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2015 Family Science Days

Science for Everyone

Explore interactive science exhibits, learn about cool science jobs, and have your questions answered by scientists! Family Science Days are FREE and open to all.

This free community science showcase features hands-on demos, shows, and other activities appropriate for K-12 children and their families. The event features a broad range of educators and scientists promoting an interest in science among the general public.



Saturday, February 14

12:00 p.m.
A Biology Rhapsody: A Science Rap Performance
Science with Tom

12:30 p.m.
The Strongest Force in Nature, Colorful Gluons, and Beautiful Quarks
Manuel Calderón de la Barca Sánchez
Professor of Physics, University of California, Davis

1:00 p.m.
Digital Planetariums: Exploring Real Science through Virtual Environments with Ryan Wyatt
California Academy of Sciences

1:30 p.m.
Monkeys, Millipedes, and Medicines: Exploring Tropical Jungle Canopies
Margaret Lowman
Chief of Science and Sustainability, California Academy of Sciences

2:00 p.m.
What Elephants Can Teach Us about Being Human
Caitlin O'Connell-Rodwell
Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine

2:30 p.m.
Science Talk: Zapping Curiosities and Sparking Conversations
Shane Bergin
Lecturer of Physics, Trinity College, Dublin

3:00 p.m.
Everything New is Really Old
Computer History Museum

3:30 p.m.
Exploring the Solar System with the Hubble Space Telescope
Heidi Hammel
Senior Research Scientist, Space Science Institute

4:00 p.m.
Discover the Amazing Invisible World Where Global Warming is Happening

Sunday, February 15

12:00 p.m.
Science Cheerleaders

12:30 p.m.
“I’m Sorry Dave, I’m Afraid I Can’t Do That”: Language and Computers in the Big Data Era
Lillian Lee
Professor of Computer Science, Cornell University

1:00 p.m.
Meet an Astronaut!

1:30 p.m.
Killer Lionfish of the Carribean
Luiz Rocha
Associate Curator and Follett Chair of Ichthyology, California Academy of Sciences

2:00 p.m.
The Hidden Life of Nutrients and Contaminants in Our Water
Michael Massey
Assistant Professor of Earth and Environmental Science, California State University, East Bay

2:30 p.m.
Privacy and the Internet of Things
Deidre Mulligan
Associate Professor of Information, University of California, Berkeley

3:00 p.m.
Saving Seals: Helping Marine Mammals in California
The Marine Mammal Center

3:30 p.m.
A Climate Scientist's Personal Journey to Understand our Changing Climate
Eugene Cordero
Professor of Meteorology and Climate Science, San Jose State University

4:00 p.m.
Discovering Mountain Lions and Bobcats
Felidae Conservation Fund



American Society of Plant Biologists
Founded in 1924, the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) promotes the growth and development of plant biology, encourages and publishes research in plant biology, and promotes the interests and growth of plant scientists in general. ASPB members spanning six continents work in academia, government laboratories, and industrial and commercial environments. ASPB plays a key role in uniting the international plant science disciplines and participates in formal and informal education based on the 12 Principles of Plant Biology and Core Concepts in Plant Biology.

Association for Women in Science
Association for Women in Science (AWIS) champions the interests of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics across all disciplines and employment sectors. Working for positive system transformation, AWIS strives to ensure that all women in these fields can achieve their full potential. Currently there are four AWIS chapters in Northern California: East Bay, San Francisco, Sacramento Valley, and Palo Alto.

Bay Area Discovery Museum
The Bay Area Discovery Museum is designed to ignite creative thinking in children with 7.5 acres of natural beauty inspiring families to engage in a world of possibilities. The museum is a space for imaginations to run wild. Every curated detail of exhibits brings creative thinking to life. Navigate winding tunnels to develop physical and intellectual risk-taking skills. Feel the rush of cold-water tide pools that awaken curiosity. Imagine new worlds by transforming into a spider or a bridge builder. At every turn is a new opportunity to challenge the boundaries of creativity.

