Bill Nye the Science Guy to visit Iowa State

Alyssa Miller

As children, many ISU students learned about the importance of science and engineering from Bill Nye the Science Guy, but on Friday, they will listen to Bill Nye speak about the importance of their futures as scientists and engineers. 

Doors will open at Stephens Auditorium at 6:15 p.m. with the lecture beginning at 7. The lecture, “You Can Change the World,” is sponsored by Iowa State’s Engineers’ Week.

“Engineers’ Week has been in pursuit of Bill Nye as the key speaker for about six to seven years,” said Nick Schurr, co-chairman for Engineers’ Week and junior in agricultural engineering. “It is very exciting that he is available to come and speak this year.”

A great turnout is expected, as many students recall Bill Nye having an impact on their interest in science and engineering as kids.

“We expect to get a full house; the whole campus is buzzing about it. It is a great opportunity for not only engineers, but other ISU students to see a childhood icon,” said Martese Hoffman, co-chairwoman of Engineers’ Week and senior in mechanical engineering. “Bill Nye is someone most of us grew up watching on Disney or PBS. I learned science from him. It will excite the campus. He will inspire a lot of students to come together and bring out the engineering in all of us. In this generation, we need to be the change, and we can do it together.”

In order to get Bill Nye on campus, a lengthy planning process was involved. Engineers’ Week requires collaboration with several organizations and committees to get big-name lecturers to visit campus.

“The process is a collaboration between Engineers’ Week and the ISU Lectures Program. The Lectures Program consists of two parts: Government of the Student Body and the Office of the Provost,” Hoffman said. “Through the Lectures Program, we brainstorm ideas of possible speakers, and they let us know who is available and in our budget. We communicate with them through the planning process and offer advice and expertise.”

Iowa State strives to find exciting and influential speakers for Engineers’ Week to bring into perspective the importance of students in the fields of science and engineering.

“In past years we have had Grant Imahara [from Mythbusters] and Fred Haise [Apollo 13 astronaut],” Schurr said. “We always try to bring in a big name so the students will get excited about learning about engineering.”