University of Texas at Austin Opens Doors to More Than 40,000 Visitors for Explore UT

The University of Texas at Austin anticipates more than 40,000 visitors March 1 for Explore UT, the "biggest open house in Texas," showcasing the breadth of education and research at the university.

The ninth annual event, free and open to the public, will take place from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, March 1.

Visitors can select from more than 370 free activities designed for all ages.

Elementary and middle school students, arriving in more than 200 school buses from across the state, can search for fossils, build miniature solar cars, attend a Hogwarts Potions class in jungle pharmacology, take part in the mock trial of Gold E. Locks or make multicultural crafts at the Children's International Festival.

High school students and prospective degree-seekers can meet undergraduates from all of the university's colleges and schools and attend admissions sessions on specific graduate disciplines, such as business, engineering and law.

This year's event offers a special focus on politics, including an analysis of the 2008 presidential election from LBJ School Dean James B. Steinberg, former deputy national security adviser to President Clinton; presentations on the lives of Lyndon B. Johnson and Barbara Jordan; and a multimedia lecture on politics in film by Emmy Award-winning director Paul Stekler.

A full-day might also include:

  • Panning for gold
  • Delivering the news on camera
  • Dancing in the chorus line of a Broadway show
  • Getting stock tips from finance experts
  • Making a cyanotype, an 1850s-era photograph
  • Finding out what killed the dinosaurs
  • Testing out the medieval catapult known as a trebuchet.

Since its inception in 1999, Explore UT has sought to open the doors of the state's largest university to the people of Texas, with particular emphasis on inspiring the next generation to pursue higher education.

"Our future depends on the young men and women who will pass through the doors of higher education," says Eric Barron, dean of the Jackson School of Geosciences and chair of this year's event. "Each year Explore UT fires the curiosity of thousands of students. We hope they will pass through our open doors, enjoy the full range of our activities and help us shape a great future for Texas."

Explore UT will take place rain or shine. No registration is required. Complete information on parking, food options and a list of activities is available online at the Explore UT Web site.

The University Co-op, cooperatively owned by the faculty, students and staff of The University of Texas at Austin, is a major sponsor of the event.