Visitors to Conservation World this year left the Illinois State Fair with a wide range of new knowledge on environmental issues facing local waterways thanks to IISG’s interactive display. In a twist on a classic fishing game, kids and adults were given a chance to answer educational questions on one of six topics—aquatic invasive species, the Great Lakes, climate change, lawn care, medicine stewardship, and green spaces—and learn practical strategies for protecting the state’s marine and coastal areas. 
During the fair’s nine-day run ending on August 19, the “Spin to Win: Sea Grant’s Wheel of Information” exhibit saw just under 3,000 visitors, many coming to play the game after hearing about it from others. Most of the players in the fishing game were children. After answering their first question, the “anglers” would often ask to play again for a chance to answer a question in a different topic. One youngster got so excited that she had caught a Sea Grant “fish” that she ran quickly to the other end of the large tent to show her mom her catch. Fortunately, her older sister ran after her and retrieved our fish and pole. 
Parents got into the game as well by helping their kids read and answer questions. IISG employees working the exhibit heard from many of these parents that they had learned something new about managing water resources. 
For the adults, one of the most popular features of the exhibit was step-by-step information on how to sensibly dispose of unwanted medication, including a postage-paid takeback envelope. After learning with their kids about the dangers of flushing and throwing away pharmaceuticals, several parents asked for envelopes so they could safely return old medication. And IISG’s pharmaceutical disposal brochure will soon be on display in the waiting room of one doctor who asked for more copies after seeing the brochure while visiting the exhibit. 
For more information on the topics discussed at the state fair, visit
“Phil the Pill Bottle” courtesy of St. Anthony’s Hospital, Rockford, IL.