The Science Formal is organized by and for the graduating class of undergraduate engineering students. It has evolved from an annual dance to a much-anticipated event for the graduating class. The event dates back to 1903, yet it was the class of 1923 that first included more ambitious visions such as large structures and waterfalls. The elaborate themes started in 1927 with the Japanese Gardens.
One of the purposes of the formal is for the students to work together on a large project that incorporates engineering design and artistic creativity by making Grant Hall and Kingston Hall into a fantastical setting for one night. Any student attending the Science Formal has to complete a certain number of volunteer hours working on the Formal's art and construction projects.
An open house for the public collects donations for the United Way.