ASU Night of the Open Door invites the public to explore more


Peggy Coulombe

Arizona State University’s largest and most successful open-house event of the year, Night of the Open Door, kicks off four events with even more to explore, starting Jan. 31 on ASU's Downtown Phoenix campus.

Downtown activities include ASU School of Art’s Grant Street Studio tours and Step Student Gallery openings; ASU student music, dance, spoken word and street theater performances; and films in Civic Space Park. ASU student athletes will also join faculty health experts and student reporters to host talks, tours of the Cronkite School and Sun Devil Fitness Complex, and hands-on activities on Taylor Mall.

More than 100 activities will be hosted by the four ASU Night of the Open door events, from wielding a medieval sword to state-of-the-art video technology:

• Night of the Open Door @ Downtown Phoenix, 4-8 p.m., Jan. 31
• Night of the Open Door @ Polytechnic campus, 5-8:30 p.m., Feb. 20
• Night of the Open Door @ Tempe campus, 4-9 p.m., Feb. 28
• Open Door @ West, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., March 28

One of the most popular signature events of the AZSciTech Festival, Night of the Open Door enables visitors to explore the Tempe, Polytechnic, Downtown Phoenix and West campuses, with multicultural performances and hands-on activities celebrating the sciences, culture, engineering, humanities, math, language and the arts at their fingertips.

“You can join a Rubik’s Cube competition and black widow demos at West, roll out Ancient Greek pottery or engineer solar cells in Tempe and record your own broadcast in downtown Phoenix,” said Darci Nagy, special events manager for the university. “And K-12 fun takes flight at ASU’s Polytechnic campus, with activities in aviation, construction and design."

On the Tempe campus alone, Feb. 28 activities are hosted by more than 1,000 students, staff and faculty (including a zombie hoard at 4:30 p.m.). There are 20-plus mini-language lessons, medieval knights and science and engineering activities. Video games and sea turtles join dance, music, theater and art, math games, space microbes, slam poetry, extreme weather, glassblowers, robotics, hula dancers and meteorites. There literally is something for everyone interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Math (STEAM).

“There is nothing like seeing a child, student or life-long learner’s imagination ignited, whether it’s by the tiniest virus, space exploration, forensics, dance or a faculty superstar,” said ASU Provost Robert E. Page, Jr. “STEAM is the basis for so many things around us that we take for granted. Night of the Open Door allows people of all ages to discover how our public universities can translate their dreams to reality.”

Typically not open to the public, visitors can explore cutting-edge labs and classrooms on all four campuses. Attendees will meet artists, filmmakers, scientists, engineers, linguists, athletes and student teachers. The public can also tour the Biodesign Institute, ASU Supercomputer, enjoy a 3-D astronomy show at the Marston Exploration Theater, as well as the ASU Natural History Collections, now located at a new facility at 734 W. Alameda Dr. in Tempe.

Visitors can also connect with students leading some of ASU’s clubs and learning groups, such as the ASU Dust Devils Microgravity Team, Origins Project Club, Sun Devil Robotics Club, Air Devils quadcopter squad, ASU Geology Club, ASU Speech and Debate Team, QESST Scholars, Society of Physics Students and more.

And for those wanting to start early in Tempe, ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, Microchip Technology and Go Daddy will host the Arizona VEX-U State Championship Tournament with college and university teams trying to qualify for the world championship, with competitions from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Sun Devil Fitness Complex.

ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences spearheaded Night of the Open Door in 2011 with ASU’s Biodesign Institute and the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. Partners across the campuses now include Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, College of Nursing and Health Innovation, College of Health Solutions, College of Public Service and Community Solutions, ASU Libraries, W. P. Carey School of Business, Center for Games and Impact and the Arts, ASU Athletics, ASU Polytechnic and New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences.

Sponsors this year include Honeywell and ASU Summer Programs.

Tempe’s Night of the Open Door offers a free goodie bag to the first 2,000 people to register. Check out these links to register or see a full list of events on the four ASU campuses. Follow us on twitter #ASUopendoor.