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Community learns about Downtown Phoenix campus programs during ASU Open Door

Activities focused on health, nutrition, journalism, music and more

Girl riding stationary bike in front of an ASU booth and rep.

Nine-year-old Harper Haygood sees how many calories she can burn at a College of Health Solutions activity during the ASU Open Door on Saturday, Feb. 3, at the Downtown Phoenix campus. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU News

February 04, 2024

Students who attend Arizona State University’s Downtown Phoenix campus shared their passions with the public on Saturday during the annual Open Door celebration.

More than 40 free activities were available to the hundreds of families who attended, including a meet-and-greet with Clifford the Big Red Dog, from Arizona PBS, a chance to see themselves giving the weather report on TV and lots of “mad science” fun.

Kids sit at the Cronkite News anchor desk
Ten-year-old friends Charlize Rodriguez and Leah Vollmer try their hand at giving a weather newscast during ASU Open Door on at the Downtown Phoenix campus. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU News 

More than 11,000 students attend the Downtown Phoenix campus, home to programs in journalism, fashion, pop music, criminology, social work and several STEM majors, including nursing, nutrition and medical studies. On Saturday, they got to showcase ASU’s facilities and talk about what they love.

Students in the College of Health Solutions ran the “Mad Food Science Laboratory” in the test kitchen at the Health South building.

Jackie Acosta, a dietetics major, was using a purple mixer to make homemade marshmallows, combining eggs, sugar, corn syrup, gelatin, salt and food coloring.

“It’ll foam up to the edge of the bowl,” she explained to a group of families. “And then we put it in the fridge.”

Kids playing with food coloring
Four-year-old Eungxu Yang (front left) and his brother Jeonggxu, 8, add fruit juice to a solution as part of a College of Health Solutions "mad food scientist" demonstration during the Downtown Phoenix campus Open Door. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU News

The kids were able to sample from a bowl of the finished product — fluffy, pink, sugar-covered marshmallows.

The third floor of the University Center was filled with “mad science” activities.

Jordan Fakhoury and Cy Malik, both medical studies majors, were showing a lab full of kids how to make “elephant toothpaste,” dropping food coloring into big tubes of chemicals so it bubbled up into a giant foamy mess.

“I feel like growing up I was always curious about how things worked, and if I can empower these students to make them curious, that would be the best thing, and eventually for them even to have a career in STEM,” Fakhoury said.

Malik liked impressing the kids.

“It’s nice to have something where they’re like, ‘Oh wow, how did they do that?’"

Elephant toothpaste demonstration
Fourth-year medical studies student David Shull (left) manages the elephant toothpaste experiment during the Downtown Phoenix campus Open Door. The experiment combines potassium iodide, hydrogen peroxide dish soap and food coloring. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU News

Adelene Dunleavy brought her 7-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son from their home in Chandler to the Downtown Phoenix campus Open Door after getting an email promotion about it from Arizona PBS.

“I looked it up and said, ‘Wow, let’s check it out,’” she said.

“It’s cool. There’s so much stuff to interact with.”

Olivia Silva was in a lab with several different activities that explained physics principles, such as light refraction, magnetic fields and centrifugal force. Silva, who graduated from ASU in 2019 with a degree in English literature, is taking classes in preparation for applying to medical school.

Read more

Check out the West Valley campus Open Door

“I came back to take all of the sciences,” she said.

“I really enjoyed physics when I took it, and I’m an instructional aide this semester because my (teaching assistants) were so helpful for me that I wanted to return the favor, and when this was brought up, I thought it would be a really fun experience to get other people introduced to physics and all that fun stuff that comes with it.”

Other events included an activity where kids could make their own electronic music beats, a mother-and-baby mobile health clinic, an intubation simulation with mannequins and a climate change lesson with coral in a giant aquarium.

Person learning how to intubate a mannequin
Javiera Faez, 15, who is planning on going into medical studies, practices intubating a dummy, with the help of Nikki Bonnet, director of student recruitment in the College of Health Solutions, during the Downtown Phoenix campus Open Door. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU News

Izabella Hernandez, a journalism and mass communication major, was staffing the Cronkite News bureau, where participants could get behind an anchor desk and read the teleprompter or do a weather forecast in front of a green screen.

Upcoming events

Saturday, Feb. 17
Polytechnic campus

Saturday, Feb. 24
Tempe campus

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

“There have been a couple people really excited to come here and learn how to be a journalist, do the visual work and learn how to be in the industry,” said Hernandez, a Cronkite Ambassador.

“It’s been so motivating to see how excited they are.”

Open Door events will continue Saturday, Feb. 17, at the Polytechnic campus in Mesa 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.

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