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Press Release
Join us for Sanford Lab's free science festival—it'll be 10 times the fun!


LEAD, SD (July 9, 2018)—On July 14, Sanford Lab celebrates 10 years of Neutrino Day, a free science festival held in Lead, South Dakota. Attendees are encouraged to start their Neutrino Day experience at the Sanford Lab Homestake Visitor Center, 160 W. Main Street in Lead, South Dakota, but will find activities all along Main Street locations including at the Lead/Deadwood Arts Center, the Historic Homestake Opera House, the Lead Library and the All In One Events Center. 

The festival includes hoistroom tours, science activities and exhibits, live video chats with scientists at Fermilab and underground at Sanford Lab, and perennial favorite “Science Steve” Rokusek. The lab is also proud to feature presentations focusing on every day science hacks with Ariel Waldman and the engineering behind the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) with Fermilab's Chris Mossey.  

“We love hosting Neutrino Day in Lead,” said Constance Walter, Sanford Lab’s communications director. “It’s a great way for us to give back to the community, which has been such a strong supporter of the Sanford Underground Research Facility. And it’s just a lot of fun!”

It all begins at the Visitor Center, where visitors can sign up for a free Yates Hoistroom tour. The trolley will used for all hoistroom tours, which begin at 8:30 a.m. Public parking is not available at Sanford Lab, so school buses will pick up visitors at the Visitor Center beginning at 8:15 a.m. and transport them to locations and events throughout the day. Pedestrians can can follow the breadcrumb trail of Neutrino Day X stickers. 

The Visitor Center will be a hubbub of activity. Through engaging geology, blacksmithing and emergency response team demonstrations, visitors can explore rock formations, blacksmithing techniques and fire safety. Visitors also can search for gold at the gold panning station or scour the galaxy using a solar telescope from the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology. Inside, visitors can stay cool during an Education and Outreach demonstration, tune in to live video chats with scientists at Fermilab and underground at the 4850 Level or peruse the many exhibits on display.

Sanford Lab is also the location for SDPB’s crowd favorite, Science Steve. His hands-on science show keeps kids and adults alike wide-eyed and amazed as he reveals his exciting science secrets along the way. Visitors also can meet scientists who work underground, learn about current experiments, watch engaging science videos and enjoy some popcorn! 

Strolling down Lead’s Main Street, visitors will find plenty of activities from 9 a.m.–3 p.m. These include reading activities at the Hearst Library, hands-on activities at the All In One Event Center, the Journey Museum’s GeoDome Planetarium at the Historic Homestake Opera House, and an art activity and selfie station at the Lead-Deadwood Arts Center.  

Two out-of-this-world speakers will land at the Historic Homestake Opera House in Lead for Neutrino Day X, as well. At 11 a.m., Christopher Mossey will explain just how the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility (LBNF) will power DUNE, the largest megascience experiment ever to be built in the United States, in his talk, “Engineering for Deep Science.” The keynote talk, delivered by Ariel Waldman, takes place at 4 p.m. Waldman, global director of Space Hack Days, creator of and a consultant for NASA, will present “The Hacker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” in which she demonstrates just how easy it is for everyday enthusiasts to contribute to scientific discovery. A book signing of her playful text, What’s it like in space?, will follow.

Volunteers will be stationed throughout Lead to assist visitors with any questions they may have. 

“We couldn’t do this without our incredible volunteer force,” said Walter. “They run activities, talk about the science, direct people to different locations, clean hardhats—they really keep everything running smoothly.” 

To kick off the event, SDPB's Innovations will host a live broadcast with the speakers from the 4850 Level on Friday, July 13, from 11 a.m. to noon. 

A complete list of activities can be found at

For more information, please contact Constance Walter, Sanford Lab communications director, at CWalter@SanfordLab.orgor by calling 605.722.4025

Major financial support for Neutrino Day comes from the John T. Vucurevich Foundation, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Black Hills Energy, Black Hills State University and South Dakota School of Mines & Technology. Additional support comes from Haugo Broadcasting, Homeslice Media, KEVN, Duhamel Broadcasting, Keloland Media, Black Hills Parent, Simpsons Printing, the Sanford Lab Homestake Visitor Center, City of Lead, the Lead Chamber of Commerce and more than 150 volunteers.

Sanford Lab is operated by the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority (SDSTA) with funding from the Department of Energy. Our mission is to advance compelling underground, multidisciplinary research in a safe work environment and to inspire and educate through science, technology, and engineering. Visit Sanford Lab at


Written by Erin Broberg

More Information

Constance Walter
Communications Director
Contact by email