WestFest: West Campus Science & Sustainability Festival


WestFest 2020 is scheduled for Saturday, September 12, 2020 from 10 am to 2 pm on the OSU West Campus Quad. Yes, WestFest is now an autumn event!

WestFest logo

Join us on the West Campus of The Ohio State University for a free public event showcasing sustainability and outreach at OSU and beyond! This event is open to people of all ages, from children to seniors.

Participating departments and organizations include: Arabidopsis Biological Resource Center, Byrd Polar & Climate Research Center, Center for Applied Plant Sciences, Center for Automotive Research, OBIC, Sea Grant/Stone Lab, Sustainability Institute, Orton Geological Museum, and more.

In addition to displays and hands-on activities highlighting research at Ohio State, there wil be tours of the Arabidopsis Biological Resource Center, Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center, Ohio Sea Grant, and the Center for Automotive Research (available on a first come, first served basis).

Share information with your friends and family at go.osu.edu/westfest or downloadPDF icon event fliers for display.

Thank you to Ohio State Energy Partners and the Center for Applied Plant Sciences for sponsoring this year's event!

Ohio State Energy Partners logo




Arrival Via Car, Bike, or Bus

While there is no cost to attend the event, you do need to pay for parking in OSU lots if you arrive by car. Guests may pay using the kiosk in the parking lot, via the ParkMobile App, or purchase single-day permits on the OSU CampusParc website for $8.25. There are plenty of places to lock bikes and options for arrival via COTA and CABS (campus bus service). The nearest intersection is Kenny Road and Carmack Road.


Driving Directions

  1. Take 315 to the Lane Avenue exit.  This is one of the major exits for The Ohio State University. Go West (left if you are coming from the South side of the city; right if you are coming from the North side of the city) onto Lane Avenue.
  2. Once you are on Lane Avenue, pass Kenny Road. The next road (there will not be a traffic light) is Carmack Road.  Take a left.
  3. Once on Carmack Road continue straight – past Arthur Adams Road - through the 4 way stop and into the parking lot.
  4. Park and pay at the kiosks located at the north end of the lot near the footbridge. If you are paying at the kiosk, you may park at spaces marked WA, WB, WC, or VISITOR. If the machine is out of paper and you do not receive a receipt, it is OK as long as you entered your license plate correctly.
  5. Go over the footbridge and follow the path straight into the compound of buildings.


Participating Departments & Organizations

The Arabidopsis Biological Resource Center (ABRC) is a global stock center providing seeds, DNA and other resources for Arabidopsis and related species to researchers and educators around the world. Our collection, which is housed on Ohio State's West Campus, contains approximately one million unique genetic strains of Arabidopsis. The Center for Applied Plant Sciences (CAPS) supports interdisciplinary research that spans the continuum between basic research and applied solutions to current challenges facing society. Learn more about the amazing world of plants with ABRC and CAPS. Our booth will feature a variety of hands-on plant science activities and investigations. Get a peek at science behind the scenes with a guided tour of ABRC laboratories, greenhouse, and other growth facilities on West Campus.

The Arne Sletteback Planetarium shows the stars, planets and other celestial objects inside our 63 seat dome theater. Come explore Cosmic Cratering and space rocks!

The Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center conducts research locally and in remote regions of the world. Our team collaborates with partners in urban and rural areas of Ohio to provide information about climate change and increase climate resilience. Our booth will feature a number of interactive displays that demonstrate Earth processes, and we will lead brief tours of our facility, including a look inside the Polar Rock Repository and ice core storage facility.

The Center for Automotive Research (CAR) is an interdisciplinary research center in The Ohio State University's College of Engineering. Current research at CAR includes work on: connected and autonomous vehicles; electrified powertrains and electric and hybrid vehicle systems and energy management; energy storage. CAR is the home of the Buckeye Bullet, the fastest electric vehicle on earth, the EcoCAR 3 program, four times national champion, and of Buckeye Current, the fastest electric motorcycle at the 2017 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb competition. Jump on the bus for a quick ride to our facility on Kinnear Road for a tour of the Center for Automotive Research and the Motorsports building. While you are here, see hands-on demonstrations of the sensors and technologies that are enabling next generation automated driving and future mobility solutions. Please note that tours of our facility are limited to 20 individuals at a time. 

Columbus GreenSpot inspires, educates, and recognizes households, businesses, community groups, and neighborhoods that adopt sustainable practices. We'll have kid's books and coloring pages for the kids and reusable water bottles and information for the adults. 

COSI is a hands on science center in downtown Columbus, Ohio. We strive to engage, inspire, and transform lives by being the best partner in science, technology, and industry learning. COSI will bring our hands-on science activities called Science Spots. These fun activities showcase science principles through engaging hands-on discovery. 

The Center for Urban and Regional Analysis (CURA) is an interdisciplinary group of scholars in social, natural, and environmental sciences; applied economics; agriculture; engineering; health and medical professions; and the humanities. We offer a wide range of support services for research that applies to urban and metropolitan areas, rural areas, and broader regional issues. Some of our services include GIS data processing, spatial analysis, and cartographic services. Our booth will include mapping coloring activities for our younger visitors, and a showcase of web based applications related to our work.  

Electrical and Computer engineers invent stuff and build stuff like wind turbines, cell phones, and lasers! Stop by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering booth to build a Jumping Jack toy using an electromagnet!

