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Explore Earth and space with ASU scientists, Nov. 10

November 01, 2012

The public is invited to spend a day exploring Earth and space with ASU scientists from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Nov. 10, at the Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building IV (ISTB 4), at Arizona State University’s Tempe campus. The event is designed to inspire the more than 1,000 kids, parents, educators and other community members who are intrigued by science.

Earth and Space Exploration Day provides a variety of science-related interactive activities for children ages five and up and anyone interested in exploring Earth and space alongside real scientists.

For 15 years faculty and students in the School of Earth and Space Exploration in ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences have sponsored the event and used it as a means of connecting the community with science.

“This event is always a fun and an eye-opening experience for kids and adults from the Greater Phoenix area, but this year will be even better because of the interactive exhibits in our new building,” said professor Thomas Sharp, coordinator for the annual event.

Together families can experience a variety of activities including digging for meteorites and creating impact craters, manipulating robotic arms and driving remote controlled underwater robots, panning for gold, and learning the science of rockets by making a soda straw rocket, to name a few. A complete listing of activities is at:

In addition to tabletop activities and interactive demonstrations, there will be lab tours, lectures and opportunities to engage with the kiosk-style exhibits in the Gallery of Scientific Exploration.

“The Gallery of Scientific Exploration in ISTB 4 is dedicated to interactive exhibits that engage visitors in exploration,” Sharp said. “This year’s attendees will interact with the EarthScope exhibit, which projects real-time current and recent earthquake activity. Another exhibit, Magic Planet, presents dynamic global and extra-terrestrial information on a huge, 6-foot globe.”

Space lovers can look at the Sun with a solar telescope and visit a replica of Curiosity Rover, matching the dimensions of the real rover currently on Mars. Three-dimensional astronomy shows will be offered throughout the day in the building’s state-of-the-art, high-definition Marston Exploration Theater.  

Meteorite enthusiasts can visit the meteorite display on the second floor, drawn from the extensive collection of ASU’s Center for Meteorite Studies. Visitors can examine touchable samples, engage with interactive displays, and Dr. Meteorite will be there to evaluate potential meteorite specimens. 

Rock hounds can bring a rock specimen for Dr. Rock to analyze and identify, or take part in a family-friendly geology field trip to “A” Mountain (Hayden Butte) to learn about the sedimentary rocks, volcanic rocks and geological structures exposed in Tempe. The ASU GeoClub also will be selling mineral and rock samples, along with snacks.

Professor Edmund Stump will give a special lecture on Antarctic exploration at 11 a.m., along with a book signing for his book “The Roof at the Bottom of the World.” Short lectures on planetary science will be offered between 9:30 and 11 a.m. and from 12:30 to 3 p.m.

For more information, contact the School of Earth and Space Exploration at 480-965-5081 or visit

Written by Nikki Cassis

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