sealPurdue News

August 9, 2002

First lady steps into the future at State Fair

Indiana's first lady Judy O'Bannon will boldly go into the future — to the year 2016 — but she won't have to leave Indianapolis to get there.

O'Bannon will be visiting Purdue University's Discovery Park display for "2016, Step Into the Future" during her visit to the Indiana State Fair at 9 a.m. Wednesday (8/14). Three departments from Purdue will be presenting hands-on displays in Exposition Hall, giving visitors a glimpse into the future.

Purdue University is working with a 25-member task force called Indiana 2016, which was initiated by Indiana's first lady to encourage individuals, organizations and communities to set their vision on the future of Indiana and how to make it a reality by the year 2016 — the state's 200th birthday.

The theme, "Step Into The Future," was chosen to promote inventiveness among the state's students and citizens.

Purdue's Discovery Park was chosen by the governor's office to participate in Indiana 2016 because of its interdisciplinary research environment, in which a wide range of specialty areas are gathered together to foster synergy among faculty, students, business and industry for the exploration of new ideas, technologies and products.

The Discovery Park displays Judy O'Bannon will tour include:

  • CERIAS, the Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security, will demonstrate a new computer software game called Cyberprotect, which helps users learn to create an individual software program to enhance their computer security. Those who visit the display can play the game, which was designed to teach users (in a fun and non-threatening way) to maximize computer security and customize their computers. By the end of the game users can find out how successful their security choices were in helping prevent – or enable – hackers. CONTACT: Teresa Bennett, (765) 494-7806,

  • EPICS (Engineering Projects in Community Service) is a program in the Schools of Engineering that matches teams of undergraduate students with local community service projects. Students will showcase various projects at the fair, including a new toy called the Mag Racer. The Mag Racer was created by students to help children learn key concepts about electricity and technology as they play. CONTACT: Pamela Brown, (765) 494- 0639,

    The miniature mass spectrometer – a small device that can detect chemical warfare agents and other chemicals — will be on display. The spectrometer, which can "sniff" out chemicals in the air, was recently demonstrated on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., along with other prototypes of new sensing technologies that could be utilized in homeland security. Researchers will be on hand to talk about the machine and perform a demonstration on people's breath with safe substances contained in mint. CONTACT: Graham Cooks, (765) 494-5263,; Yeong Kim, (765) 494-3042,

    By creating Indiana 2016, the O'Bannons hope to engage Hoosiers in thinking about the future – where they want to be and what kind of skills they will need to get there. To boost their imaginations, Discovery Park will be offering the opportunity for children to have pictures taken in one of three "posed" futuristic situations.

    For information regarding the Discovery Park displays for Indiana 2016, contact Pankaj Sharma, intercenter research director for Discovery Park, (765) 494-4983,

    More information about Indiana 2016 is available on the Web.