ASU's Night of the Open Door festival expands to 4 campuses

ASU scientist talks with Night of the Open Door visitor about wind energy

Arizona State University’s largest and most successful open-house event of the year – Night of the Open Door – expands to four campuses, with even more to experience, beginning Feb. 21.

With medieval swords and state-of-the-art video technology raised high, and the opportunity to engineer a rollercoaster car or see how bacteria power a car at visitors' and future students’ finger tips, Night of the Open Door events include: 

• Night of the Open Door, Polytechnic campus, 5-8 p.m., Feb. 21
• Night of the Open Door, Tempe campus, 4-9 p.m., March 1
• Open Door @ Downtown Phoenix, noon-4 p.m., March 1
• Open Door @ West,  11 a.m.-2 p.m., April 5

One of the most popular signature events of the AZSciTech Festival, Night of the Open Door will enable visitors to explore the Tempe, Polytechnic, Downtown Phoenix and West campuses, and participate in more than 100 events, multicultural performances and hands-on activities celebrating the sciences, culture, engineering, humanities and the arts. 

“You can see demos of blood spatter patterns and forensics through 'Science Behind The Crime Scene' at West, roll out Ancient Greek pottery or engineer solar cells in Tempe and record your own broadcast in downtown Phoenix,” said Anna Wales, special event manager for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “And if you bring a flashlight, K-12 fun comes alive at ASU’s Polytechnic campus.”

On the Tempe campus alone, more than 1,000 students, staff, faculty (and zombie scholars) host language lessons and science and engineering activities. In addition to the new Herberger Institute Showcase featuring dance, music, theater and art, there are math games, space microbes, slam poetry, extreme weather, glassblowers, robotics, hula dancers and meteors – literally something for everyone. 

“This is a university-wide opportunity to go behind the scenes and discover everything that ASU has to offer,” said 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. “Life-long learners, future Sun Devils and their families can learn more about ASU, experience something new and have fun all at the same time.” 

Open to view will be the Biodesign Institute, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, ASU’s Advanced Computing Center, the Hasbrouck Insect Collection and cutting-edge labs and classrooms on all four campuses. Attendees can meet artists, filmmakers, scientists, engineers, linguists and student teachers. 

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, Club Oceania, 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 is hosting the VEX Robotics State Championships, with more than 70 middle and high school teams coming to compete from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 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 ASU Summer Sessions, 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 Programs, 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 range from the innovative audio visual and video conferencing technology companies CCS, Vidyo and Christie Digital to Superstition Springs Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram.   

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.