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“Realms of Discovery” offer colorful framework for fun and learning at Explore UT: The Biggest Open House in Texas

The University of Texas at Austin will host its sixth annual Explore UT—the biggest open house in Texas –from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 5, with 30,000 visitors of all ages expected to participate in a day of free hands-on activities, performances, demonstrations and lectures.

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AUSTIN, Texas—The University of Texas at Austin will host its sixth annual Explore UT—the biggest open house in Texas—from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 5, with 30,000 visitors of all ages expected to participate in a day of free hands-on activities, performances, demonstrations and lectures.

Explore UT


“I am delighted to welcome children, students, teachers and parents to our campus for a day of learning and fun,” said William Powers Jr., dean of the university’s School of Law and chair of Explore UT 2005. “We want participants at Explore UT to be comfortable with exploring every corner of our campus and discovering new, vibrant worlds within our colleges, museums and libraries.”

This year, Explore UT offers six “realms of discovery” for children and adults to explore—rain or shine—in classrooms, laboratories, studios, galleries and outdoor spaces across campus. More than 300 programs make up this unique, educational experience.

Each “realm” is defined by specific areas of learning and a color to help explorers navigate the expansive university campus: Arts Adventures (blue), Cultural Crossroads (pink), Engineering Expeditions (yellow), Public Service Passageway (green), Science Safari (purple) and Longhorn Trail (orange).

Examples of programs within these realms include:  


Create a vision of the world through art, architecture and communication.

  • Learn from members of Mariachi Vargas: Participants take vocal and instrumental workshops led by Mariachi Vargas, Mexico’s preeminent mariachi ensemble.
  • March with the Longhorn Band: A marching session with the UT Longhorn Band from the Denius Practice Field “Bubble” to the UT Tower to take part in Explore UT’s traditional “living star” photograph and closing program at 5 p.m.
  • Be a Magazine Cover Girl (or Boy): A hands-on seminar with Professor David Garlock in Journalism on how magazine cover subjects are chosen and photographed.
  • Make a Book About Your Visit: Youngsters make a book about their visit to the Ransom Center, one of the world’s greatest libraries.
  • Explore Virtual Worlds and Social Gaming: Dr. Anne Beamish in Architecture will explore the world of video games and illustrate how virtual worlds are created.


Engage in the endless opportunities of the liberal arts, business and education.

  • El cuentacuentos cuenta (Story Telling): Using puppets, Spanish Professor Cristina Cabello de Martinez will explore the world of children’s literature and perform an original children’s story in Spanish. Children will also look at colorful drawings and create their own stories.
  • African American Business History: History professors Juliet Walker and Tiffany Gill discuss how new research is recovering information on black business history.
  • Adventures in Texas History: Historian and author H.W. Brands talks about his discoveries, including that a broken heart and a barrel of whiskey helped start the Texas revolution.
  • Teaching Watergate: Professors Steven Isenberg and David Oshinksy discuss how the Woodward-Bernstein papers, archived at the university, are an invaluable source in understanding the role of the press in the events of Watergate and its aftermath.
  • Wall Street Comes to Texas: Visitors learn the basics of stock trading and compete in a simulated virtual market at the McCombs School of Business.


Embark on a journey to shape the world through engineering.

  • Hybrid Cars: Dr. Philip S. Schmidt in Mechanical Engineering delivers a presentation on hybrid vehicles, a new development in the automotive industry.
  • Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering (TAME)—Hands-on Learning and Fun: Explore the TAME Trailblazer, a 40-foot exhibit trailer that houses hands-on engineering and science exhibits.
  • Goop, Weird Science and Chemistry for the Kids: Have fun while learning about science as presenters mix strange chemicals to produce unexpected results.
  • Learning from the 2004 Asian Tsunami: Mechanics and Remote Sensing from Space: Engineering professors Ellen Rathje and Lance Manuel will outline tsunami causes and dynamics using amateur videos.


Chart a course of discovery into how society is enriched through the law, social work and public service.

  • Gold E. Locks on Trial: Youngsters are jurors in a mock trial in a real courtroom with Judge Edward Prado of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals presiding.
  • Ten Commandments in the Supreme Court: Law Professor Douglas Laycock discusses two cases involving government displays of the Ten Commandments.
  • A Free, Sovereign and Independent Republic—The Texas Declaration of Independence: Celebrate Texas Independence Day with a lecture and exhibit featuring a rare, printed broadside edition of the Texas Declaration of Independence.
  • 9th Annual Barbara Jordan Forum—Political Participation: Shaping America’s Future: Join an intellectual dialogue about vital issues in public policy while promoting public service and community engagement.


Search through the intricacies of science and engage in the fun of pharmacy and other scientific adventures.   

  • Instant Fashion from Unexpected Sources: Human Ecology Professor Mary Margaret Quadlander shows kids and parents how to make a simple article of clothing using materials such as trash bags and leave with something fun to wear.
  • Wave of Communicable Diseases—Public Health Challenges Following the Tsunami: Dr. Nathan Wiederhold in Pharmacy will discuss the challenges to public health from communicable diseases following the disaster.
  • Who Wants to be a Pharmacy Millionaire?: Discover the role of the 21st century pharmacist by playing a game similar to the television hit series.
  • Austin Science Fun Day: Austin-area students and local science groups present experiments of their own design in the form of interactive exhibit booths at the Texas Memorial Museum.


Travel the campus and discover what makes Longhorn life unique.

  • Home on the Web: Take a digital picture with mascot Bevo and receive hands-on instruction on how to e-mail the photo home to friends.
  • The Inside Scoop: What College is Really Like: Prospective students listen and talk with UT students about what college life is really like on a campus of 50,000.
  • Rise and Shine: Prospective students meet university faculty, staff and students who can answer questions about admissions, housing and financial services. Registration is required.

Visitors are encouraged to document their day of adventure by picking up a free Explore UT passport—available across campus at information centers and program venues—and collecting distinctive stamps to insert as they attend events across the “40 Acres.”

Programs are free and open to the public. Please visit the Explore UT Web site for a complete schedule of program listings. Programs can be searched by keywords or unique areas of interest.

To watch video snapshots of five Explore UT professors discussing their research and presentations, visit the Take Five Web site, or to read a feature about Explore UT 2005 at the UT Web home page, visit The Biggest Open House in Texas: Thousands of Texans of all ages will discover the university’s wonders at Explore UT.

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

For more information contact: Laura Castro, 512-232-1229, or Jodi Bart, 512-471-7330.