Los Altos History Museum’s “Apricot STEM Fair” Captures the State Fair Experience

By May 30, 2018June 5th, 2018Press Releases

LOS ALTOS, CA (May 30, 2018) Break out your microscopes and favorite apricot recipes and head to a mini -version of an old-fashioned state fair, minus the livestock. The Los Altos History Museum’s 2018 Apricot STEM Fair, co-sponsored by 23andMe and the Peter Pavlina Family, LLC, will be held on Sunday, June 24th, 10am-3pm. Admission is free.

The fun family event will feature hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) activities presented by local educational non-profits and vendors, orchard-themed games and activities, a kid’s cooking demonstration, and guided tours of the historic J. Gilbert Smith house and orchard. An apricot specialty tasting competition will add to the festivities. The community is invited to enter favorite apricot appetizers, jams, entrees, or desserts for tasting by a celebrity panel of judges. Visitors may also join the tasting as a People’s Choice Judge by purchasing a $5 badge for each category at the fair. Deadline to enter the competition is June 1. For more information, please visit https://www.losaltoshistory.org/apricotSTEM.

STEM activities will include:

Apricot DNA extraction • Virtual Reality Bee Bots in the Orchard • Rocket Launches with Apricot Payloads • Chemistry of Vitamin C • Balloon Car Races • Robotics • Engineering Challenges to Construct Towers and Suspension Bridges • Food Technology • Soil Analysis and Apricot Seed Planting • Molecule Building • Exploration of Sound with Kazoos • Electricity and Magnets • Microscopic Investigation • Egg Drop Challenge • Science of Apricot Cutting and Jam-Making • Logic/Math activity with NFL Alumni

Also on the schedule:

  • 10am History Walk around the orchard led by local author Robin Chapman
  • 11am Food Tasting: Appetizers and Preserves
  • 11:30am Robotics Club Demonstration
  • 12:30pm Food Tasting: Main Dishes
  • 1:30pm Balloon Race Winners Demonstration
  • 2:00pm Food Tasting: Desserts
  • 3:00pm Edible Trees around downtown led by Greentown Los Altos

Nestled in one of the few remaining apricot orchards of Silicon Valley, and preserving an authentic orchardist’s home and apricot processing equipment, the Museum attracts families seeking to learn more about the agricultural roots of the “Valley of Heart’s Delight” and how it blossomed into today’s Silicon Valley.

“Los Altos was once world-famous for delicious apricots,” said Dr. Elisabeth Ward, the Museum’s executive director. “There are many people around town who remember spending their summer days cutting ‘cots’, and the smell of sulfur wafting over the valley in the evenings. The Museum is excited to bring that past into the present, inviting people to learn about the apricot in a whole new way.”

In honor of the apricot fair, the Museum will unveil two new exhibits on June 21:

Transforming the Land,” an upgrade to the interactive outdoor exhibition of tools and machines used in apricot and walnut orchards.interactive outdoor exhibition of tools and machines used in apricot and walnut orchards.

The Business of Apricots” in the J. Gilbert Smith House. The exhibit, open to the public Thursdays-Sundays, noon-4pm, examines the records of Gilbert Smith’s growing enterprise in his historic home.

The Los Altos History Museum began in 1977 with the opening of the J. Gilbert Smith House historic farmhouse, built in 1905. In 2001, the Los Altos History Museum opened its modern building next door, which houses the Museum’s collectionspermanent and changing exhibits, store and administrative offices. The Museum and its grounds are available for rent during evenings and weekends. Its collections are owned by the City of Los Altos and are managed by an independent nonprofit organization, whose staff and volunteers are responsible for all programs and operations.

The Museum and J. Gilbert Smith House are open Thursday through Sunday, from noon-4pm. Admission is free. The gardens, outdoor agricultural exhibits and picnic area are accessible beyond Museum hours. For more information, go to: www.losaltoshistory.org, email hello@losaltoshistory.org, or phone 650.948.9427 x14.

Media Contact: Marketing@losaltoshistory.org

Los Altos History Museum: Elisabeth I. Ward, 650.948.9427 x10, eward@losaltoshistory.org