Buskirk-Chumley Theater & WonderLab Museum


6:30 pm


2 hour 30 minutes


General Admission

Science on Screen: The Martian

location_on Buskirk-Chumley Theater
Tue, Mar 26, 2024
7 pm

This film is part of the National Evening of Science on Screen.

A total solar eclipse will be visible in Bloomington, IN in April 2024, and much like the collective suspense experienced during a total solar eclipse, 'The Martian' captivates with its elements of human determination and teamwork against the backdrop of the vast cosmos. Before the film, Indiana University Professor of Astronomy and self-proclaimed “Interstellar Dust Nerd” will challenge our terrestrial perspective by discussing the life cycle and evolution of interstellar dust grains. Then Dr. Luke Nikolov, an Assistant Professor of Biology at IU, will talk about the real possibilities of growing potatoes on Mars!

Film Synopsis:
When astronauts blast off from the planet Mars, they leave behind Mark Watney (Matt Damon), presumed dead after a fierce storm. With only a meager amount of supplies, the stranded visitor must utilize his wits and spirit to find a way to survive on the hostile planet. Meanwhile, back on Earth, members of NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring him home while his crew mates hatch their own plan for a daring rescue mission.

About Dr. Caleb Choban:
An inaugural Sullivan Prize Fellow in Astronomy at IU Bloomington, Dr. Choban received his Ph.D. in Physics at UC San Diego working in collaboration with Prof. Dušan Kereš.  His research focuses on interstellar dust grains, numerous small particles (<1 μm) that reside within the interstellar medium (ISM), and he is interested in the dust life cycle, how dust evolves within galaxies, and how dust affects and interacts with the ISM.

Beyond research, Caleb is deeply involved in community outreach and graduate student advocacy. He has taught labs for public schools, led coding workshops for community college students, and organized science demonstrations. As a graduate researcher, Caleb served on the Physics Graduate Council, advocating for student needs and pushing for increased stipends and improved work-life balance. He is also the founder of a physics mentorship program.

Caleb enjoys camping, hiking, cycling, and playing board games in California and Indiana in his free time.

Rated PG-13 for some strong language, injury images, and brief nudity.


Science on Screen® initiative brings science to cinemas nationwide.

An initiative of the Coolidge Corner Theatre, with major support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, this series puts together creative pairings of current, classic, cult, and documentary films with lively introductions by notable figures from the world of science, technology, and medicine.