ASU Hosts Hands-On, Behind-the-Scenes Evening

Want to meet NASA astronaut Catherine “Cady” Coleman? Learn Flamenco guitar? Discover if you can move a computer mouse with your mind? Do you really know your Meme? What about squid in the Sonoran desert?


On March 2 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., ASU students, staff and faculty will offer more than 100 activities in a science carnival-like, family-friendly atmosphere across the Tempe campus. The event, Night of the Open Door, is a signature event of the Arizona SciTech Festival.


Visitors can engineer windmills, roller coasters and brains, or fold origami, solve crossword puzzles, math teasers and videogames, or simply stroll with medieval lords and ladies and a mariachi band. Also to to be missed are the belly dancers, the glass blower, the slam poetry, aliens, squids and the Math Garage Band.


ASU's Night of the Open Door will feature hands-on activites for all ages.

Photo by Jeremy Babendure


Jumping into this evening of discover is as easy as putting yourself into a zone, literally. Zones 1 to 4 each contain hands-on activities, presentations or displays, and access to museums, classrooms or laboratories – something for all ages.


Tours will also whisk people behind the scenes to areas usually restricted to public view, such as the Biodesign Institute, ASU’s Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technology Laboratory and the KINECT motion-sensing games laboratory.


“This is a premier night for seeing what’s happening in laboratories, museums and classrooms on the Tempe campus,” says Charles Kazilek, associate dean of technology, media and communications in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and lead organizer for the Night of the Open Door. “Visitors can meet scientists, artists, engineers, linguists and the creative thinkers who do amazing things every day at ASU, but who aren’t always in the public eye.”


“The Night of the Open Door is a great demonstration of the vibrant research science and technology present at ASU,” says Jeremy Babendure, director of the Arizona SciTech Festival. “Making the community aware of this will help to inspire students to pursue their dreams and see how many places a math, engineering, and liberal arts and sciences career can take them. It also offers a launching pad to help create a STEM culture in Arizona and a conduit for diverse collaborations to propel future innovation in our state. To this end, the Night of the Open Door is one of the most important anchors for the success of our state’s AZ SciTech Festival.” 


The Night of the Open Door was spearheaded by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, with ASU partners: the Biodesign Institute, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, Center for Science and the Imagination, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, the Global Institute of Sustainability and ASU Libraries.


The first 2,000 to arrive will receive a free goodie bag or backpack to make the heart glow, as well as the mind.


More information


Text by Margaret Coulombe, director, Academic Communications, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at ASU

NASA photo at top: Catherine “Cady” Coleman 



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