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Bay Area Science Festival 2018

Bay Area Science Festival - October 26-November 3, 2018

Explore the wonders of science with free events for all ages at UC Berkeley and throughout the region during the Bay Area Science Festival!

Be sure to check out the full calendar of events on the new festival website at 

All festival events presented by Science at Cal are open to the public.

Other festival or partner events may have an attendance fee or require registration. Please check the festival calendar for details.

Events and activities are subject to change without notice.


Dark Matter Day

Tours and Hands-on

CaT Bobino - Expand Her potential in Science


Expand Her Potential in Science

Saturday, October 27 — 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

2040 Valley Life Sciences Building

University of California, Berkeley

The fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) have been around for generations, and will continue to grow, expand, and shape our world and future in the years to come.  In order to give daughters and granddaughters the tools that they need to succeed in a STEM career, parents, and guardians need to have an understanding of what STEM really is and how to approach the topic with their children.  How can we change the perception of scientists that is currently depicted in mainstream media? How can we spark girls’ curiosity about STEM and empower them to move toward STEM careers?

In this lively and interactive discussion with women STEM professionals, we’ll explore popular media perception and influences on STEM (there will be a rap video shown), the parent or guardian’s role in empowering their child to pursue a STEM career, and inspiring STEM resources for girls and their families.


Moderator- CaT Bobino – STEM Communicator, In The Know Consulting, LLC

Lisa White – Assistant Director of Education and Outreach, UC Berkeley Museum of Paleontology

Jessie Castillo – Post-doctoral researcher, UC Berkeley Museum of Vertebrate Zoology

Lisa Eshun-Wilson – Graduate student, UC Berkeley Department of Molecular and Cell Biology

Chrissy Stachl – Graduate student, Department of Chemistry

Adamaka Ajaelo – Facebook, Self-eSTEM

See event page for more details

Precision Physics


Precision Physics in Search of the Dark Sector

Sunday, October 28 — 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Alameda Free Library

1550 Oak Street
Alameda, CA

The so-called “fine-structure constant” is a deeply important number in physics. It describes the strength of the electromagnetic force between fundamental particles. This means, among countless other things, that it gauges the interaction between all the atoms and molecules in our bodies. Of the fine-structure constant, physicist Max Born said, “The explanation of this number must be the central problem of natural philosophy.” Modern measurements of the fine-structure constant reach a precision of 0.2 parts per billion. This allows us to test the celebrated Standard Model of Particle Physics at unprecedented levels. It also allows us to look for new particles and forces arising from the “dark sector”, the enormous world of undiscovered particles that makes up dark matter and dark energy. Our speaker is Dr. Holger Müller, Associate Professor of Physics, UC Berkeley.

Produced by Wonderfest.

See event page for more details


Astronight: Talk and stargazing

Is Anybody Out There? The Search for ET with Help from Five Million SETI@home Volunteers

with Dan Wertheimer

Thursday, November 1

Talk:  7:00 – 8:00 pm

Stargazing:  8:00 – 9:30 pm

Campbell Hall

UC Berkeley

Join us for our final Astronomy Night of 2018! This FREE event consists of a public astronomy lecture and stargazing on the roof of Campbell Hall with our fleet of telescopes. Learn all about the search for extraterrestrial life, the SETI and Breakthrough Listen projects, and how you can help search for ET too!

Doors to Campbell Hall open at 6:30pm, and seating is first come, first serve.
The talk is aimed at a high school science level.

See event page for more details

On and around October 31, 2018, the world will celebrate the historic hunt for the unseen—something that scientists refer to as dark matter. Local events planned by institutions and individuals around the planet will engage the public in discussions about what we know about dark matter, and about the many present and planned experiments that seek to solve its mysteries.

European Space Agency & NASA

Grounds for Science: Dark Matter Day!

Micah Brush (physics) and Wren Suess  (Astronomy)

Friday, October 26 – 6:30 pm

Scarlet City Espresso Bar

3960 Adeline Street
Emeryville, CA  94608

How do we look for evidence of “Dark Matter” in the universe? How can we discover how galaxies are formed? Two young researchers from UC Berkeley will share stories of their search for dark matter and the secrets of galaxy formation.

Grounds for Science is a public science talk series organized by and featuring UC Berkeley graduate students. Enjoy cutting-edge science at Scarlet City: a science-fiction-themed cafe that offers a small, intimate environment, home-roasted coffee, select beers and snacks, and a collection of sweet pinball machines.

Festive attire welcome!

See event page for more details


Searching for Dark Matter – SuperCDMS (Cryogenic Dark Matter Search)

Talk by Professor Matt Pyle

Thursday, November 1 – 6:30 pm

60 Evans Hall 
University of California, Berkeley

What is dark matter? For decades, firm astronomical evidence from observations of stars and galaxies has indicated that most of the matter in the universe cannot be seen directly in telescopes. Instead, this matter must be observed indirectly through its gravitational pull on the objects that we can see. This is how the term “dark matter” was coined…But how do we search for something we can’t see?

Light refreshments will be served!