California Academy of Sciences
The California Academy of Sciences is a renowned scientific and educational institution with a mission to explore, explain, and sustain life. It is home to an aquarium, planetarium, and natural history museum as well as innovative scientific research. This unique combination allows visitors to explore the depths of a Philippine coral reef, climb into the canopy of a Costa Rican rainforest, and fly to the outer reaches of the universe in a day. The Academy is also home to 46 million scientific specimens from around the world – essential tools for comparative studies on the history and future of life.

California Institute for Regenerative Medicine
California’s state stem cell agency, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, funds research throughout California aimed at accelerating the development of new therapies based on stem cell science. The agency, created by voter referendum in 2004, focuses on projects that would not readily get funding from other sources and for patient communities that have clear unmet medical needs. While it has funded more than 400 projects, 80 of those are in the late stages of clinical development and close to developing therapies for 39 diseases.

Center for the Advancement of Science in Space
The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) is the nonprofit organization tasked with managing, promoting, and brokering research for the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory. The CASIS vision is to fully realize the unique scientific, technological, and educational potential of the ISS National Lab by focusing both outwardly – toward exposing the scientific, technological, and educational communities to the benefits that can come from research and operations in space – and inwardly, toward improving humankind’s well-being on Earth.

Center for the Sustainable Use of Renewable Feedstocks - University of California, Santa Barbara
The Center for Sustainable Use of Renewable Feedstocks (CenSURF) addresses the challenge of developing the renewable resources CO2 and lignocellulosic biomass as alternative feedstocks to petrochemicals. Advancing such science and technology for their industrial utilization will be major milestones in sustainable chemistry. CenSURF researchers from University of California, Santa Barbara, San Diego, Davis, and Washington University, St. Louis, are investigating, new strategies for electrochemical reduction of CO2 to ethylene and other C2 compounds, the oxidative disassembly of lignin to aromatic monomers, and catalytic reductive disassembly of lignin and lignocellulose.

Chabot Space and Science Center
Chabot Space and Science Center is a nonprofit, interactive science museum whose mission is to inspire and educate students of all ages about Earth and the universe. Located in the Oakland hills, Chabot focuses on earth, life, physical, and astronomical sciences. With a 130-year legacy of serving as the Bay Area’s premier public observatory, it boasts the largest telescopes on the west coast open weekly to the public. Through exhibits, telescope viewing, planetarium shows, and other experiences, Chabot connects visitors to the cosmos while promoting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics literacy skills needed for a 21st-century society and workforce. is the portal website of vetted international climate science education resources organized into scores of categories. Since 1999, has specialized in fun hands-on science demonstrations. The Mobile Climate Science Labs brings to the public the tools of science related to global warming via volunteers of scientists, engineers, educators, kids, parents, and artists. Partners include research institutions, universities, museums, K-12 schools, government agencies, and nonprofit and volunteer organizations. Annually, the organization presents at events and conferences attended by more than 500,000 people per year.

Computer History Museum
The Computer History Museum is a nonprofit organization with a four-decade history as the world's leading institution exploring the history of computing and its ongoing impact on society. The museum is dedicated to the preservation and celebration of computer history and is home to the largest international collection of computing artifacts in the world, encompassing computer hardware, software, documentation, ephemera, photographs, oral histories, and moving images. The museum brings computer history to life through large-scale exhibits, an acclaimed speaker series, a dynamic website, docent-led tours, and an award-winning education program.

At CuriOdyssey, kids explore interactive science exhibits and encounter native California animals. Children get to do real science as they play with custom exhibits designed to showcase nature’s phenomena. Wildlife exhibits provide a close-up view of native California animals while wildlife shows and an animal ambassador program give guests a chance to observe, and sometimes touch, an extensive collection of birds, small mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. Exciting science programs, led by expert science educators are offered onsite, in schools, and to the general public all year. CuriOdyssey: touch science and meet animals.

