Cal Day Events – Passport to Science

Passport to Science!

Passport to Science!

Explore the world of science with your Passport to Science@Cal! Pick up a passport at any location listed below, and begin your journey! At each of your destinations, your passport will get a fun stamp or sticker to show where your travels have taken you. Recommended for ages 6 to 12.


CalDayIcons_0004_Layer 4Passport to Science

9:00 am-4:00 pm Valley Life Sciences Building, south entrance Explore the awesome world of science with your passport in hand. Pick up your Science@Cal passport here or at any participating location, and begin your journey! At each destination, your passport will get a stamp or sticker to show where your travels have taken you. Recommended for children ages 6–12 and their families.

CalDayIcons_0004_Layer 4

Science Bonanza!

9:00 am-4:00 pm Valley Life Sciences Building, south entrance Visit the south lawn of the Valley Life Sciences Building to see live animal shows and plants, play science games and activities, and meet special guests from around the Bay Area. Pick up your Science@Cal passport here and start your science adventure!

CalDayIcons_0004_Layer 4

Ask a Linguist!

9:00 am-4:00 pm 52 Dwinelle Hall What’s linguistics? How many languages are there? How do words evolve? How does your uvula help you speak French? Just ask–and get a picture of your voice!

CalDayIcons_0003_Layer 5Behind the Scenes at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology

9:00 am-4:00 pm 3101 Valley Life Sciences Building Do you love animals? With 700,000 bird, mammal, reptile and amphibian specimens, the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology is one of the largest university-based collections of tetrapod vertebrates. Drop by for a rare peek at our most unique specimens, and interact with scientists to learn about the research they conduct all over the world.

CalDayIcons_0003_Layer 5

T. rex and Friends

9:00 am-4:00 pm Wallace Atrium, 1st floor Valley Life Sciences Building Say hello to our resident T. rex and Pteranodon in Wallace Atrium in front of the Museum of Paleontology. Get your picture taken, pick up a T-shirt or tote bag, and score a highly coveted ticket for our museum tour!

CalDayIcons_0003_Layer 5

Insects, Spiders and Their Kin

9:00 am-4:00 pm 3rd floor Valley Life Sciences Building Visit the Essig Museum’s fabulous collection of arthropods (insects, spiders, scorpions and their relatives). Look at specimens through a microscope, and talk to entomologists to learn more about arthropod research at UC Berkeley.

CalDayIcons_0002_Layer 6

LEaD Lights

9:00 am-4:00 pm 254 Sutardja Dai Hall Participants will use alligator clips connected to a battery and an LED light to create a circuit with a pencil drawing. You’ll see the light intensity changes as the clips are brought closer together on the drawing. With our 3-D model of graphite we’ll show how the carbon in graphite is bonded and explain how it conducts electricity.

CalDayIcons_0003_Layer 5

Our Changing Planet

9:00 am-4:00 pm Valley Life Sciences Building, courtyard The Berkeley Natural History Museums and the Department of Integrative Biology pair up for this exciting display that includes live plants and animals, museum specimens, fossils and interesting facts. Learn how plants and animals have changed across time, and how climate change is impacting our current species and environmental landscapes.

CalDayIcons_0003_Layer 5

UC Natural Reserve System

9:00 am-4:00 pm Valley Life Sciences Building, courtyard California is a wonderland of natural riches, with wave-tossed shorelines, sere deserts, snowy mountaintops, and timeless oak savannas. The UC Natural Reserve System is a network of these Californian wildlands, providing research opportunities, serving as classrooms without walls for students of all ages, and protecting the wildlife and landscapes unique to this state.  

CalDayIcons_0003_Layer 5

University & Jepson Herbaria Open House

9:00 am-4:00 pm 1001 Valley Life Sciences Building See our famed collections of preserved plants, algae and fungi from around the world. Talk to researchers about the wildflower display, and observe plants under the microscope. Guided tours begin on the hour from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Children can choose a plant specimen to identify and take home as a souvenir.

CalDayIcons_0004_Layer 4

Pop-Up Palmyra: Art in Response to the Destruction of the Past

9:00 am-4:00 pm 103 Kroeber Hall Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology In March 2015, the Islamic State group began destroying precious Middle Eastern heritage sites. Pop-Up Palmyra is a one-day exhibit of crowd-sourced artistic responses to this destruction. Get creative, share your reaction, and learn how you can help preserve the past. See 3-D and virtual-reality reconstructions of destroyed sites, participate in hands-on activities (including cuneiform writing), and enjoy cultural performances.

CalDayIcons_0003_Layer 5

Plants of the World and Garden Animals

9:00 am-5:00 pm UC Botanical Garden (take Hill Shuttle from Evans Hall east entrance) Take a botanical trip and see 12,000 kinds of plants from around the world! The UC Botanical Garden is free all day, with guided tours at 11 a.m., 12 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. Enjoy “Garden Animals” stations from 1–2:30 p.m. On campus, visit the garden’s “Plant Treasures” booth in the Valley Life Sciences Courtyard and see carnivorous plants outside on the south lawn.

