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Kids of all ages welcome at Fermilab's annual Family Open House

Free event scheduled for Feb. 10

BATAVIA- Families are invited to spend an afternoon learning about science through hands-on activities at Fermilab's annual open house from 1 to 5 p.m. on Feb. 10.

This year's event will feature the Great Neutrino Hunt, the Cooler than Cool show in the auditorium, a memorial to former director Leon Lederman and several other activities for children to enjoy, according to a news release from Fermilab, which is a particle physics and accelerator laboratory in Batavia.

According to the release, Fermilab will be breaking ground on several new projects in the next year, and is expecting results from promising experiments, which families can learn about at the open house.

The Great Neutrino Hunt, hosted by Fermilab Friends for Science Education, will allow guests to use detectors to find the elusive neutrinos and become a part of the collaboration. The event will also feature a live event where participants will take part in a virtual visit of the Sanford Underground Research Facility, site of the future Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, hosted by Fermilab.

About a dozen scientists and engineers will be ready to answer questions in the exhibit area on the 15th floor of Fermilab’s Wilson Hall. There will be a panel discussion where participants can ask questions of STEM professionals and hear about their work and their backgrounds.

In the Wilson Hall atrium, there will be an exhibit commemorating the work and spirit of Leon Lederman, Nobel laureate and Fermilab’s second director. Attendees can view artifacts from the archives and hear stories from those who knew and worked with Lederman.

Families can enjoy a physics carnival, including interactive exhibits by students from seven different schools including Benet Academy in Lisle and West Aurora High School.

Fermilab’s two remote operations centers on the first floor of Wilson Hall will also be accessible for the Family Open House. The east center receives real-time data from the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland, and guests can meet Fermilab scientists who work on the CMS experiment based at CERN. The west center is where many of Fermilab’s neutrino experiments are controlled and will feature a virtual-reality experience of the MicroBooNE neutrino detector.

Visitors will have the opportunity to take tours of the linear accelerator and the Main Control Room. Tickets for this tour are available on a first come, first served basis the day of the open house. The tour is restricted to people ages 10 and up and requires an extensive amount of walking. There will also be a driving tour of the Fermilab site, for which registration is required ahead of time.

“We want to engage our visitors in a way that they can see, learn, and get excited about Fermilab’s research, in addition to the wealth of opportunities available in STEM fields,” said Amanda Early, education program leader at Fermilab, in the release. “We know that the kids attending this event are the future STEM workforce, and it is incredibly rewarding to provide them the opportunity to see all that is possible by having a passion for science.”

More than 2,000 people are expected to attend this year’s free event. It is made possible by a donation from the Helen Edwards Charitable Trust to the nonprofit organization Fermilab Friends for Science Education. For more information, visit

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