Champaign-Urbana, Ill. (WCIA)

The Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology brings people together to solve problems.

Located on the north end of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus, the Beckman Institute is dedicated to tackling scientific problems through teamwork. It was founded in 1989 as a place for researchers from different areas in science and technology to work together. Today, researchers from over 40 UIUC departments — including veterinary medicine, physics, psychology, chemistry, and art & design — make up the Beckman community.

Beckman is making science accessible to the Champaign-Urbana community.

We want the community to know that Beckman is all about making science accessible, fun, and engaging for people of all ages and experience with science. Outreach has been a major focus area for us this year. Beckman has partnered with local schools — like Next Generation Preschool, Franklin STEAM Academy, Academy High, and Booker T. Washington STEM Academy — to create youth-focused science programming.

No matter how complicated the topic, all science can be made understandable, interesting, and fun. Here on CiLiving, Nadya shares a physics demonstration that shows how you can completely change the properties of a material just by making it cold:

First, Nadya will demonstrate this with liquid nitrogen, which is so cold that it “boils.”

Then, she will show how some objects (ex: a rubber band and a flower) frozen in liquid nitrogen go from being flexible to being rigid.

Finally, she will show how some materials can repel magnetic fields and magically “levitate” when they get cold.

Teachers who register in advance for the Beckman Institute’s upcoming open house will be entered into a drawing to have Beckman Director Nadya Mason visit their classroom and do a hands-on physics demonstration.

The Beckman Institute Open House

When and where?
Open house will be held in person at the Beckman Institute from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, March 31 and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, April 1.

Who is invited?
Everyone! The event is free, family-friendly, and open to community members of all ages. Kid-friendly exhibits and activities are specially marked and grouped together for easy access.

What can visitors do at open house?
Visitors can learn about science in a hands-on environment. Beckman students, faculty members, and staff have prepared 30 interactive exhibits that bring their research to life, including:
• Interacting with DNA in a virtual reality simulation.
• Taking a lie detector test to learn about emotions.
• 3D-printing with chocolate-based ink.
• Looking at insects through a microscope.
• Using medical imaging technology to look at a replica of the human body.
There is also a science scavenger hunt, which incentivizes visitors to explore a variety of exhibits with the promise of a prize at the end.

I want to attend open house. What should I do?
Visit the open house website at There, you will find a full list of exhibit titles and descriptions, more information about planning your trip, and a link to download the Beckman app, which will serve as the event’s digital program and platform to play the science scavenger hunt.

What if I am a teacher?
Teachers are strongly encouraged to register in advance if they plan to bring students. The registration form is available on the open house website: All registered classrooms will be entered into a drawing to have Beckman Director Nadya Mason visit their classroom and do a hands-on physics demonstration.

Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology
Business/Organization Phone
Business/Organization Address
405 N. Mathews Ave. M/C 251, Urbana, IL 61801