Greeley Stampede’s Kids Korral offers hands-on learning, experimentation | MyWindsorNow.com

Greeley Stampede’s Kids Korral offers hands-on learning, experimentation

James Redmond
jredmond@greeleytribune.com

Trisha Fitzgerald loves watching families work together to plan and scheme the best way to design and build a Lego race car at her Innovation Station.

It's great to watch families crowd around the 30-foot derby track to see how their creative collaborations fare in an actual race, she said.

Fitzgerald and her husband Brian run the Innovation Station, a Kids Korral attraction at this year's Greeley Stampede that will offer fun and science-based activities to kids and their families.

The California-based couple ventures around the U.S. to different rodeos, fairs and events with their innovation center, giving kids the chance to learn and have fun.

Everything they do at the station uses play and experimentation, she said.

"It's great, they get to really get their hands dirty and manipulate materials and at the same time they come across problems and they're able to create solutions in a fun and energizing way," Fitzgerald said. "We're excited for kids to come in and enjoy the attraction. We just really hope through experiencing it, we inspire the next generation of scientists, artists and innovators."

Recommended Stories For You

The hands-on attractions encourage kids and families to explore and gain a better understanding and knowledge of science, technology engineering and math — commonly abbreviated as STEM.

To bring STEM to the Stampede, the Fitzgeralds' station will feature a few different attractions.

The Kids Rock station takes children through a rock identification and mineral exploration experience. Kids can test their paleontology skills with a dinosaur fossil dig, Fitzgerald said.

With Smart Art, children and families can create a Lego mosaic and hang it on the Innovation Station's art wall. It's something they can be proud of, come back and visit throughout the day and show off to their friends and take pictures of, she said.

"It's a great, fun, creative outlet," Fitzgerald said. "It's been really great seeing how kids and their families tie the art project into agricultural themes by creating mosaics of tractors and different kinds of agricultural themes — cowboys and rodeos."

They'll have a few other attractions and, of course, they'll have the Lego-car derby — The Engineering Expressway.

"It's by far one of our most popular attractions." Fitzgerald said. "It's lots of fun. We've seen some really creative cars, but we've also seen some just purely built for strategy — to get it down the track the fastest. It's a lot of fun to see the thinking process and what kids are doing. And it's just great to see these families interacting together."

Fitzgerald worked as an education earlier in life — teaching kindergarten and working as a preschool director — and she knows how much kids like hands-on learning.

It's important, she said, to give kids the opportunity to explore different areas of science technology engineering and math — beyond just watching something on YouTube or through some program on a tablet.

"Through this attraction they're getting to experience science, mathematics, engineering, art and technology firsthand and we're hoping that just helps to ignite their imaginations," Fitzgerald said. "Hey, maybe one day somebody will come back to us and say 'because of your attraction we decided we were going to become an astronaut or we were going to become a paleontologist.' We just really hoping it provides those opportunities for families."

Learn more

The Innovation Station will bring an assortment of activities for kids, themed around science, technology engineering and math, to the Greeley Stampede’s Kids Korral this year.

To learn more about the Innovation Station and its activities, go to http://www.yourinnovationstation.com.

Go back to article