Edventure More - Camp Edmo and Camp EdTech
Edventure More is a year-round nonprofit enrichment organization dedicated to inspiring curiosity, confidence, and kindness in children. Through a partnership with top Bay Area museums and talented professionals, Edventure More creates high-quality summer camp and school year programs where children build intellectual, social, emotional, and physical intelligence. Edventure More is a local force in the national movement to prevent Summer Learning Loss, save hands-on learning in schools, and build 21st Century Learning Skills in kids. Five percent of all summer camp proceeds and 100% of donations support camper scholarships and subsidize the cost of their classroom science programs for schools.

Felidae Conservation Fund
Felidae Conservation Fund’s mission is to improve the state of global wild cat ecosystems through a fusion of research, education, and online technologies to benefit humanity and drive meaningful change in the natural world.

The world needs innovators. That’s where Galileo comes in. Drawing from the innovation process developed by the Institute of Design at Stanford University, we run an evolving series of imagination-sparking programs for kids from pre-K through 8th grade in over 40 locations: Camp Galileo (preK-5th graders), Galileo Summer Quest (5th-8th graders), The Tech Summer Camps (4th-8th graders), and Chabot Space and Science Camp (3rd-7th graders).

Guild of Natural Science Illustrators
The Guild of Natural Science Illustrators is a professional organization for artists who work in the field of science visualization.

How The Weather Works
How The Weather Works (HTWW) is a recognized leader in helping learners of all ages understand weather. HTWW provides online content, offers in-school field trip programs, and leads teacher workshops focusing on weather and related disciplines. HTWW also spearheads a national summer weather camp program for middle and high school students interested in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or meteorology. The HTWW principals have also published several books on extreme weather and weather experiments and are developing more learning projects.

Curiosity Machine is a community of scientists, engineers, and children creating together. The scalable model of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education inspires and equips children and their parents to create their own inventions with the support of trained scientists and engineers. It has been tested and vetted with 1,400 engineers and scientists from 10 universities, major corporations, and 24,000 children and parents in states across the U.S. Curiosity Machine is powered by the nonprofit Iridescent, with a mission to inspire and equip underprivileged young people to develop curiosity, creativity, and persistence through a powerful science, engineering, and technology education.

Johnson & Johnson
Caring for the world, one person at a time inspires and unites the people of Johnson & Johnson. We embrace research and science - bringing innovative ideas, products and services to advance the health and well-being of people. Employees of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies work with partners in health care to touch the lives of over a billion people every day, throughout the world. We have more than 275 operating companies in more than 60 countries employing approximately 128,700 people. Our worldwide headquarters is in New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA.

Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival
Julia Robinson Mathematics Festivals (JRMF) inspire students to explore the richness and beauty of mathematics through activities that encourage collaborative, creative problem-solving. JRMF’s vision is to inspire a lifelong curiosity for mathematics by instilling a genuine interest in creative problem-solving from an early age. JRMF allows young people to develop their talent for mathematics by providing problems, puzzles, and activities that are intriguing and accessible. The focus is on creating a collaborative, non-competitive atmosphere to explore the joys and power of mathematics.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is home to more than 4,000 scientists, staff members, and students. Managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy, pioneering research is conducted in cancer and genomics, and biology and nanotechnology is used to turn sunlight into fuels. Cosmologists are discovering the forces that shaped the early universe. Advanced Light Source scientists use hair-thin beams of light to study the structure of molecules. Molecular Foundry scientists are developing materials as slim as a single layer of atoms. The aim is to provide scientific solutions to some of the world’s most urgent challenges.

Linguistic Society of America
The Linguistic Society of America (LSA) has been advancing the scientific study of language since 1924. The largest scholarly professional society for linguists in the United States, LSA plays a critical role in supporting linguistic research and sharing it with the general public. LSA publishes the academic journal Language and brings linguists together through the LSA Annual Meeting and biennial Linguistic Institute.

