With the new year comes a chance to start over with a clean slate — an opportunity to learn something new, embark on an adventure and explore the unknown. It’s also the time of year that the college students on ASU's campuses get replaced with curious kids ready to explore for a day.
Once a year during ASU Open Door, a signature event of the Arizona SciTech Festival, Arizona State University invites the community into the learning spaces usually only accessible to students, faculty and staff. Visitors get an inside look into what makes ASU the most innovative university in the nation for the fourth year in a row.
ASU Open Door highlights STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) across the four ASU campus locations each weekend during the month of February:
- Feb. 2: Polytechnic campus, 1-5 p.m.
- Feb. 9: Downtown Phoenix campus, 1-5 p.m.
- Feb. 16: West campus, 1-5 p.m.
- Feb. 23: Tempe campus, 1-6 p.m.
Each year, the event draws crowds — both young and young at heart — for nearly 400 interactive activities, performances, demonstrations and games. With four unique campuses, each weekend provides a different experience.
"Parents should bring their kids because it truly is an amazing, free, fun-filled afternoon," said Darci Nagy, ASU special events manager. "It’s a great opportunity to spark their interests in something new or to solidify interests they already have, and people of all ages should come because there really is something for everyone. There is no age limit on learning."
Open Door takes flight at the Polytechnic campus. Your inner pilot can explore the flight and air traffic control simulators and the aircraft jet engine laboratory. Fly into the future to see biologically inspired technology in the Soft Robotics Lab and end the night full-speed ahead with Sun Devil Racing.
Take a look at last year's Polytechnic Open Door.
Downtown Phoenix campus
Tracking down that big story? Unleash the journalist in you at the Downtown Phoenix campus with interactive tours of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication’s state-of-the-art media complex, or take a trip around the world at the Thunderbird Global Village. New year, new goals? Take a stroll to the ASU Downtown Nutrition Garden to learn how to prepare healthy snacks and visit the 3D anatomy system — a demonstration of how students can virtually dissect a human cadaver with the touch of a finger.
Take a look at last year's Downtown Phoenix Open Door.
Speaking of cadavers, if crime and forensics are more up your alley, visit the West campus for interactive crime scene activities. Meet real police officers and talk to ASU students to discover the science behind forensics used to help solve crimes. End your Open Door search by taking a voyage through the human body with a tour of the biomedical research lab.
Take a look at last year's West Open Door.
The series of events will come to an end at the Tempe campus where space missions happen, hallways of reptiles await, dance performances take place around campus and you can learn to draw like a designer. Learn about viruses at the Biodesign Institute, explore "It’s Easy Being Green" with the School of Sustainability, write your autobiography in haiku and find out why saguaro cacti play an important part in the desert ecosystem. When you’re done here on Earth, head to space at the School of Earth and Space Exploration. See scale models of the Mars Curiosity rover, learn about the Psyche Asteroid Mission and discover the difference between a rock and a meteorite.
Take a look at last year's Tempe Open Door.
"We are part of the community, and we want our neighbors to feel like they are part of the Sun Devil family," Nagy said. "To see the fascination and awe when they talk to our students and faculty and see what we're doing here, this is why we host Open Door year after year."
Don’t come unprepared, Nagy added. Bring your walking shoes, register for your free tickets and with so much to see and do, plan your adventure with the ASU Events app.
For information on dates, locations, free tickets and parking, visit opendoor.asu.edu.
Top photo: Glassblowing facility manager Christine Roeger demonstrates how glass can be molded with heat and cooling at the Tempe campus on Feb. 24, 2018, for ASU Open Door. Photo by Summer Sorg/ASU Now