SAN MATEO (KCBS)— Tradition is meeting innovation at the San Mateo County Fair this year as it evolves with the times. Engineers and digital arts are not far from the quilts and jams and, of course, the Future Farmers are still raising their animals.

But beyond the cotton candy and inside the Expo Hall, the big draw this year is the Technology and Digital Arts Section.

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“This is an absolute labor of love. You know San Mateo sits in Silicon Valley and so the opportunity to showcase what we do the best in the entire world, especially with our youth, is what the fair’s about,” said the fair’s General Manager Dana Stoehr.

Elsewhere, Pryam Das, a club member from San Mateo’s Aragon High School’s robotics team is quite proud of their frisbee throwing robot.

Das said the team wanted to show off that the robot consistently shoots frisbees 50-feet into a goal.

A digital arts school called The Digital Monkey School in Belmont is there to teach younger kids how to make computer games in the super science interactive area.

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Greg Orduyam with the school said it enables kids to learn game development in a “really easy and fun way.”

One of his students, Sydney Kashima, won a blue ribbon in the open division for his camouflage marshmallow gun. The gun makes the marshmallow fly and the camouflage design is a draw.

Not too far away a 3-D printer prints out a model of Sutro Tower. There are 10 competitive divisions in the technology section.

Unlike those who play carnival games, the ones who enter the 10 technology contests can be disappointed with a second-place finish.

Gabriel Colaluca, who heads the Technology and Industrial Arts section of the fair, is keeping the names of the judges under wraps. Suffice to say they know what they are doing and are “very qualified” he said.

The judges are employed by tech companies we are quite familiar with and there are already plans for the tech section of the fair to expand next year.

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