For schools attending 2020 shows

These logistics are for confirmed schools attending the 2020 Energy and U shows conducted at the Rarig Center, 10 a.m. & 12:30 p.m. Jan. 9 & 10, and Jan. 13-17, and May 18-22. PDFs of the map with bus loading and unloading information is available below, and these logistics are included here

 Registration for the 2020 shows is closed.


You are confirmed for the date and time on the attendees list, which was sent to you via email. Please mark the date and time on your calendars. If you need to cancel, contact Eileen Harvala at as soon as possible. We know that schools and school districts continue to have bus transportation issues, so please just contact us. We have a number of schools and students on the waiting list. Please, please just don't come without letting us know. This happened a few times last year, which makes it difficult for everyone involved and was unfair to schools that could have attended in your place.

Bus Cost Reimbursement

Important: schools pay upfront and send the paid invoice with the information below. 

The University of Minnesota Material Research Science and Engineering Center (UMN MRSEC) will reimburse your school for the cost of busing up to a total of $3.50 per student. You don’t have to qualify for this reimbursement. No request is turned down. However, schools must pay for those costs upfront.

All requests for reimbursement must be sent via email with paid invoice included as an attachment to In the email, please state:

Name of School Attending:
School District # (ISD xxx):
Make check payable to:
Send check to (mailing address):

About the Show

You and your students will experience a 60-minute presentation that focuses on energy science and technology. The professors presenting the show discuss what energy is, where it comes from, how it can be used, where it can be stored, and how understanding energy science and technology is important for the leaders of tomorrow. The professors engage the audience members—the children—in answering questions and invite their participation in some of the demonstrations. For groups that are in the balcony, we will work with the teachers to select a student to participate in one of the first demonstrations of the show. The student is escorted to and from the balcony by a volunteer. We also select teachers, who are willing and able to ride a bicycle, from the balcony and elsewhere to participate in one of the demonstrations/explosions.            

Important note: your students, teachers, chaperones, and aides should be prepared for some strobes and flashing lights, loud noises, and controlled explosions. The professors always give advance notice before the explosions occur. Safety is our primary concern and all of the demonstrations have been well tested. Everything is safe.

  • All students and adults must cover their ears when asked to do so. Ensure that aides bring earmuffs, if they are covering the ears of students. Give anyone with hearing aids a heads-up before hand.
  • Students are invited to and are encouraged to dance whenever they learn something new about energy, but must remain in their seats during the demonstrations and when the presenter is talking. It really helps if teachers and volunteers engage in the dancing and enthusiasm as well.
  • This is a highly sensory and stimulating experience with loud noises, flashing lights, etc. There is space in the hallway, if students need to leave the show. Schools/students with sensory/sound issues need to bring their own earmuffs.
  • If you and your students are seated in the balcony, please ensure that students in the front row stay in their seats throughout the show and are adequately monitored. We ask that they dance in their seats. As much as possible, we try to keep students out of the first row of balcony seats, but sometimes are not able to do so.

Safety of Minors (no university volunteers alone with students)

The University of Minnesota has strict safety-of-minor policies, which reflect our practices and, perhaps, your own policies and procedures for your students and field trips. There are a couple of things to note: Teachers are responsible for the behavior of their students. We want them to have a great time, and actually encourage them to do so. However, we do ask that they respect the presenters, other students, and the space.

With the exception of one-on-one personal aides, you must have a 10 student to 1 chaperone 10:1 ratio; however, we do need to include those aides in the total number of attendees for your school. Please note, do not bring more people than 10 to 1. Let Eileen know if your numbers change. There are a limited number of seats in the theatre and we must comply with capacity limits.

Our volunteers/staff will not be alone at any time with any of your students, which includes escorting students to the restrooms. Students, if leaving the theater, need to be with a chaperone from your school. The restrooms are located on the lower level of the Rarig Center, and students must be escorted to and from the facilities.

Special Needs

  • If you have students with accessibility or other physical needs, or hearing and vision needs, please let us know before you come to the show. The accessibility ramp and loading and unloading space is right in front of the Rarig Center, which also has elevators and a large gender-neutral restroom, plus handicapped stalls in the men's and women's restroom.
  • Students with handicapped accessible needs will be seated in the main part of the theater, not the balcony.
  • If you have staff members or volunteers helping children with handicaps cover their ears, please ensure that everyone has appropriate ear protection, and brings that protection with them. 
  • If you need a place for a sign language interpreter, let us know that in advance, so we can put everyone in the appropriate seats.
  • This is a highly sensory and stimulating experience with loud explosions, loud music and singing, and cheers/laughter, which is sometimes too much for students with sensory issues. Ear protection helps, and schools/students need to provide them. There is space in the hallways, if students need to leave the show.

Getting Here (bus drop off, parking, travel)

Refer to this map. 

The Energy and U show is conducted at the Rarig Center located on the West Bank of the University of Minnesota, 320 21st Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN. Do not confuse Energy and U or the Rarig Center location with Physics Force, going on in January at the same time on the Northrup Mall on the East Bank.
  • Buses may drop off and load outside the main entrance of the Rarig; however, avoid the area right in front, which is about two bus lengths, because it is designated as handicapped accessible loading and unloading only.
  • After unloading, the buses need to move to a staging area or a nearby appropriate parking area of their choosing.
  • Students should only be loaded and unloaded from the buses on the Rarig Center side of the street. Do not have students cross the street.
  • For bus drivers, there is a convenient turnaround area in the Ted Mann auditorium area located next to the Rarig Center that they can use. Please give this information to the person ordering your buses, and give this information to your bus company ahead of time.
  • Please print and bring maps with you to give to the bus drivers.
  • Please plan to arrive 15 to 20 minutes before your scheduled show time because the show will start on time. Chaperones or group leaders driving separately can park in the nearby parking ramp.

Data Privacy and Photography/Videotaping

  • No unauthorized photography, videotaping, or use of camera phones by students, teachers, parents, or others is permitted. Please tell you students, teachers, and all volunteers about this prohibition.
    • We are not responsible for photography and videotaping that is taken or done by others.
  • I, along with representatives from the university or media, may be taking photos and filming during the shows. We will try to let you know ahead of time, so you can check you data privacy lists and we can prevent those students from being photographed.
    • Any photos and videos that are taken will be used by the Department of Chemistry and possibly the College of Science and Engineering or the University of Minnesota for public relations purposes.

Contact Information

Please send Eileen Harvala the names of teachers who will be attending the show, and a cell phone number for the lead teacher. 


    • Energy & U
    • Smith Hall, 207 Pleasant St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455
    • Eileen Harvala, Communications Coordinator
    • (612) 624-0831