even Lindaman got her hands dirty, before quizzing the kids. "What color is the other cow?" asked Lindaman to a group of elementary students. One kid shouted, "Brown!" "They get to see them in movies and books, but to actually see the real size of them. It makes it real," said Mike Bolick, Poyner Elementary teacher. "A lot of time we ask them to visualize something, now they actually have that background, where they can actually see it and that makes a big difference in understanding." And children were eager to tell you what they learned.
"They give milk and the milk is really healthy," said second grader, Ella, after walking through the dairy barn. Those educational opportunities along with the fun will be going on through Sunday.