The Department of Molecular Genetics is devoted to exploring questions in genetics, molecular biology, cell biology and developmental biology using viruses, fungi, plants, and animals, with strengths in model organisms and genetic systems. We are a diverse group of researchers and teachers who are striving to understand fundamental issues in biology. Students in our programs develop the essential skills and knowledge that will enable them to tackle future exciting problems in biology. Stop by the Department of Molecular Genetics and the Zebrafish Facility booth to learn more about what the small vertebrate, the zebrafish, can teach us about development and disease. We will have interactive displays and live fish on display. You can view live zebrafish embryos through the microscope and watch time-lapse movies of embryos developing over time. Have you heard about CRISPR and want to know more? Come by our booth and ask!

The ElectroScience Laboratory (ESL) is a major center-of-excellence in the Ohio State College of Engineering and one of the largest radio frequency and optics research laboratories in the world. We will present information about our recent work on developing and launching a small satellite and will have a hands-on activity for kids to build their own CubeSat from a NASA-provided kit. 

Inspired by horticulture, Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens elevates the quality of life and connects the community through educational, cultural and social experiences. Central Ohio's premier botanical garden envisions a world that celebrates nature as essential to the human experience. Who doesn't love to color?! Stop by our booth to create a take-away butterfly finger puppet using crayon, colored pencil or marker. 

Ohio State's Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation (InFACT) is leading new thought for food to create resilient and sustainable food systems, building interdisciplinary research teams, and public-private partnerships, InFACT is addressing interdependent and complex problems in food security–locally and globally. We will have a mini demonstration of companion planting agriculture, using vegetable seedlings to demonstrate a 3 Sisters or Milpa growing technique. People who stop by the booth can also pick up a packet of seeds to plant and try it at home. 

The Language Sciences Research Lab at the Columbus Center of Science and Industry (COSI) is dedicated to the study of language and the dissemination of knowledge about language sciences. COSI is the only science center in the country that has working research laboratories housed within its walls, allowing visitors firsthand exposure to the research process. We have fun, hands-on demonstrations of the fundamentals of language science that each focus on different subfields of linguistics. Demos are appropriate for both children and adults. 

The Museum of Biological Biodiversity (MBD) is a research facility in the Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology that houses eight of the university's biological collections. Our researchers are tasked with making new discoveries and preserving specimens for use by future scientists. Explore the tree of life with scientists from the museum. Explore methods of tree building using different types of data we use to learn how species are related. Build your own trees and explore some of the strangest animals on our planet. 

The Ohio Bioproducts Innovation Center (OBIC) is focused on connecting different sectors of bioeconomy to encourage the growth of sustainable industries. In association with the Ohio Soybean Council, OBIC conducts the Ohio Soy Sustainable Summer consumer outreach and education program. Stop by the OBIC booth to learn more about bioproducts and participate in activities that showcase sustainable lifestyle options. OBIC will explore different areas of the soybean industry and help participants develop a broader view of soy-based products and technologies. 

The Ohio State Energy Partners (OSEP), a 50/50 joint venture between ENGIE and Axium Infrastructure, is The Ohio State University's energy management partners for a 50-year term, starting in 2017. OSEP is actively working to reduce total energy consumption by at least 25% in 10 years with a budget of $250 million by upgrading the utility system on campus, advising the university on natural gas and electricity procurement, optimizing the utility system to meet campus expansion needs, supporting academic collaboration and reducing the campus carbon footprint. ENGIE provides steam, chilled water, electricity, compressed air, and natural gas to Ohio State's campus that is made up of over 480 buildings, including 7 hospitals and medical research centers. Recent projects include repairing the Oval Tunnel Steam Pipes, Cannon Drive construction and switching interior and exterior lights to LED lightbulbs. OSEP/ENGIE will demonstrate various ways energy is generated including wind, solar, water and more!

The Ohio Water Resources Center (WRC) enables and conducts (state-relevant) water resources research; fosters collaboration among stakeholders; trains the next generation of water scientists; and educates the public on water resources issues in the State of Ohio. As a National Institute for Water Resources, the Ohio WRC is the federally-authorized and state-designated Water Resources Research Institute for the State of Ohio. By role-playing a water molecule, you can learn to conceptualize the water cycle in a way that more closely approximates how water actually travels. In a game of chance and probability, you'll collect beads as you travel between lakes, clouds, soil, rivers, glaciers, plants, animals, and oceans!

The Olentangy River Wetlands Research Park aims to acquire and communicate knowledge of freshwater and riparian environments through research, teaching, and outreach. Stop by our booth to learn more about the multiple levels of ecological organization, ranging from populations to ecosystems to landscapes. Get up close and personal with native Ohio invertebrates. Grab some tweezers and a magnifying glass to explore a water sample from the Olentangy River. Go home with a spider or dragonfly coloring page. 

The Orton Geological Museum houses significant collections of geologic specimens from Ohio and around the world. The curator speaks to over 4 thousand people a year at schools, parks, nature centers, libraries, and retirement homes. Our booth will have a table of rocks, minerals, and fossils for attendees to see, touch, and hold. 

Ohio State's island campus on Lake Erie, Stone Laboratory offers a powerful combination of science education and research. In addition to field trips and guided tours for visitors, Stone Lab offers 20 college-credit science courses each summer, covering biology, geology, and natural resources, among other topics.  Our site will feature hands-on investigation and identification of live aquatic macro-invertebrates.