The Marine Mammal Center
The Marine Mammal Center is a nonprofit marine mammal hospital and education facility that rescues, rehabilitates, and releases sick and injured seals and sea lions, while studying the health of the animal populations and the ocean environment. Ultimately, the center inspires action and fosters stewardship toward the care of our environment through free admission to the mammal hospital and education programs and opportunities for all ages.

Materials Research Science and Engineering Center Education Group - University of Wisconsin
The Materials Research Science and Engineering Center Education Group creates educational modules based upon materials science and nanotechnology research done at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. We develop and disseminate a large collection of activities ranging from labs that can be done in the classroom to informal tabletop demonstrations. We use examples of nanotechnology and advanced materials to enhance public understanding of fundamental science and engineering concepts and to share the excitement and potential of these interdisciplinary fields with K-12 audiences and the general public.

Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience
The Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience (MPFI), a nonprofit research organization, is part of the world-renowned Max Planck Society, Germany’s most successful research organization with more than 80 institutes worldwide. Since its establishment in 1948, 18 Nobel laureates have emerged from the ranks of its scientists and it has produced over 15,000 publications and 3,000 inventions. MPFI brings together outstanding scientists with a broad range of expertise in a collaborative environment designed to stimulate the development of novel approaches to understanding the brain’s structure, function, and development.

Multi-Site Public Engagement with Science Project - Synthetic Biology
The Multi-Site Public Engagement with Science project (MSPES) fosters activities in museums through which public audiences can engage with scientists and engineers in conversations about synthetic biology. Conversations between researchers and public audiences focus not only on what synthetic biology is and how research in the field is carried out, but also on potential products, outcomes, and societal impacts.

NASA at Johnson Space Center - Office of Public Affairs
Destination Station is NASA’s International Space Station Program national awareness campaign and traveling exhibit that promotes research opportunities, educates communities about activities performed on the International Space Station (ISS), and communicates the real and potential impacts of the station on our everyday lives. The campaign brings together NASA astronauts, scientists, and ISS staff who travel to cities each year sharing the work taking place on the space station through general public events, researcher meetings, education activities, and legislative discussions. Considered one of the greatest technological, geopolitical, and engineering achievements in history, the ISS is a collaborative effort between 16 nations.

San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory
The San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory is a nonprofit with the mission to conserve birds and their habitats through science and outreach. Since 1981, the observatory has studied birds throughout the Bay Area and recently launched a program to restore bird habitat. More than 30 years of continuous data are used by resource managers to make informed decisions about how to best protect birds and by other scientists, universities, and the media. The observatory provides outreach programs to build public awareness about the importance of birds and engages more than 100 citizen science volunteers each year who help conduct research.

Science and Health Education Partnership - University of California, San Francisco
The Science and Health Education Partnership (SEP) is a collaboration between University of California, San Francisco and San Francisco Unified School District. Scientists and educators from both organizations work together to support quality science education for K-12 students. SEP also proudly produces the Bay Area Science Festival, a collaborative public education initiative that brings together academic, scientific, corporate, and nonprofit institutions to showcase the region as an international leader in science and innovation. The festival provides a wide range of science and technology activities, including lectures, debates, exhibitions, concerts, and tours, at a variety of locations throughout the Bay Area.

Science is Elementary
Science is Elementary (SiE) is a nonprofit whose mission is to inspire a passion for science by increasing knowledge and interest in science and engineering at the elementary school level. They offer monthly small group, inquiry science lessons using an innovative standards-based curriculum that builds on itself year over year. Lessons are facilitated by trained volunteer scientists and engineers who become student mentors. They also work toward transformation in science education practices by offering professional development for elementary school teachers. SiE programs are in Silicon Valley, CA, and Buffalo, NY, primarily in schools serving socio-economically disadvantaged populations.

