Oct 27, 2020
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Each year, Exploring Your Universe brings thousands of people to campus each year to learn about science - this year it will be virtually.
 
On Sunday, Nov. 1, from noon to 5 p.m. Pacific time, visitors from all over the world can take part in guided, do-it-yourself science experiments while engaging with scientists on a wide range of subjects.
 
As always, admission is free, but a limited number of tickets are available. Visit the event website for registration information and a complete schedule. The website also lists easy-to-obtain supplies that families can gather in advance before participating in experiments during the festival.
 
More than 20 UCLA departments and organizations will offer more than 40 hands-on experiments and video demos. For the first time, this year’s Exploring Your Universe offers attendees the opportunity to converse with science experts in “Ask a Scientist” sessions. And the event will include a bilingual Q&A session, giving the audience a chance to speak in Spanish with UCLA chemistry and biochemistry professors Jose Rodriguez and Miguel García-Garibay.
 
Also speaking at the event are chemistry and biochemistry professors Richard Kaner, Hosea Nelson, Sarah Tolbert, and Paul Weiss and graduate student MacKenzie Anderson. Several groups from the department will be presenting demonstrations and interactive booths.  
 
“I am so excited that we can continue our annual tradition of hands-on learning and interactive demonstrations in this year’s virtual Exploring Your Universe,” said Abijah Simon, a UCLA doctoral student in earth science who leads the event organizing committee. “Curious minds of all ages will be able to join scientists in explorations of physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy and much more through all the activities we have planned.”
 
After UCLA Chancellor Gene Block welcomes attendees at 12 p.m., García-Garibay will present the UCLA Division of Physical Sciences’ Science and Education Pioneer Award to Professor Andrea Ghez. Ghez, the 2020 Nobel laureate in physics and UCLA’s Lauren B. Leichtman and Arthur E. Levine Professor of Astrophysics, will deliver the festival’s keynote address, focusing on her research about black holes.
 
“Throughout Andrea’s career, she has demonstrated a strong commitment to making science accessible to the public and, in particular, to girls and women. This type of connection has never been more important,” said García-Garibay, who also is dean of the division of physical sciences in the UCLA College. “We will be thrilled to celebrate Andrea’s work with guests from around the world. It will no doubt inspire countless children to watch her talk about her fascinating research and receive recognition for her teaching, mentorship and public engagement.”
 
The festival will also include 30-minute talks on topics including melting ice in Antarctica, the fun of polymers, where our water comes from and how it’s treated, science in our national parks, and the relationship between plants and climate change.
 
All talks will be accessible for audiences of all ages.
 
Since its inception in 2009, Exploring Your Universe has become one of UCLA’s biggest annual events. It is organized by UCLA graduate students and run by student and faculty volunteers.
 
Exploring Your Universe is made possible by the UCLA Division of Physical Sciences; the Mani L. Bhaumik Institute for Theoretical Physics; the Campus Programs Committee of the UCLA Program Activities Board; the UCLA Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences; the UCLA Department of Physics and Astronomy; the UCLA Galactic Center Group; and the UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry.
 
Media contact: Lisa Garibay, 310-825-1040, lygaribay@ucla.edu