CalDayIcons_0004_Layer 4

Dig Like an Archaeologist!

9:30 am-2:30 pm Archaeological Research Facility, 2251 College Ave. Learn how archaeologists record their findings in the field. We’ll have a mock dig site, dig kits for younger kids, and hands-on activities, including mapping for older kids. The Archaeological Research Facility at UC Berkeley is an actual dig site itself and the location of the first fraternity house west of the Mississippi.

CalDayIcons_0004_Layer 4

Bones and Their Stories!

9:30 am-2:30 pm Archaeological Research Facility, 2251 College Ave. Learn about animal and human anatomy with this interactive display on how archaeologists use bones to study the diet, culinary practices and human health of past societies.

CalDayIcons_0004_Layer 4

Paleoethnobotany: Ancient Plants and the People who Used Them

9:30 am-2:30 pm Archaeological Research Facility, 2251 College Ave. Find out what archaeologists investigating ancient plants learn about an ancient civilization’s day-to-day activities, diet and cuisine–then try to identify and draw ancient seeds!

CalDayIcons_0000_Layer 8

Fun with Physics

10:00-10:45 am 1:00-1:45 pm 1 LeConte Hall Why should students have all the fun? Join Berkeley Physics on Cal Day for jaw-dropping lab demos that range from simple to simply amazing! A Cal Day favorite, and a great opportunity to get your Science@Cal passport stamped. Space is limited so come early! Bob Jacobsen, Professor of Physics

CalDayIcons_0005_Layer 3


10:00 am-3:00 pm 220 McCone Hall Jump up and down to make your own quake, investigate seismic waves using giant springs, and learn how you can prepare for a damaging earthquake. Talk to our graduate students about their earthquake science research.

CalDayIcons_0002_Layer 6

Information Table: Computer Science

10:00 am-3:00 pm 3rd Floor, Soda Hall Staff and student groups will discuss the computer science program and share what life is like at Berkeley.

CalDayIcons_0000_Layer 9Astronomy Demonstrations and Hands-On Activities

10:00 am-3:30 pm 121 Campbell Hall Help astronomers build a scale model of the solar system, read the “fingerprints” of stars, learn how astronomers measure distances to the stars, and more.

CalDayIcons_0000_Layer 9

Hands-on Ocean Science Fun

10:00 am-2:00 pm McCone Hall, entrance & lobby Drop by McCone Hall to learn about ocean features, coral reefs, ocean circulation, beaches, and more from UC Berkeley earth science, geography and integrative biology students! Hands-on interactive presentations for all ages.

CalDayIcons_0002_Layer 6

Explore New Worlds

10:00 am-5:00 pm Lawrence Hall of Science (take Hill Shuttle from Evans Hall east entrance) Get inspired and collaborate! Tinker with unexpected materials, design and drive a rover that can travel rocky and soft terrains, launch a rocket, “fly high” and tell your story with stop-motion animation.

CalDayIcons_0003_Layer 5

Explore Cal’s Microgarden

11:00 am-2:00 pm Genetics & Plant Biology Lawn The Cal Microgarden is home to a diverse collection of algae and fungi used in research labs and classrooms around campus. Take a look at organisms collected over 80 years ago! Come examine our organisms under microscopes, and learn all about algae and fungi at the Microgarden booth.

CalDayIcons_0003_Layer 5

Microbial Biology Student Group

11:00 am-1:00 pm Genetics & Plant Biology Lawn Microbes are everywhere–in the food we eat, in the deepest crevices of our bodies, and in the germs that make us sick. So what are “good” microbes, then, and how do they benefit us?

CalDayIcons_0003_Layer 5Nutritional Sciences & Toxicology Informational Table

11:00 am-1:00 pm Genetics & Plant Biology Lawn Have you ever wondered what you can do with a degree in nutritional sciences? Visit the Cal Dietetics table to learn how science, people, community, culture, education and food come together to create careers in nutrition and dietetics. We’ll have healthy snacks for you to sample as you learn about maintaining optimal health while at Cal.

CalDayIcons_0007_Layer 1Explore the World Through Statistics and Probability

11:00 am-2:00 pm 1011 Evans Hall Join us for fun, engaging activities that explore statistics and probability, and their application to real-world problems.

CalDayIcons_0003_Layer 5

Plant Biology Prize Wheel

11:00 am-1:00 pm Genetics & Plant Biology Lawn Test your knowledge about plants and microbes, and learn a thing or two! You’ll win a prize if you answer correctly.

CalDayIcons_0003_Layer 5

Plant and Microbial Biology Information Table

11:00 am-1:00 pm Genetics & Plant Biology Lawn Learn about undergraduate majors and research opportunities while interacting with scientists, professors and students in the Department of Plant & Microbial Biology. We offer two majors with concentrations that include biotechnology, bioenergy, plant genetics, host-pathogen interactions, evolution/computational microbiology, and more.

CalDayIcons_0003_Layer 5

Plant Biology Student Demonstrations

11:00 am-1:00 pm Genetics & Plant Biology Lawn Our amazing graduate students demonstrate where common foods come from, how to use a dichotomous key to identify plants, and how to view plants up close and personal through magnifying lenses. See plants like you’ve never seen them before!

