The Florida State University-headquartered National High Magnetic Field Laboratory’s annual open house will move to the virtual realm for 2021 with 20 live virtual events, an expansion of the lab’s traditional one-day extravaganza.
From Feb. 19 through March 6, science lovers across the world will be able to connect with MagLab scientists to experience all that the lab has to offer and even observe a few experiments that can be done in the comfort of your own home.
“We are excited to offer some of the same dynamic experiences we have at our in-person event – the chance to do your own hands-on science, explore our world-unique lab and connect with real MagLab researchers,” said MagLab Public Affairs Director Kristin Roberts. “We’re providing many different kinds of activities across many times of day to bring the fun of MagLab Open House to people of all ages, from the local community or any location across the world.”
Scientists will lead several try-this-at home activities, including a special kitchen chemistry session and the opportunity to make your own chromotography butterflies and extract fruit DNA. The lab also will host its first-ever MagLab Escape Room where participants must solve a series of puzzles to “escape” the room.
In addition to the activity-based presentations, MagLab physicists, chemists, engineers and other experts will take part in Scientist Speed Sessions, presenting brief summaries of their research coupled with an opportunity to answer any and all questions in a true ask-me-anything style.
Rounding out these live events, the virtual open house will be filled with digital delights that can be viewed at any hour. Watch Open House demos, such as the junkyard magnet or potato launcher, or take an all-access video tour of the lab to locations that aren’t accessible to the general public.
Plus, a half-dozen web-based games for visitors of all ages will prompt guests to guess the fruit or veggie from an image taken on our world’s strongest MRI, color your own MagLab data, put together high field puzzles and complete an online scavenger hunt (the top three finishers will even win a prize!).
This one-year detour to the digital space is out of an abundance of caution to protect the community from COVID-19, said Roberts. The MagLab hopes to return to an in-person Open House event again in 2022, hosting more than 10,000 visitors at the strongest and highest-powered magnet lab in the world, funded by the National Science Foundation and state of Florida.
“We’re excited to join you in your home virtually this year,” Roberts said, “but we can’t wait to have you all back at our lab again next year.”
As always, admission is free to science fans everywhere. Visit https://nationalmaglab.org/news-events/events/for-community/open-house for a full listing of the scheduled live virtual events and links to the various online videos, games and activities.