Texas’ Biggest Open House Gets Bigger & Better

An event billed as “The Biggest Open House in Texas” was bigger and better than ever this year.

More than 50,000 people visited campus Saturday for Explore UT. For the past 13 years, the entire UT community has collaborated to put on the volunteer-run event, which boasts hundreds of interactive activities from various colleges, schools, and programs within the University.

Elementary and secondary students from 10 percent of all Texas school districts piled into 460 buses for the day.

Students and other visitors took in live music at the Cactus Cafe, designed chicken coops covers for live chicks at the School of Architecture, and watched chemistry professors work wonders with fire and dry ice. An installation of giant wooden animal masks drew families to the Blanton Museum of Art. And a new “VIP” portion of the event helped recruit top high school students.

“We want to show that all citizens of Texas are welcome at UT,” says Susan Clagett, associate vice president in the University Development Office. “And 79 percent of the schools that attend Explore UT are Title I schools, which are economically disadvantaged. Our hope is that these students will feel ownership in UT and will make attending college part of their dreams.”

Top: more than 1,300 people formed the shape of Texas for the Explore UT class photo. Photo by Marsha Miller. Right: students join in a science activity. Featured photo: a demonstration with Mentos and Diet Coke awes the crowd. Both photos by Maggie Bowles.


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