ASU Night of the Open Door: Experience innovation at your fingertips

Five campuses roll out the welcome mat for the public with free activities and performances for all ages

Young scholars examine research artifact at the Biodesign Institute at ASU at Night of the Open Door

Imagination takes flight with more than 300 activities and performances at ASU Night of the Open Door event. On West, Downtown Phoenix, Polytechnic, Thunderbird and Tempe campuses in February, Night of the Open Door offers a hands-on, interactive exploration of innovation and discovery in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts and math).


Ever wonder what is happening in the labs and classrooms of the No. 1 innovative university in the country?  ASU’s Night of the Open Door festival is your chance to discover the fascinating research springing up in your own backyard.

Night of the Open Door kicks off on the West campus on Feb. 6 and continues throughout the month with five events on ASU campuses providing free activities and performances with more to explore for all ages.

West campus activities include a forensics free-for-all and mock crime scene and a Minecraft photo booth with clothes and tools to get a picture-perfect look. You can make your own comic book or board game at the Fletcher Library or get in the Sun Devil spirit with face painting. Or you can face off with black widow spiders and compete with the U.S. Army ROTC Sun Devil Battalion. Do you have what it takes?

One of the most popular signature events of the AZSciTech Festival, Night of the Open Door enables visitors to explore five ASU campuses in February, with more than 300 multicultural performances and hands-on activities celebrating the sciences, culture, engineering, humanities, math, language and the arts. 

Night of the Open Door events:

• West campus: 4-8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6 
• Downtown Phoenix campus: 4-8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12 
• Polytechnic campus: 5-9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19
• Thunderbird campus: 4-8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20
• Tempe campus: 4-9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27

To help plan your adventure in advance, download our Night of the Open Door App or follow us on Twitter using the hashtag #ASUopendoor. And if you pre-register, you could also win a free prize.*

The Thunderbird campus is the newest addition to ASU’s Night of the Open Door. Cultural offerings include an authentic Afghan Marketplace (cash or credit only) and celebration of the Chinese Spring Festival. There is also a rugby clinic, Chartwells cooking lessons and free online business training by Thunderbird for Good. You can also sing along, learn a dance and walk in the shoes and local costumes of peoples of the Middle East and North Africa or see if you are faster than Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt.

“You can engineer solar cells, take a rumba Spanish guitar workshop or join in the Biodesign Institute Fun Zone in Tempe,” said Darci Nagy, special events manager for ASU. “Or you could celebrate ASU’s #Sustival, attend health talks, tour PBS or record your own broadcast downtown. K-12 fun also takes off with activities in aviation, a Camaro showcase and car construction, games and student films on the ASU Polytechnic campus.”

STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) is the basis for so many things around us that we take for granted — as reflected in the largest event on the Tempe campus. Activities on Feb. 27 are hosted by more than 1,000 students, staff and faculty members. There are 20-plus mini language and dance lessons, medieval knights, science and engineering activities. Video and math games join music, theater and art, Phoenix Zoo animals, space microbes, slam poetry, extreme weather, glassblowers, robots and drones, volcanoes and meteorites.

Picnic on the lawn and create your own poem with #CreativeWrite. Or take a blues workshop and then tour the Biodesign Institute, the ASU Supercomputer and take in a 3-D astronomy show at the Marston Exploration Theater. There is something for all ages.

“There is nothing like seeing a child, student or lifelong learner’s imagination ignited, whether it’s by exoplanets, the tiniest virus, health efforts in Africa, forensics, dance or a faculty superstar,” said Mark Searle, ASU executive vice president and university provost. “ASU’s Night of the Open Door allows people of all ages to discover how our public universities can translate their dreams to reality.”

One prime benefit to visitors is the ability to explore cutting-edge labs and classrooms on all five campuses. Attendees can meet artists, filmmakers, scientists, engineers, linguists, health professionals, explorers and student teachers or take tours of groundbreaking research facilities.

Visitors can also connect with students leading some of ASU’s clubs and learning groups, such as the AstroDevils, Origins Project Club, Sun Devil Robotics Club, Air Devils quadcopter squad, ASU GeoClub, ASU Speech and Debate Team, Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technologies (QESST) Scholars, Society of Physics Students, Amateur Radio Society@ASU, Concrete Canoe Club and more.

The key sponsor this year for events is ASU’s Summer Sessions. Check out the full list of events for each campus and be sure visit the Night of the Open Door welcome tents for your free glow stick.**

*One free prize per campus.
**Glow sticks are available in limited quantities and are distributed on first-come, first-served basis.

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