Matt Pyle is the Michael M. Garland Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics at UC Berkeley. Questions about the nature of the universe today, for example “Could dark matter be composed of particles with mass less than that of a proton?” are simply impossible to answer with present technology. Dr. Pyle’s goal is to develop and employ new detector technologies to find answers to these questions.

See event page for more details



Happy Creepy Halloween!

Saturday, October  27 —  11:00 am – 3:00 pm

Free with Museum admission

Lawrence Hall of Science

1 Centennial Drive

Start your Halloween celebration early with special Halloween-themed activities in the Ingenuity Lab and Animal Discovery Room. Pumpkins will fly during this annual outdoor event featuring our friends from UC Berkeley’s Pioneers in Engineering (PiE) program. Join us on the Hall’s C-level lawn and watch as a giant trebuchet sends pumpkins flying across the sky and learn about the engineering behind this fun and messy demonstration! In the Ingenuity Lab, use the basics of engineering and physics to design your own hydraulic lifts. Then, grab some pumpkins and test the strength of your hydraulic creation in this Halloween-themed activity for all ages. The Hall’s Animal Discovery Room is also getting in the Halloween spirit with the help of some of our spookier Animal Ambassadors. Check out our collection of animal skeletons and brains, help us sort through mealworms (if you dare), and meet some of our creepier animals to learn the science behind their unique characteristics.

See event page for more details

Farmers' Markets


Explore what you eat! Science at local farmers’ markets

South Berkeley Market

Tuesday, October 30 —  2:00 – 5:30 pm

Adeline St. at 63rd. Berkeley

Ever wonder how plants live? Or what DNA really looks like? Get hands-on with (maybe even spooky!) science to find out! Join Cal Scientists for some cool, food-related investigations at East Bay farmers’ markets during the Bay Area Science Festival. Subject to reduced hours or cancellation in event of inclement weather.

See event page for more details


Tour the UC Berkeley Natural History Museums

Monday, October 29 — 6:00 – 8:00 pm

 Valley Life Sciences Building Atrium

University of California, Berkeley

Why do we need natural history museum collections? The millions of specimens contained in the six natural history museums at UC Berkeley have provided the building blocks of data from which scores of researchers have described new species, unraveled complicated kinships among organisms, and discovered how organisms evolve and adapt to their environments. Go behind the scenes in the Essig Entomology Museum, the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, and the Jepson and University Herbaria to discover amazing treasures of biodiversity.


RSVP is needed to attend. Registration for this event will open on October 19th 2018.

See event page to register

Weight and Time


Tour UC Berkeley atomic physics labs

Tuesday, October 30 — 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Meet between Birge and Campbell Hall, opposite the Campanile

University of California, Berkeley

Physics at Berkeley has a long history of game-changing research, pioneer scientists, world-class students, and Nobel prizes. Find out how we are learning about the fundamental physical qualities of atoms with mind-bending accuracy in the atom interferometry lab of Professor Holger Müller and the ultracold atomic physics lab of Professor Dan M. Stamper-Kurn, and make your own hands-on observations of physical phenomenon with the Lawrence Hall of Science.


RSVP is needed to attend. Registration for this event will open on October 19th 2018.

See event page to register

Credit: Florian Brown-Altvater

Credit: Florian Brown-Altvater


Tour a UC Berkeley cell biology lab

Friday, November 2 — 2:30 – 4:00 pm

University of California, Berkeley

In embryonic development, a single cell goes through a series of repeated divisions and these cells read the program encoded in their DNA in order to become familiar cell types such as those found in muscle, liver or our brains. The goal of the Professor Hernan Garcia’s lab is to uncover the rules behind these decisions in order to predict and manipulate developmental programs from just looking at DNA sequences. Find out how the lab combines physics, synthetic biology and new technologies to investigate developmental decisions in real time at the single cell level in the fruit fly embryo.


RSVP is needed to attend. Registration for this event will open on October 19th 2018.

See event page to register

Bay Area Science Festival


Discovery Days

Contra Costa Discovery Day

Saturday October 27th — 10 am – 2 pm

California State University East Bay, Concord Campus

Come enjoy a showcase of science, technology, and engineering from businesses, museums, and universities throughout Contra Costa County. Over 25 interactive exhibits and demos! Attendees will explore the STEM fields, discover new interests, and create lasting memories.

North Bay Discovery Day

Saturday October 27th — 10am – 4pm

Sonoma County Fairgrounds

1350 Bennet Valley Rd
Santa Rosa, CA

This celebration will be the high point of the Bay Area Science Festival in the North Bay. Families are encouraged to attend this fun interactive event – it’s all designed to get kids excited about STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Examine formula racer engineering and race your own gravity powered model! Discover what it’s like to be a heart surgeon using the newest life saving technologies! Event is held Rain or Shine!

AT&T Park

Saturday, November 3 — 11:00am – 4:30 pm

San Francisco

Numerous UC Berkeley students and staff will participate in the Closing event Discovery Days at AT&T Park in San Francisco, with varioius STEM departments and organizations taking part. Look for the Science at Cal signs and come meet our scientists!