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Bill Nye 'The Science
Guy' to headline engineering open house
Holder, special projects director
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NOTE: Bill Nye will
be available to meet with members of the news media beginning at 8:30
a.m. March 8 (Friday) in 312 Engineering Hall, 1308 W. Green St., Urbana.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. Bill Nye, "the Science Guy," will be
the featured speaker at this year's Engineering Open House at the University
of Illinois. The student-run event will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
March 8 (Friday) and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 9 (Saturday).
The open house is one of the largest technological showcases of its
kind in the nation, attracting more than 30,000 visitors each year.
This year's theme "Free Your Mind" encourages
participants to think "outside the box."
Nye, the host of an Emmy Award-winning weekly television series, will
speak from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. both Friday and Saturday on the Grainger
Engineering Quad south of Grainger Engineering Library, 1301 W. Springfield
Ave., Urbana. If the weather is inclement, Nye's presentation will be
at an alternate location; to find out where, stop by the open house
headquarters in the Kenney Gymnasium Annex, 1402 W. Springfield Ave.,
Urbana. If the alternate location is indoors, space will be limited;
tickets, distributed free at the gym annex, will be required.
To learn more about the open house, visit http://eoh.cen.uiuc.edu.
Visitor guides containing a campus map and descriptions of the activities
and exhibits will be available at the gym annex. All events are free
and open to the public.
Making science entertaining and accessible is something that Nye has
been doing for much of his life. Nye discovered he had a talent for
tutoring in high school, and while growing up in Washington, D.C., spent
his summers demystifying math and science for fellow students. When
he wasn't hitting the books, he was hitting the road on his bicycle,
which he spent hours taking apart and rebuilding, to "see how it
Nye graduated from Cornell University with a degree in mechanical engineering.
He then went to work in Seattle as an engineer for the Boeing Corp.
"Ive always loved airplanes and flight," Nye said. "The
space program was really important to me as a kid. I still have a photo
of Armstrong and Aldrin on the moon in my living room."
In Seattle, Nye began to combine his love of science with his flair
for comedy, when he won a Steve Martin look-alike contest and developed
dual careers as an engineer by day and a standup comic by night.
Eventually, he combined his two interests and became known as Bill Nye
the Science Guy, performing and writing on KING-TVs late-night
ensemble comedy show, "Almost Live!" (also seen on Comedy
Central), appearing on The Disney Channel's "The Mickey Mouse Club"
and answering science and science-related questions on local and national
Along with his duties as head writer of "Bill Nye the Science Guy,"
for which he has received five daytime Emmy Awards (including best performer
in a childrens series), Nye is also the author of an introductory
science text titled "Bill Nye the Science Guy's Big Blast of Science"
(Addison-Wesley) and "Bill Nye the Science Guy's Please Consider
the Following" (Disney Press).
Nye recently was issued a patent on a collapsible, water-filled magnifying