Indiana State University Newsroom

‘Night at the Museum' sequel set for March 29

March 25, 2017

Indiana State University's newly renovated Science Building will come alive on March 29 for a very special Community Semester event.

Back by popular demand, "Night at the Museum - Part II" is set for 6 p.m.-9 p.m. and will offer a multitude events to showcase some of the cool things students and faculty are doing.

"We're actually bringing the community onto campus, which I think is nice, because it brings them into our space," said Jim Speer, professor of geography and geology and one of the coordinators of the event.

From making ice cream to doing physical experiments and looking at live bats, "Night at the Museum" will have something fun and interactive for people of all ages at the event, which will include hands-on presentations from the departments of biology, chemistry and physics, earth and environmental systems and science education, the Center for Genomic Advocacy and the Center for Bat Research, Outreach, and Conservation.

"With earth and environmental systems, we open up our labs and have an archaeology exhibit, where kids can dig up fossils, and they really enjoyed that last year," Speer said. "The chemistry and the physics room were the most popular, which is where a Dippin' Dots simulation was done. There was also a great experiment where you can spin a tire and see the laws of inertia at work."

Most of the experiments will happen in labs on the first floor, and the chemistry department will showcase Harry Potter-themed experiments, some of these including Minerva McGonagall's Crazy Cryogens, Hermione's Favorite Flames and Severus Snape's Greenhouse Gases. With every one of these chemistry observations, each comes with a spellbinding twist.

"In Nicholas Flamel's Fabulous Flying Charm, we can turn pennies silver and gold with a heat treatment," said Richard Fitch, chemistry professor. "There will be Phineas Flitwick's Fabulous Flying Truck, where we take a super conductor and put a magnet underneath it to levitate it."

The chemistry department is stepping up their experiments with some new ones this year, but they're also bringing back favorites from last year. One of the returning evaluations involves freezing a banana to make it as strong as a hammer that is able to drive nails.

The physics room will also see the return of an edible experiment.

"Last year, we made liquid nitrogen ice cream, where we froze ice cream in a mixture. We made flame casts that turned flames different colors," Fitch said.

Attendees also will have the opportunity to meet famous scientists and talk to them about groundbreaking discoveries they've made in their fields.

"This year, we put out a casting call, and four theater students are going to be dressed up as scientists from different eras, (Jane Goodall, Nikola Tesla, etc.) We'll have scientists roaming the building and talking about their experiments," Speer said.

The bat center will also bring bats to examine and discuss their wingspan and living conditions. The center will focus on local species of bats, their endangerment and the purpose for local bat research.

"There's going to be a lot of hands-on stuff that is appropriate for every age group. We're talking about everything from tree cross sections to getting to do a wide variety of experiments that cover many topics," Speer said.

"Night at the Museum" is co-sponsored by the Vigo County Public Library and the College of Arts and Sciences.

For information about other Community Semester events, go to

-30- -- Last year's Night at the Museum event was a huge success for the College of Arts and Sciences' Community Semester. -- Community Semester's Night at the Museum event is seen in 2016. -- Community Semester's Night at the Museum event is seen in 2016.

Writer: Kayla Carmicheal, media relations assistant, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3773 or