CalDayIcons_0003_Layer 5

Yeast, Farts and Microscopes

11:00 am-1:00 pm Genetics & Plant Biology Lawn View incredible sights on microscopes set up and supported by students. Make your own slide, and put yeast into various types of culture to see if it will produce enough gas to inflate a balloon or lab glove.

CalDayIcons_0003_Layer 5

The Bug Doctor: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

11:00am-1:30 pm Genetics and Plant Biology Lawn Dr. Vernard Lewis, urban pest specialist in the College of Natural Resources, showcases a special assortment of bugs for children, youth and adults to explore. The collection includes preserved insects, termites, bed bugs, ants and some live insect displays. Dr. Lewis will also help you identify any creepy crawlers or bug-riddled plants you bring to Cal Day!

CalDayIcons_0006_Layer 2Ice Nucleation Magic Show and Free Snow Cones!

11:00-1:00 pm Genetics and Plant Biology Lawn Members of the Lindow Lab demonstrate ice nucleation, a phenomenon involving bacteria that causes ice crystals to quickly form on plants. This amazing process was discovered by Professor Steven Lindow, who now uses it in his lab for research applications. Come see an amazing demonstration, and enjoy a free snow cone!

CalDayIcons_0002_Layer 6

Hands-on Design Explorations

11:00-2:00 pm 110 Jacobs Hall Try your hand at design processes, from concept sketching to rapid prototyping. Get an up-close look at digital fabrication tools, and personalize a Cal-themed souvenir to take home with you.

CalDayIcons_0003_Layer 5

The College of Natural Resources and Our National Parks: Point Reyes National Seashore

11:30am-1:00 pm Genetics and Plant Biology Lawn Hear from a Point Reyes park ranger about the natural and cultural resources that are preserved and protected for the enjoyment of current and future generations. Park rangers safeguard natural resources and local history. Help us celebrate the National Park Service, which turns 100 in 2016!

CalDayIcons_0003_Layer 5

College of Natural Resources Undergraduate Research Open House

11:30am-1:30 pm Genetics and Plant Biology Lawn Graduating seniors from majors and departments across the College of Natural Resources will showcase solutions they have developed to solve some of the most pressing issues facing health and human welfare.
CalDayIcons_0000_Layer 9

Adventures in Space Science

12:00 am-5:00 pm Space Sciences Laboratory, Addition Conference Room (take Hill Shuttle from Evans Hall east entrance) Learn about UV rays, magnetism, solar energy, and more. Look through a solar telescope. Many activities specifically for TEENS and some for children ages 6 to 12.

CalDayIcons_0002_Layer 6

Materials Discovery

12:00-4:00 pm Hearst Memorial Mining Building, lobby Materials scientists demonstrate the wonders of their world. Learn about superballs, superconductors, super liquid-nitrogen ice cream, and more! Stick around for demonstrations every half hour.

CalDayIcons_0006_Layer 2

Goldilocks and the Three Bears: Is the College of Chemistry Right for You?

12:00-1:00 pm 1 Pimentel Hall While searching for the best college at Cal, Goldilocks wanders into the College of Chemistry. Dramatic demonstrations convince her she’s found the college that’s “just right”!

CalDayIcons_0006_Layer 2

Chemistry for Kids!

12:00-2:00 pm Latimer Hall – Pimentel Hall Patio Join us on the Chemistry Plaza for some fun, hands-on activities for kids both young and old!

CalDayIcons_0006_Layer 2

Cutting-Edge Research in Targeting Metabolic Pathways for Cancer Therapy and Neurodegenerative Diseases

1:00-2:00 pm 101 Morgan Hall Assistant Professor James Olzmann talks about the technology used to characterize and target metabolic pathways for cancer treatment and neurodegenerative diseases. After the talk, explore Cal’s first LEED Gold certified lab, made possible by support from College of Natural Resources alumni. Learn more at
CalDayIcons_0006_Layer 2

CellScope: The Mobile Phone Microscope

1:00-3:00 pm Stanley Hall Atrium, 1st Floor  Learn about–and try out–a CellScope, a high-quality light microscope based on the camera of a mobile phone. Come take a look at the mobile microscopic world of cells with researchers from UC Berkeley’s Fletcher Lab, an interdisciplinary group with members from engineering, physics, chemistry and biology.

CalDayIcons_0002_Layer 6

It’s a Concrete World After All!

1:30-3:30 pm Concrete Lab, 2nd floor Davis Hall What’s the difference between cement and concrete? Get a chance to mix flowable concrete samples to take home with you. See invisible cracks in concrete and how it breaks.

CalDayIcons_0005_Layer 3

Shake it to the Core!

1:30-3:00 pm Structures Lab, 2nd floor Davis Hall Design and build a tower to resist a major earthquake! Once your structure is complete, you can test it on an earthquake simulator. Will your tower survive the shaking? Presented by the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center and the Cal Seismic Team.