ST. PAUL (Aug. 19, 2014) — A marble maze game and an interactive computer kiosk that demonstrate how vaccines protect individuals and communities from disease will be the featured centerpieces of activity at the Minnesota Department of Health booth at the Minnesota State Fair, which starts Thursday, Aug. 21.
Visitors to the MDH booth in the Education Building will be able to try their skill at tilting the surface of the maze game to move a marble through the “maze of life.” At various points in the game, players will choose whether to go the vaccinated route or not, and will quickly find there are fewer holes of illness to fall into and set them back if they take the vaccinated route.
At the kiosk, a large touchscreen offers infographics and a video on how vaccines work, why vaccines are important and how they protect large groups of people. The two display pieces are part of a larger exhibit on the science of vaccines currently showing at the Science Museum of Minnesota, a collaborative effort with MDH made possible by funding through a CDC grant.
“It’s important for Minnesotans to understand that when all those who can get vaccinated do, then even those who for various reasons can’t be vaccinated, such as infants, are protected from diseases as well,” said Kristen Ehresmann, director of infectious diseases for MDH. “This exhibit demonstrates that idea and much, much more.”
Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Ed Ehlinger will be at the booth from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22 to meet and greet visitors and talk with them about their health interests.
The MDH booth will offer information on a variety of topics including tobacco prevention, oral health, newborn screening, STD/HIV, foodborne illness, fish consumption, healthy communities, the Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) and many other topics.
A favorite feature at the MDH booth is the “Wheel of Health” game. Participants spin a wheel, answer a health related question, and receive a pencil with an immunization message. The MDH booth also will offer free anti-smoking posters, featuring Minnesota Wild star Zach Parise, and brochures and promotional items on a variety of health topics.
The Education Building is located just north of Dan Patch Avenue on Cosgrove Street.