Nerd Nights

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Nerd Night: Back2School Backdoor Access

Thursday, August 31, 2022 @ 6:00pm


How much of a museum or library do you really see when visiting its galleries/shelves? So much of the incredible work of bringing exhibits and research materials to the public happens behind the scenes. This month’s Nerd Night will take us on a journey to discover a huge range of incredible artifacts from history, art and nature and the hard work, care, and effort that goes into collecting, preserving, and storing them.
The event will be a combination of tours and talks through the incredible backdoors of UTEP’s various collections.

Tour Stops:

  • The UTEP Biodiversity Collectionscomprises the university’s biological research collections and the Department of Biological Sciences teaching collections and is a resource for collections-related research in the biological sciences. The collection is a biological research collection with a focus on research and education. There are no permanent public displays however, the collections do cooperate with the UTEP Centennial Museum and Chihuahuan Desert Gardens to develop and curate exhibitions related to the research being performed in the UTEP Biodiversity Collections as well as to provide specimens and information for community outreach.
  • The UTEP Library Special Collections – The C. L. Sonnichsen Special Collections Department is located on the sixth floor of the library. The book collections include the Chicano Collection, the Judaica Collection, the S. L. A. Marshall Military History Collection, the Southwest and Border Studies Collection, as well as collections of art and rare books. In addition to printed sources, the department has manuscript and archival collections available. There is also an oral history collection documenting the region. The department is named after longtime English professor and historian C.L. Sonnichsen (1901 – 1991). Dr. Sonnichsen taught at UTEP for 41 years and wrote over 30 books – mainly histories of the southwestern United States.
  • Centennial Museum and Chihuahuan Desert Gardens – The Centennial Museum was constructed in 1936 to celebrate the anniversary of Texas’ independence, making it the oldest museum in El Paso. Permanent exhibits in the museum focus on the natural and cultural history of the Chihuahuan Desert region, the largest desert in North America. A variety of temporary exhibits address themes related to border life and culture, the Americas and the University’s history and current activities. The museum has approximately 73,000 items in its various collections that depict the cultural and natural history of the region. 
  • Stanlee and Gerald Rubin Center for the Visual Arts  offers our geographically isolated region a direct experience with contemporary art of international recognition and importance. The Rubin Center serves as a learning site for students from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and the surrounding community by creating opportunities for student involvement in the planning and execution of exhibitions and outreach, and through formal and informal educational opportunities for audiences of all ages. 


August 31, 2022
Check in no later than 5:45pm
Tours start promptly at 6:00pm
Groups will rotate through the various collections


Check in at UTEP’s Centennial Museum
610 W. University Ave.
At the corner of University Ave. and Wiggins Rd.

Parking Info:

Parking passes will be emailed after registering for the event.

**All Nerd Night events follow current CDC guidelines.  We encourage our Nerd Night guests to keep their distant from others that are not of your party. We appreciate your help in keeping our community safe and healthy. 

How to RSVP:

Tickets to Nerd Night: Back2School Backdoor Access

*There are limited number of tickets available for this event. Depending on availability, tickets can be purchased at the door, but ticket price will increase.*

Your ticket purchase allows us at Insights to continue to provide STEAM education programs to our El Paso Community. As a not-for-profit organization, our efforts are made possible by the generous support of people like you. We sincerely appreciate your contribution!

Nerd Nights unites our community with a celebration of Science & Humanities.

Stay tuned for our next Nerd Night

Nerd Night: EPSF Movie Night


As a part of our STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) education mission, we have teamed up with UTEP’s Centennial Museum to bring a new event to the Border Region – Nerd Nights.  Nerd Nights is a series of informative evening events designed to bring fun scientific/humanities talks and activities to your favorite local brewery, restaurant, coffee shop, or any other community hub.  We will host a different Nerd Night at a different local establishment on a monthly basis.

Why Nerd Nights?  We launched Nerd Nights because we wanted to find an entertaining way to learn something new while sharing good food and drink with new friends.

Still have questions about Nerd Nights? Please read our Nerd Night FAQ’s.

Night Sponsor Hall of Fame

Nerd Night #35 sponsored by:

Nerd Night #24 sponsored by:

Wine Attitude is not your usual bar.  They feature great conversation, happy hour, live music, and select only the finest wines from around the world and bring them here for your enjoyment.   Be sure to check out Wine Attitude’s new location on Mesa.

Nerd Night #20 sponsored by:

Nerd Night #18 sponsored by:

Virgin Galactic is a spaceflight company within the Virgin Group at the vanguard of a new industry, pioneering the next generation of reusable space vehicles. Virgin aims to transform the current cost, safety and environmental impact of space-launch.  In doing so they are helping to create a basic space access infrastructure that will act as an enabler for scientists and entrepreneurs.  It will also provide the catalyst for a new age of space exploration which promises enormous positive potential for life on Earth.

Nerd Night # 16 Sponsored by

Thwaites Interdisciplinary Margin Evolution – The TIME group studies the role of shear margin dynamics in the future evolution of Thwaites Drainage Basin.  TIME is an ice-based project using state-of-the-art geophysical techniques to observe rapidly deforming parts of Thwaites Glacier (shear margins) which may have significant control over future stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). The TIME project will observe rapidly deforming parts of Thwaites Glacier which may have significant control over the future evolution of WAIS, and use these new observations to improve ice sheet models used to predict future sea level rise.

Check out our Nerd Night Archive

Want to keep Nerd Nights totally free?  We need your help!  Sponsorship from our community of Nerds are what keep these events going strong.  Please let us know if your organization would like to make the next Nerd Night a reality!

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