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Liberal Arts and Sciences serves up hands-on fun at Homecoming

boy with snake
October 19, 2010

Robots and puppets, snakes and meteorites, 3-D math puzzles and elephant toothpaste await visitors in this year’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences area at the Homecoming Block Party Oct. 30 on Arizona State University’s Tempe campus. 

Embracing the spirit of Halloween weekend and the theme “A Devilish Homecoming,” the college and its academic units are planning dozens of kid-friendly activities, including a toga contest, spooky ghost stories and a hands-on demonstration on the “science of slime.” 

“The college has hosted more than 2,500 guests in the past and we expect more this year since we’ll be in a new location in the center of the Block Party, on Old Main lawn, north of the fountain,” said Rebecca Albrecht, special events director for the college. 

“We’re very excited to be in a new place. We have more space to showcase bits and pieces of the college labs and classrooms,” Albrecht said.

The Block Party is open to the public and scheduled to begin around 1:30 p.m., following the Homecoming parade at 12:30 p.m. Kickoff for the football game against the Washington State Cougars is set for 4 p.m. 

The college’s area is packed with activities suited for families, students and Halloween lovers alike, Albrecht noted. “Guests can explore the sciences and learn to freeze bubbles with dry ice, make bouncy balls with a polymerization reaction, or see what a real witch’s brew looks like when it’s served up multi-colored,” she said. “Kids of all ages can watch fun animal shapes being made by a skilled glassblower, participate in a hands-on a demonstration on the ‘science of slime,’ or learn how to make their very own ‘elephant’s toothpaste.’” 

The Halloween fun continues with students from the School of International Letters and Cultures hosting a toga contest, while the Department of English and the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing hold story time with spooky ghost stories. No costume is needed at the Melikian Center for Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies display, where visitors can have a picture taken wearing a hat from Tajikistan, or at the Office of Pre-Professional Advising area, where children can dress up in work uniforms belonging to individuals from a variety of professions. 

All of the activities at the college’s Block Party are free, with food and beverages located in neighboring areas. The college’s new location also places it just a few steps from University Drive, where the Homecoming parade will travel west after making its way down McAllister Avenue. 

Incorporated in this year’s Block Party is a 1980s twist that celebrates the 25th reunion of ASU’s class of 1985. The Block Party will feature 1980s-themed decorations, activities and giveaways in recognition of the 1985 graduates. 

Albrecht promises the Block Party is an event not to be missed, saying that the various departments, schools, centers and institutes participating will be “pulling out all the stops to showcase the best of what we do.” 

In addition to the Block Party, the college is hosting an alumni mixer before the traditional lantern walk on Oct. 29. Details are at Other information about Homecoming is online at

Written by Jessica Stone ( 

Carol Hughes,
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences