ETOPiA: The Engineering Transdisciplinary Outreach Project in the Arts uses performance arts staged in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences to inspire a cross-disciplinary dialogue about the role of science and technology in society. This annual event highlights the pursuit and application of knowledge by individuals whose historical and personal circumstances span from tragic to epic. In its inaugural year, 2008, ETOPiA produced the play Copenhagen and opened the doors of the Technological Institute of Northwestern to an audience of almost 1,000 community members, high school students, undergraduates, graduate students, staff, and faculty from the greater university neighborhood.
ETOPiA strives to generate awareness among students of all ages and disciplines about the interdependence of the different fields of study, and the services, responsibilities, and obligations of engineers and scientists in today's society. To broaden outreach, admission is free to all, and special performances are scheduled for the benefit of area high schools. Support comes from various Northwestern institutions, such the Materials Research Center, the International Institute for Nanotechnology, and The Graduate School. ETOPiA succeeds through direct involvement of Northwestern undergraduate and graduate students who assist in the organization and execution of the event.
Previous ETOPiA productions include Copenhagen, Manya: A Living History of Marie Curie, QED, A Number, The How and the Why, The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, Grounded, A Life of Galileo, and Mill Girls.