CAC’s Science & Astronomy Night at SMC set for Oct. 25 6-9 pm
PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. - Central Arizona College's Superstition Mountain Campus Science & Astronomy Night returns to the city of Apache Junction on Friday, Oct. 25, from 6-9 p.m. for an evening of free family fun.
The event will feature a multitude of ongoing indoor and outdoor activities, including hands-on science experiments for kids and adults; discussions with CAC professor of astronomy and NASA scientist Dr. Wayne Pryor on the Mars Rovers; a look into the solar system through the telescopes of the Superstition Mountain Astronomical League; and a trip with Katy Wilkins inside STARLAB - Central Arizona College's inflatable planetarium.
The science comedy of Wildman Phil Rakoci and his cadre of desert critters also will visit the Superstition Mountain Campus in a must-see event for families.
CAC's wildly popular science and astronomy nights began as public viewing nights at the Signal Peak Campus. During the past year, the program has been extended to other campuses throughout Pinal County, including the Superstition Mountain Campus in September of 2012 when more than 500 visitors participated in the event.
On Oct. 4, 2013, the all-time record for attendance at a science night at CAC was set at the new Maricopa Campus when more than 1,000 members of the community showed up to participate in the evening.
The Superstition Mountain Campus Science & Astronomy Night will feature an array of ongoing displays and scheduled shows throughout the evening.
As the sun goes down around 6 p.m., the Central Green at CAC will come to life when Bill Shaheen and the many representatives of the Superstition Mountain Astronomical League unveil their powerful telescopes along Telescope Row for the public to peer into the heavens.
The Central Green also will feature two large inflatable obstacle courses that will offer young children, teenagers and even adults an opportunity to test their skill as they navigate the bouncy trail under the stars.
The cool evening air will be filled with the easy sounds of Damaged Goods, a rock and roll band led by retired CAC professor and local iconic performer Jeff Ross.
Inside CAC's new majestic F Building is where the heavy-duty science and communications activities will take place.
Guests will be entranced with the giant inflatable solar system, while Don Manack's Mixed Media Art Display will include digital photography, ceramics and jewelry.
Ongoing activities will feature Devin Fraley's From DNA to Proteins that will teach visitors DNA isolation and protein folding; Jeff Bunkelmann's Explore Your World Beyond the Naked Eye with binocular and iPad microscopes; and Josef Schwartz's Strength, Heart Rates and Blood Pressures. Dixie Kullman and Mary Holland will collaborate with Me, Oh! My, Oh! Myogram.
Theresa Radke and her STEM students will unleash Marshmallows, Eggs and Air vs. Vampire Veins & Blood in the physics and geology lab, while Bruce Martin and Diane Beecroft always put on a spectacular show with Zombie Brains, Genie Bottles and Light Sabers.
Zombies are a perfect appetizer before Halloween trick or treating and many will be roaming the campus led by recently infected CAC Professor Heather Moulton. She will lead guests through a series of ghoulish activities including The Science of Zombies, Zombie Story Time (for children), Zombie Coloring, The Zombie Emergency Response Operations Test (computers) and the highly-acclaimed film Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island.
The Science of Lifelong Learning, led by CAC's Joel Beck, will provide information on the many community education classes available for adults throughout the region at Central Arizona College. He also will provide balloons for the kids and grandkids as they wait patiently for mom and dad, or grandma and grandpa, to learn more about opportunities to take unique lifelong learning classes at CAC.
Library Science will feature Astronomy displays thanks to Rhonda Jackson.
To allow guests to participate in as many activities as possible without having to wait in line, free tickets will be distributed at the science and astronomy night for the following scheduled shows:
• Mars Rovers with Dr. Wayne Pryor - 6:30 & 7:30 p.m.
• STARLAB with Katy Wilkins - every half hours starting at 6 p.m.
• Wildman Phil Rakoci & His Desert Critters - 6, 7 & 8 p.m.
• Zombie Brains, Genie Bottles and Light Sabers with Diane Beecroft & Bruce Martin - 6:15, 7:15 & 8:15 p.m.
Guests can guarantee a time slot by picking up their tickets at the information table outside the F Building. This will allow for participants to visit many of the ongoing events without having to wait in line to enter a scheduled show.
On the opposite side of the Central Green adjacent to the Telescope Row, CAC's Barbara Bushelle will present Reaching Across Campuses Through Virtualization. Visitors will get connected and play a game or create using paint on a virtual Windows Server, Windows 7 or a virtual Linux computer. A diagram explaining the virtual environment will be provided.
Guests will learn how virtualization expands the computer lab environment, offering flexibility for students by being available 24x7 with an Internet connection.
While the kids enjoy the inflatable obstacle courses, the adults can relax with a free chair massage courtesy of Susan Pomfret, Scott Mathe and CAC's massage therapy students.
Food will be available for purchase at the Vaquero Grill, as well as from CAC's Student Leadership and STEM organizations, so families can arrive by 6 p.m. and enjoy the evening.