"We have a lot to celebrate after our first quarter century," said Kristin Roberts, director of public affairs for the MagLab. "Since we first opened in 1994, more than 25,000 scientists have come to Tallahassee to use our magnets; we've racked up 17 world records; churned out more than 9,600 publications; and welcomed more than 116,000 Open House visitors. As far as discoveries in high magnetic fields, the lab is really the center of the universe."
In addition to the perennial Open House faves — the potato cannon, quarter shrinker, cryogenically frozen flowers and ice cream — visitors this year will discover new hands-on activities around every corner. Learn how radar measures your speed, why foods go bad and how science can help; and how everything from your body's circadian rhythm to atomic clocks tick. And if you have never square-danced in the shape of a copper atom, this is your chance.
Naturally, all that sprinting, knowledge absorbing and do-si-do-ing works up an appetite. Per the usual, a variety of food trucks will be on hand to nourish your body so you can go back and cram more good stuff into your brain.
The MagLab is located in Tallahassee's Innovation Park at 1800 E. Paul Dirac Drive. Several of the lab's neighbors will also hold open house events in concert with the lab's, including the High-Performance Materials Research Institute, the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, the Florida Center for Reading Research and the Aeropropulsion, Mechatronics & Energy Center. If that sounds like too much ground to cover, a free trolley will be traveling through spacetime throughout the day, allowing visitors to easily stop by multiple labs.
In addition to hundreds of MagLab staffers volunteering at the event, many organizations from across the community will stage demos highlighting their own corners of the science universe, from the Tallahassee Astronomical Society to the Challenger Learning Center.
As always, admission is free to science fans everywhere. However, if the luggage allowance on your spacetime conveyor permits, visitors are encouraged to bring a canned good to donate to the Second Harvest of the Big Bend.
For more details, visit nationalmaglab.org/openhouse
Story by Kristen Coyne