Maryland Day is a celebration of the university

Saturday's open house shows off the huge campus

Family

Events / Activities

April 28, 2005|By Lori Sears | Lori Sears,SUN STAFF

Despite what you'd think, Maryland Day at the University of Maryland, College Park isn't a celebration of the home state. There are no patriotic musical performances honoring the Old Line State's birthday. No history lessons on the Colonists reaching St. Clement's Island in 1634. No quizzes on Maryland symbols. There will, however, be turtles. Many, many turtles.

Maryland Day at the University of Maryland, College Park is a celebration of the school -- a free campuswide open house. The theme is "Explore Our World." The seventh Maryland Day takes place Saturday throughout the campus.

More than 400 activities, games, workshops, tours, demonstrations and performances will be offered at the huge event, which last year saw more than 60,000 visitors.

"The beauty of Maryland Day is that it's geared to every age group," says Amy Harbison, spokeswoman at the university. "When [university president] Dr. [Dan] Mote came to campus, this was his brainchild. He wanted to open up the campus to the community. So when he created this, he really thought every age group should be able to explore and have fun."

This year, those activities are organized into six neighborhoods: Arts Alley, Sports & Rec Row, Terp Town Center, Ag Day Avenue, Science & Tech Way and Biz & Society Hill.

"There are different neighborhoods so people can manage their day," Harbison explains. "It makes the university feel more like a town and easier to navigate. Also, there are shuttles that go around campus. We recognize it's a lot of area of cover."

Highlights include a look inside a comet with NASA's Deep Impact space probe, backstage tours, costume-shop tours and lighting-lab tours at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, hands-on fun at the "Life in the Anchor Chair" workshop at the Philip Merrill School of Journalism, a look at a hybrid electric vehicle engineered by Maryland students, and autographs from Terp football and basketball players.

Families can tour the new Riggs Alumni Center, watch a live performance by Bob the Vid Tech, learn what makes a piano play or celebrate Albert Einstein's 100th birthday by learning how the college's physicists are applying his work today.

Prospective students can also learn about the university's course selections and programs.

At the end of the day, visitors are invited to Byrd Stadium for the annual Red and White Spring Football Scrimmage.

"Maryland Day is a great free event for families," Harbison says. "It shows off what makes the campus great. [Visitors] walk away knowing what a university like this -- a research university -- is like."

Maryland Day will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the University of Maryland, College Park campus, University Boulevard, College Park. Rain or shine. Free. Call 877-UM-TERPS or visit www.marylandday.umd.edu for a printable program of Maryland Day events.

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