Kids of all ages welcome at Fermilab's annual Family Open House Feb. 10

 
Submitted by Fermilab
Updated 2/6/2019 10:59 PM
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  • Kids can try to make as many structures as they can while following the same kinds of rules particles use to combine at the Family Open House on Sunday, Feb. 10, at Fermilab in Batavia.

    Kids can try to make as many structures as they can while following the same kinds of rules particles use to combine at the Family Open House on Sunday, Feb. 10, at Fermilab in Batavia. Courtesy of Reidar Hahn

  • At Fermilab's Family Open House on Sunday, Feb. 10, families can work together to find the center of mass of various objects.

    At Fermilab's Family Open House on Sunday, Feb. 10, families can work together to find the center of mass of various objects. Courtesy of Reidar Hahn

Fermilab's Family Open House is a chance for the whole family to spend an afternoon learning about science in a hands-on way and have fun doing it. It will run from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10, in Wilson Hall, off Pine Street in Batavia.

This year's event will feature the "Great Neutrino Hunt," the "Cooler than Cool" show in the auditorium, a memorial to former director Leon Lederman, and several activities for kids and their parents to enjoy.

The next 12 months promise to be important ones for Fermilab, with new projects breaking ground and new results from our world-class experiments, and the Family Open House is one way for the lab to keep neighbors informed and included, and to welcome new visitors to the lab.

If you've ever wanted to know more about what happens at Fermilab, this is a great (and free) opportunity.

New to this year's open house is the "Great Neutrino Hunt" hosted by Fermilab Friends for Science Education. Use your detector to find the elusive neutrinos and become a part of the collaboration. The event also will feature a live event where participants will take part in a virtual visit of the Sanford Underground Research Facility, site of the future Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, hosted by Fermilab.

About a dozen scientists and engineers will be ready to answer questions in the exhibit area on the 15th floor of Fermilab's Wilson Hall. There will be a panel discussion where participants can ask questions of STEM professionals and hear about their work and their backgrounds.

In the Wilson Hall atrium, there will be an exhibit commemorating the work and spirit of Leon Lederman, Nobel laureate and Fermilab's second director. Stop by to view artifacts from the archives and hear stories from those who knew and worked with Lederman.

Families can enjoy a physics carnival, including interactive exhibits by students from seven different schools: Benet Academy in Lisle, Byron High School in Byron, Carl Sandburg High School in Orland Park, Northside College Prep in Chicago, Quincy Notre Dame High School in Quincy, UIC College Prep in Chicago, and West Aurora High School.

Fermilab's two remote operations centers on the first floor of Wilson Hall will also be accessible for the Family Open House. The east center receives real-time data from the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland, and you'll have the chance to meet Fermilab scientists who work on the CMS experiment based at CERN. The west center is where many of Fermilab's neutrino experiments are controlled and will feature a virtual-reality experience of the MicroBooNE neutrino detector.

"We want to engage our visitors in a way that they can see, learn, and get excited about Fermilab's research, in addition to the wealth of opportunities available in STEM fields," said Amanda Early, education program leader at Fermilab. "We know that the kids attending this event are the future STEM workforce, and it is incredibly rewarding to provide them the opportunity to see all that is possible by having a passion for science."

The Family Open House is free. More than 2,000 people are expected to attend this year's event. It is made possible by a donation from the Helen Edwards Charitable Trust to the nonprofit organization Fermilab Friends for Science Education.

Fermilab is America's premier national laboratory for particle physics and accelerator research. A U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science laboratory, Fermilab is located near Chicago, Illinois, and operated under contract by the Fermi Research Alliance LLC, a joint partnership between the University of Chicago and the Universities Research Association Inc. Visit Fermilab's website at www.fnal.gov and follow us on Twitter at @Fermilab.

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