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Explore Earth, space with ASU scientists, Nov. 5

Student operatores underwater robot
October 18, 2011

The public is invited to spend a day exploring Earth and space with ASU scientists from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Nov. 5, in the Bateman Physical Science F-Wing, at Arizona State University’s Tempe campus (map). The event is designed to energize and excite the more than 1,000 kids, parents, educators, and other community members that are touched by the activities.

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

For 14 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 an eye-opening experience for kids from Maricopa County, where world-renowned professors and researchers come out to show families that science and scientists are fun,” says Professor Thomas Sharp, coordinator for the annual event. “We aim to create highly memorable, exciting and interactive experiences for children and their families, and give them the opportunity to learn how recent discoveries and research impact our daily lives.”

Students from all backgrounds can participate in hands-on activities, meet real scientists and engineers, and ask questions about a field some may not have known previously existed.

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, mining for gold, and learning the science of rockets by making a soda straw rocket, to name a few. For a complete listing of activities, visit:

In addition to the tabletop activities and interactive demonstrations, there will be lab tours, lectures, and a special unveiling is scheduled for 11 a.m. that visitors will certainly want to attend. Lectures are scheduled at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., and 1 p.m. on topics ranging from NASA’s planetary missions to volcanic eruptions.

Space lovers can visit the ASU Planetarium or look through the telescopes at solar spots. In ASU’s Space Photography Laboratory, visitors can view the latest NASA planetary images and tour Mars using the GeoWall 3-D projector.

Meteorite enthusiasts can examine meteorite specimens on display from ASU’s Center for Meteorite Studies and ask staff to inspect potential meteorite specimens in person.

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 will also be selling mineral and rock samples, along with snacks.

“Kids (and adults, alike) are sure to find the activities enjoyable, exciting and educational,” says Sharp. “This event is just part of what the School of Earth and Space Exploration is doing to make sure that students in the Valley of the Sun are excited by the science all around them. We hope this event will inspire everyone to become more involved in science.”

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