Campus Life

Everyone Welcome To Campus For Physics & Engineering Festival April 13

It's free family fun, exploring the wonders of science and technology with interactive displays, a talk with a NASA astronaut and much more.
By Shana K. Hutchins, Texas A&M University College of Arts and Sciences February 27, 2024

a man showing a toddler the pendulum in the Mitchell Physics Building foyer
Future Aggie examining the Foucault pendulum in the Mitchell Physics Building during the 2023 Physics and Engineering Festival

Texas A&M University College of Arts and Sciences


Texas A&M University invites audiences across Texas, the nation and the world to get up-close and personal with science and technology at the 2024 Physics and Engineering Festival, Saturday, April 13, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the George P. Mitchell ’40 Physics Building (MPHY) on the Texas A&M campus.

No tickets are required for the free annual event which will feature hands-on demonstrations, keynote talks and a legendary Texas-sized five-barrel depth charge as well as special events and bonuses.

Activities will begin and end with endowed public lectures by two world-renowned astronomers and feature a host of interactive, immersive opportunities in between. Participants are encouraged to pay close attention to the day’s tentative schedule for the latest updates and information.

Aggies help a young visitor to ride a bike with square wheels at the 2023 Physics and Engineering Festival
All exhibits are manned by Texas A&M faculty, staff and students, who welcome visitors of all ages for fun science displays and experiments.

Texas A&M University College of Arts and Sciences


Festival Schedule

10 a.m.

Stephen W. Hawking Auditorium
The Greeks, Einstein and Alien Worlds: The Importance of Eclipses
Texas A&M Professor of Physics and Astronomy Dr. Nicholas B. Suntzeff will explore the science of eclipses — including the upcoming Great Solar Eclipse of 2024 on April 8 — from their intriguing impact on civilizations and scientists across time to their profound influence on discovering our place in the cosmos.

10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

In and around the physics building
Experience fun experiments and displays illustrating hands-on science and basic technology-related concepts and principles. All exhibits are manned by Texas A&M faculty, staff and students.

11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m.

Second-floor primary lecture hall
Science Circus, by physics showman Rhys Thomas, who teaches Newtonian physics through a rare blend of science, comedy and circus arts in a performance often compared to a Pixar movie.

11:30 a.m.

Stephen W. Hawking Auditorium
Human Space Exploration for Everyone” with NASA astronaut and Texas A&M engineer Greg Chamitoff. With more than 25 years of experience with NASA, Chamitoff served as a flight engineer and science officer for several space shuttle and International Space Station missions.

10:45 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:15 p.m., 1 p.m. and 1:45 p.m.

Low-Temperature Physics Extravaganza and the traditional grand finale of the day’s events: the larger-than-life five-barrel depth charge featuring 1,000 plastic balls, set for 3 p.m. on the south side the Mitchell Physics Building.

3:30 p.m.

The Mitchell Lecture, “Vanishing Stars and the Hunt for Extraterrestrial Artifacts,” presented by Nordic Institute of Theoretical Physics Associate Professor Dr. Beatriz Villarroel. A L’Oréal-Unesco Women in Science International Rising Talents Prize recipient, Villarroel will discuss her research into extraterrestrial intelligence and her work with the Vanishing and Appearing Sources during a Century of Observations (VASCO) and ExoProbe projects.

Aggies students put on a display using fire
Physics students put on a fiery display at last year’s festival.

Texas A&M University College of Arts and Sciences


All events are presented by the Texas A&M Department Physics and Astronomy in partnership with several other campus units, including the Departments of Aerospace Engineering, Atmospheric Sciences, Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics.

The 2024 festival is sponsored by Halliburton, Marsha L. ’69 and Ralph F. Schilling ’68, Nancy and Robert L. Dunham ’63, Innolight Technology USA Inc., Col. Hal Schade ’67, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the George P. and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy.

For the latest details regarding the 2024 Physics and Engineering Festival, including event directions and parking information, visit

Media contact: Shana Hutchins,

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