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More than 1,000 drop by to explore universe with faculty, students


Award-winning UCLA researchers and graduate students recently took scientific principles out of their state-of-the-art labs and classrooms and infused them into kid-friendly, hands-on demonstrations, lectures and workshops designed to entertain and wow more than 1,300 children, teens and parents gathered in and around the Court of Sciences.

“Exploring Your Universe,” an annual public outreach event spearheaded by graduate students in Astronomy Live in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

This was the third time that Astronomy Live had teamed up with various south campus departments to turn the Court of Sciences and surrounding areas into an impromptu science museum to bring science to the community, using UCLA’s impressive resources and facilities and world-renowned scientists.

Chemists, physicists, biologists, professors, postdocs and graduate students used diagrams, computer models and everyday items to explain scientific phenomena in a way that could be understood by the general public.

Visitors heard talks by such notable faculty members as Earth and Space Sciences Professor David Jewitt and astronomer Andrea Ghez, both fellows of the National Academy of Sciences. Chemistry Professor Richard Kaner, a Guggenheim and Sloan Fellow, gave a no-Ph.D.-required talk entitled “Fun with Chemistry.” And, Cal Tech-educated Physics Professor Matthew Malkan updated audiences on what’s new in the old universe.

(CGI trainee Megan Accordino also gave a demonstration on “Superhydrophobic Surfaces” at the Exploring Your Universe event, November 12, 2011.)