Open Door event at West campus offers science, technology activities

Rubik's Cube competition

Crime scene investigative techniques and science-based video games are just a few of the interactive attractions to be presented at Open Door @ ASU West on March 2. Free activities, demonstrations and displays designed to enlighten and entertain visitors of all ages will be offered from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the University Center Building and other locations on the West campus, 4701 W. Thunderbird Road in Phoenix.

Open Door @ ASU West, a signature event of the Arizona SciTech Festival, is presented by ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences along with ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College and W. P. Carey School of Business, and Liberty Buick and Sands Chevrolet.

All three New College schools will be represented during Open Door @ ASU West. The School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences, home to ASU’s new bachelor’s degree in forensics, will offer a look at the science behind crime scene investigations.

Phoenix Theatre’s Cookie Company will offer two performances of “Peacemaker,” at noon and 2 p.m. Full of clowning, juggling and physical storytelling, this play for young audiences promotes acceptance, empathy and friendship. Also on the schedule is a presentation of an interactive performance piece for clarinet and percussion, featuring New College faculty members Barry Moon and Patricia Clark. These two cultural experiences are presented by the School of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies.

From the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences comes an interactive activity focused on the uses of descriptive words in science. The Communication Assessment Learning Lab (CALL) gives participants the chance to film their responses to what they feel, hear smell, taste or see. The exercise provides insight into the processes scientists use to tell their stories, as they describe the colors of the universe, the texture of soil, and the difference between salty, sweet and bitter.

New College also is offering an ExSciTE workshop as well as a presentation on March 2. Free ExSciTE workshops are designed to introduce students in grades six through nine to a variety of college majors and to help them build their pre-college skills. The workshop, from 9 a.m. to noon, is titled “Is Phoenix really the least sustainable city on the planet?” It is designed for sixth- and seventh-graders; another version designed for eighth- and ninth-graders will be offered April 13. Registration information, along with a list of other upcoming ExSciTE workshops, is available at

Open Door @ ASU West features poster and multimedia presentations showcasing the state-of-the-art research and creative endeavors of New College students. The students are involved in research in collaboration with professors through the New College Undergraduate Inquiry and Research Experiences (NCUIRE) program. NCUIRE provides a rare opportunity for undergraduate students to work on research projects with faculty who are renowned experts in their fields. New College faculty members also will showcase their research and creative activities on March 2.

Offerings from the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College include interactive science activities and experiments designed to support Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) learning for grades K-8. Teachers College’s Center for Games and Impact will demonstrate Taiga, a video-game based, environmental science curriculum. Taiga allows students to travel to a virtual park to understand why the fish are dying. The student traverses through the virtual world gaining insight from the park ranger, takes water samples, learns about turbidity and inevitably works toward an epic win, to save the park.

The W. P. Carey School of Business will showcase “The Beast,” a simulation activity that gives participants a sneak peek a supply chain management. Supply chain is the process of moving goods from the customer order through the raw material stage, supply, production and distribution. “The Beast” fosters listening skills and teamwork. This year, the Carey School will add a Bachelor of Science degree in supply chain management with an emphasis in logistics at the West campus.

The new Sun Devil Fitness Complex will be open for tours, and games and activities will be offered on the new grass Quad to the north of the fitness complex. Open Door @ ASU West attendees also may pay a visit to Fletcher Library to view the “Echoes” mixed media visual arts exhibit that is on display in the library through March 8.

Additional ASU participants in Open Door @ ASU West include Barrett, the Honors College; Career Services; and the Disability Resource Center.

Event co-sponsors Liberty Buick from Peoria and Sands Chevrolet from Glendale will bring new-technology vehicles to display on campus. The Glendale Fire Department also will be on campus with activities.

Also part of the day’s festivities is a Rubik’s Cube tournament that will pit dozens of school-based teams of K-12 students against one another to see who can collectively solve 25 Rubik’s Cubes in the shortest amount of time. The competition runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

A variety of food and drink options will be available. The Fan Boy food truck will be on campus serving up Asian fusion cuisine. Campus food-service vendors including Starbucks, Jamba Juice and the Provisions on Demand (POD) market will be open for business.

Open Door @ ASU West is a signature event of the Arizona SciTech Festival, Arizona’s largest celebration of science, technology and innovation. More than 350 organizations have worked in partnership to showcase the state’s leadership in science, technology and innovation.

Later on March 2, the celebration continues as ASU’s Tempe campus hosts Night of the Open Door.

For more information about Open Door @ ASU West, contact