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Fermilab to host Family Open House on Feb. 9

Fermilab will host its free Family Open House from 1 to 5 p.m. Feb. 9. Families with kids of all ages can enjoy hands-on activities, live demonstrations and tours of the facility.
Fermilab will host its free Family Open House from 1 to 5 p.m. Feb. 9. Families with kids of all ages can enjoy hands-on activities, live demonstrations and tours of the facility.

BATAVIA – Fermilab will host its free 16th annual Family Open House from 1 to 5 p.m. Feb. 9 in Wilson Hall, offering a chance for the entire family to spend an afternoon learning about science in a hands-on way and have fun doing it, according to a news release.

This year’s events will feature The Great Neutrino Hunt, The Mr. Freeze Cryogenics Show, live physics demonstrations, a physics carnival developed and presented by high school students, and several activities for kids and their parents. The event also will feature tours of the Linear Accelerator Gallery and the Muon g-2 experiment and a driving tour of the site.

Tickets for the driving and walking tours of the lab will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Families interested in tours can pick up tickets near the entrance to Wilson Hall. All tours require visitors to wear closed-toe shoes.

Fermilab’s two remote operation centers on the first floor of Wilson Hall will be accessible during the Family Open House. The operation center on the east side of the building is connected to the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland, and visitors will have the chance to meet members of the CMS experiment. The west operation center is where many of Fermilab’s neutrino experiments are controlled and will feature a virtual-reality experience of the MicroBooNE neutrino detector.

Visitors also can take tours of the Linear Accelerator and the Main Control Room (for adults and children ages 10 and up). They will start where Fermilab generates protons for its experiments and they will follow the path to the first portion of the accelerator, where protons are given the first of a series of boosts that ultimately accelerate them to near the speed of light.

The Muon g-2 experiment tour will allow visitors to see the 50-foot-diameter superconducting muon storage ring where scientists accelerate a beam of muons (heavier cousins of the electron) to discover more about the particles that make up our universe.

There will be four driving tours during the event. Look for signage around Wilson Hall for bus departure location and times. The tour will cover accelerator, detector and construction projects and a chance to see Fermilab’s famous bison herd.

Throughout the day, about a dozen scientists and engineers will be available on Wilson Hall’s second and 15th floors to answer questions about physics or Fermilab research.

“It’s important to share all of the exciting things we’re doing here and to let people see all the wonders of science that exist,” Amanda Early, education program leader at Fermilab, said in the news release. “We know that the kids attending this event are the future STEM workforce, and it is incredibly rewarding to provide them with the opportunity to see all that is possible by having a passion for science.”

The Family Open House is free. It is supported in part by Fermilab Friends for Science Education.

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