The University of New Mexico’s Department of Physics & Astronomy hosted more than a hundred local high school students, their parents, and teachers during its annual open house on Nov. 4.

“We really care about our community and I think that’s the main thing. We want to engender a love of science in the students within Albuquerque and the area high schools. That’s our goal,” said Mousumi Roy, an associate professor in the department as well as one of the event organizers.

Roy said the department invites students from across the Albuquerque-area to campus to learn more about physics and astronomy and what they can do with the degree in the future. Students take part in lab tours, demonstrations, and get the chance to hear from scientists about the research they’re working on.

“The main thing is we want to excite high school students to think about science, to think about doing physics,” Roy said. “We have some really cool and exciting research happening, and so we want them to think about majoring in physics and coming to UNM and working with us in our labs.”

The department also invites high school students to campus for physics demonstrations a few times a year. Organizers say it’s just another way to reach out to the community and get students excited about science and technology.