Beckman Institute Open House Showcases Interdisciplinary Research March 10-11.
The 2017 Beckman Institute Open House will take place March 10-11 with more than 40 exhibits—many of them interactive—to showcase the work taking place at one of the nation’s leading centers for interdisciplinary research.
The biennial event, held in conjunction with Engineering Open House at the University of Illinois, boasts fun and educational activities for all ages and welcomes groups of any size.
Virtual reality is a popular theme this year. One of the many displays features an Oculus Rift-based virtual reality simulation of an aviation cockpit and user (pilot) activities in flying an aircraft in a simulated airspace. Researchers envision this simulation to be useful for subsequent human factors, human performance, and human-computer interaction research to inform cockpit design, and to support enhanced human-automation interaction and pilot training. Other VR exhibits include “Educational Video Games with Embodied Interactions and Augmented Reality” and “A Virtual Reality Journey through the Molecules of Life.”
Students from Stratton Elementary in Champaign are special guests at this year’s Open House. Their exhibit will showcase Stratton’s partnership with Beckman Institute researchers to grow coral reefs in the classroom, breed clownfish, and more. Third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students will showcase inquiry-based science and STEAM learning (traditional STEM learning with the addition of art). Visit their interactive exhibit for presentations on cutting-edge science instruction, to learn about fish and invertebrate aquaculture, see live jellyfish, and experience a tide pool touch tank. Brief presentations are scheduled for Friday at 10 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m.; and Saturday at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m.
In addition, high-resolution microscopes from the Beckman Microscopy Suite will enable visitors to see intricate and stunning images of small-scale matter. Another exhibit, “Visualizing Atoms,” allows visitors to explore the world of atoms, molecules, and nanotechnology, as it showcases a scanning tunneling microscope and a large collection of atomic-resolution images.
A super-high-magnetic-field MRI scanner, one of only seven in operation in the world, is on display and there will be demonstrations of Beckman’s mock magnetic resonance imaging machines.
At other exhibits, visitors will learn about batteries of the future, bioinspired sensors for image-guided surgery, and other technologies being developed to solve real-world problems in industry.
The Beckman Café will serve breakfast and lunch both days. Open House hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, March 10, and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, March 11.
The Beckman Institute is located at 405 N. Mathews Ave., Urbana, at the intersection of Mathews and University Avenues. Parking will be available in the parking deck to the east of the Institute, as well as on nearby streets.