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Sunshine provides warm welcome at ASU Open Door event

Annual celebration, which gives public an inside look at the university, kicks off at West Valley campus


Woman teaching two children CPR on test dummy

Clinical Assistant Professor Lisa Jaurigue (left), from the Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation, shows Rylee Dickens, 10, and Freddie Castellanos, 10, how to perform CPR at the West Valley campus Open Door event on Jan. 27. Photos by Charlie Leight

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January 28, 2024

On Saturday, after a wet and cloudy week, the sun came out in spades for Arizona State University’s annual Open Door celebrations that kicked off at ASU’s West Valley campus.

It provided the perfect opportunity for attendees to cook s'mores in solar ovens made from aluminum-lined shoeboxes, an experiment that was just one of more than 60 interactive activities taking place on the 278-acre campus.

Solar ovens made from shoeboxes laid outside on tables

Nearly 1,500 people from the community showed up on Jan. 27 for the opportunity to explore and experience much of what ASU has to offer.

The West Valley campus is a tight-knit community of faculty and students that provides both a small-college experience alongside top-tier research, with more than 125 undergraduate and graduate degree programs — including forensics, business, engineering, education and an honors curriculum. 

Upcoming events

Feb. 3: Downtown Phoenix campus
Feb. 17: Polytechnic campus
Feb. 24: Tempe campus

All Open Door events run from 1 to 5 p.m. and are free and open to the public.

The Glendale event was the first in a series of four celebrations, which will continue at ASU’s three other campuses throughout February: Saturday, Feb. 3, at the Downtown Phoenix campus; Saturday, Feb. 17, at the Polytechnic campus; and Saturday, Feb. 24, on the Tempe campus.

All Open Door events run from 1 to 5 p.m. and are free and open to the public.

The occasion drew friends and families, toddlers, teens, adults, and a few dogs to the Oxford University-inspired campus, which features tree-lined paths and large areas of lush, green grass. 

People entering the campus near the courtyard discovered Seeon Kim, a PhD candidate, performing along with other K-pop dancers. The group, called Era, provides a rhythmic reprieve from Kim’s sometimes stressful studies.

Woman performing K-pop dance

“While I am here I forget about my studies and all I think about are my dance moves,” said Kim, who will be graduating in May from the school’s speech and hearing science program in the College of Health Solutions.

Other activities included a “Launching Lemons” game, which gave people a taste of what it takes to build a business; guests got a new perspective on garbage at a booth titled “Turning Trash into Creative Wonders!”; and the Gary K. Herberger Young Scholars Academy hosted a robotics qualifying competition, drawing teams from 28 high schools around the state.

Robotics competition held in gym

“This is expanding our reach significantly,” said Todd Sandrin, dean of ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences. “This is bringing (young) students to the school that have never been here before.” 

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