The Joys of Edutainment at the 38th Annual OC Fair Imaginology

Posted: April 26, 2017 in Art, Events, Orange County
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The Orange County Fair & Event Center’s Imaginology event returned for its 38th year running this past weekend in Costa Mesa. This free and all-ages event covered all things S.T.E.A.M. related – science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics. If it had anything to do with creativity, one would surely find it at Imaginology. Due to the nature of this event, its target audience primarily revolved around children from elementary school through high school. Suffice to say, anyone of any age would still surely appreciate all the gadgets, exhibits, demos, gizmos, toys, and whatnot available to interact with here.

As an event with lots of variety in the description, the plethora of available things to do would keep anyone occupied for hours. The center area in front of the hangar included a music stage, food vendors, and a handful of additional demo booths for visitors to check out. Around here, all the buildings contained something different. One building contained a good mixture of tables to interact with that included math, smartphones, costume design, traditional canvas art, 3D printing, automotive exhibits, fashion, medical devices, and more. Another building contained nature and biology exhibits, with the back exit door leading to outdoor nature exhibits. Between these two buildings, visitors would find the robotics hall, complete with teams and robotics competitions. Across the way, these buildings contained literature, photography, model kits, and traditional arts & crafts. The hall in between marked the main entrance to Imaginology – I had entered through the back, so I experienced this event in an odd order. In the entrance hallway, visitors got a glimpse at what they would encounter in the rest of the event, such as aerial arts, model trains, robotics, virtual reality, animals, engineering toys, and more. Lastly, the hangar contained what I refer to as glorified tabletop games, such as Jenga, Battleship, corn hole, jigsaw puzzles, and more. Once I stumbled upon this area, I quickly realized that all of these would fit in nicely at a beer festival.

Imaginology presents so much to do or see that it would clearly take more than a day to check out every single exhibit. Luckily, Imaginology takes place over the course of a three-day weekend, and it costs nothing to enter other than transportation and parking. Take note of other similar S.T.E.A.M. events in your area, as most of these do not cost anything to enter because they want to spread knowledge and education to today’s youth. Keep an eye out for Imaginology’s return next year as well, which normally takes place in mid-April.

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