U of M Brings “Research on a Stick” to Beltrami County Fair
The University of Minnesota is visiting the Beltrami County Fair for the first time ever. The decision to come north is part of their “Research on a Stick” campaign to include a wider sample size in data for scientific studies.
With the Beltrami County Fair underway, plenty of opportunities for fun and education are around seemingly every corner. The University of Minnesota is even offering innovative research studies for fairgoers to participate in.
“It’s basically, we’re coming here with our clinical studies or other studies,” said Olivia Toles, a researcher with the University of Minnesota. “The other ones in the building are mostly surveys and stuff, talk to people about our research, connecting with communities, bringing the University of Minnesota back to all of Minnesota and, you know, gaining that participation and involvement with everybody in the state.”
“What this is isn’t about one thing, it’s about research in general, like getting people involved and understanding what it is, talking to the researchers, talking to the investigators,” said Dr. Ellen Demerath, University of Minnesota School of Public Health Professor. “We have students here also who are helping with their research. This is just science, how we do science, and it means collecting data, analyzing it, see what it means, and then disseminating it by publishing papers and giving lectures and helping those healthcare systems, in this case, do better.”
The main goal of these studies is to open research opportunities to greater Minnesota, as in the past, the “Research on a Stick” campaign only took place at the Minnesota State Fair.
“Obviously, people’s opinions may vary across different parts of the state and people’s life experiences, their health, their opinions, all of that can vary, so what we want is to be representative,” explained Dr. Demerath. “We don’t want science to only represent people in a metro urban area, we want science and research to represent everybody, and so that’s why we thought, ‘well, we need to take our show on the road and get out where people are.'”
“It’s really awesome to be able to connect to people, especially outside the [Twin Cities] metro,” added Toles. “It’s definitely, you know, it’s different out there, people have different exposures to information and everything, so it’s really special to be able to come out here, bring the University of Minnesota back out here, you know, where it belongs to all Minnesotans.”
“Research on a Stick” is open to the public from noon to 7 PM on Saturday, August 13th and from noon to 4 PM on Sunday, August 14th. It’s located in Building 13 near the midway and the Commercial Building.
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