Science Made Fun - San Francisco Bay Area
Science Made Fun - San Francisco Bay Area brings hands-on, safe, participatory, fun science experiences to kids aged 3-12 to wherever kids are.

Science, Engineering and Mathematics Link, Inc.
Science, Engineering and Mathematics Link, Inc. is a national nonprofit organization, founded in 2005 on the premise that exposure to members of the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) communities is critical to student achievement and career exploration in math and science. The mission is to promote student achievement and career exploration in math and science, while increasing student exposure to STEM communities. Programs enhance the STEM educational experience for K-12 students by providing them with opportunities to engage in hands-on STEM activities, explore STEM careers, and learn about real-world applications of STEM.

Science, Naturally!
Got a minute? Do we have a mystery for you! Science, Naturally! creates award-winning fiction and non-fiction materials that connect the math and science kids learn in school to real life. Our One Minute Mysteries series, for kids aged 8-14, is as entertaining as it is educational. Leonardo da Vinci Gets a Do-Over makes history come alive for readers aged 10-14. Do you know 101 Things Everyone Should Know About Science? Come to our booth and test your science knowledge against our authors. But be careful, you just might learn something!

Science with Tom
Science with Tom is a YouTube Channel and science show hosted by Tom McFadden, a biology teacher at the Nueva School in Hillsborough, CA. The show incorporates diverse scientists, literature, and music videos into episodes that creatively explore Next Generation Science Standards for middle-school life science. Students and science lovers around the world can ask questions of the featured scientists, discuss science books, and submit verses for music videos.

Find more than 800 opportunities to participate in scientific research at SciStarter! Classify galaxies, track species migrations, design and build new sensors. Collaborate with thousands of fellow citizen scientists! SciStarter is people-powered science at its finest.

Squids-4-Kids - Stanford University
Squids4Kids sends Humboldt squid (Dosidicus gigas) to classrooms across the country as an engaging tool to teach ocean sciences. The outreach group began when researchers at Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station in Monterey Bay found themselves with a surplus of these large squid donated from local fisherman and collected by researchers in the field. Squids4Kids has since sent out hundreds of Humboldt squid to science classrooms and participated in dozens of dissections across the country. Visit our booth and learn about these fascinating cephalopods as we dissect a squid!

Stroud Water Research Center
Stroud Water Research Center seeks to advance knowledge and stewardship of freshwater systems through global research, education, and watershed restoration to help businesses, landowners, policymakers, and individuals make informed decisions that affect water quality and availability around the world. Stroud Water Research Center is an independent, nonprofit organization.

Teach Biotech - Santa Clara University
Teach Biotech is hosted at the Biology Department at Santa Clara University, supporting teachers implementing classroom labs, facilitating donations, managing summer internships, and running a DNA Day art and video contest.

The Tech Museum of Innovation
The Tech Museum of Innovation is a hands-on technology and science museum for people of all ages and backgrounds. The museum, located in the capital of Silicon Valley, is a nonprofit learning resource established to engage people in exploring and experiencing technologies affecting their lives. Through programs such as The Tech Challenge, our annual team design competition for youth, and internationally renowned programs such as The Tech Awards presented by Applied Materials, Inc., The Tech celebrates the present and encourages the development of innovative ideas for a more promising future.

TechShop is a playground for creativity. Part fabrication and prototyping studio, part hackerspace and part learning center, TechShop provides access to over $1 million worth of professional equipment and software. We offer comprehensive instruction and expert staff to ensure you have a safe, meaningful and rewarding experience. Most importantly, at TechShop you can explore the world of making in a collaborative and creative environment.

United States Geological Survey
The United States Geological Survey is a science organization that provides impartial information on the health of our ecosystems and environment, the natural hazards that threaten us, the natural resources we rely on, the impacts of climate and land-use change, and the core science systems that help provide timely, relevant, and useable information.