Astronaut and UCLA alumna Anna Lee Fisher will receive UCLA’s first Science and Education Pioneer award at the campus’s Exploring Your Universe science festival on Sunday, Nov. 5.

The festival will be held from noon to 5 p.m. at UCLA’s Court of Sciences (map), with additional activities planned for 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., weather permitting. It is free and open to the public; parking on campus is available for $12. (Directions and parking information.)

Fisher, who earned three degrees from UCLA in the 1970s and 1980s, flew a successful mission for NASA in 1984. She will be recognized during a presentation on the steps of UCLA’s Young Hall at 2 p.m., and attendees will have the opportunity to pose for photos with her after the presentation. The Science and Education Pioneer award will be given annually at Exploring Your Universe to people who have made outstanding contributions to the community and to their scientific field.

The festival also will offer opportunities for guests to speak with UCLA scientists; participate in science demonstrations; see the starry sky at UCLA’s planetarium and through a telescope after dark; and learn about rockets, dinosaur fossils, meteorites, cells, the brain and much more. Award-winning faculty will speak about their areas of expertise. And a new feature this year is a virtual reality demonstration of planets outside our solar system.

UCLA Department of Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences
The event offers hands-on demonstrations for guests of all ages.

“Rarely do scientists and the community get to come together like this to celebrate science in all its forms,” said Michelle Consiglio, a UCLA graduate student and one of the event’s organizers.

Exploring Your Universe is one of the country’s largest and most popular such events, drawing thousands of guests each year. The event is put on entirely by graduate student volunteers from UCLA’s life sciences and physical sciences divisions.

The event is made possible by support from UCLA’s division of physical sciences; Mani L. Bhaumik; UCLA’s Galactic Center Group; UCLA’s department of earth, planetary and space sciences; the California Space Grant Consortium; and UCLA’s department of physics and astronomy.