2021 News

10th Annual Nuclear Science Day

February 27, 2021

This year, the Nuclear Science Division, Accelerator Technology and Applied Physics Division, the Advanced Light Source, and the Government and Community Relations Office hosted their 10th annual Nuclear Science Day in a virtual format. Over 200 scouts in middle and high school joined us to learn about nuclear science, radiation, isotopes, and other topics in particle physics! Volunteers also led the participants through exciting lab tours and experimental equipment demonstrations.

Through attending Nuclear Science Day and completing the activity worksheet, participants earned their Nuclear Science Merit Badge (Boy Scouts of America) and Get-to-Know-Nuclear Badge (Girl Scouts). Over the past 10 years of Nuclear Science Day, we have hosted and awarded badges to over 2000 total scouts. Congratulations to the participants this year for earning their badges and we look forward to welcoming troops back on-site next year!

Thanks to Alan Poon for organizing the event and to the many volunteers ( a few pictured below) for their support.

Groundhog Day: Season Science Family STEAM Night

SAfG's Mo hosting a capillary action activity
EESA volunteer Kolby Jardine's garden ecosystem tour
EESA volunteer Hang Deng's storm formation demo
January 28, 2021

Berkeley Lab K-12 partnered with Scientific Adventures for Girls (SAfG) to host a climate science themed virtual STEAM night with Bay Area families on January 28. SAfG aims to remove systemic barriers to participation in STEM for girls and underserved youths with hands-on learning activities. Their program provides learning opportunities in STEM subjects, challenges stereotypes in STEM professions, and increases positive attitudes toward STEM. Our team has previously partnered with SAfG to extend our support for education and outreach with elementary level students.

At Groundhog Day: Season Science, SAfG teacher Mo Henigman introduced themselves as Marmota monax, also the scientific name for groundhogs, and launched our climate and environmental science themed event. Co-hosts Mo and Alisa Bettale (from the K-12 team) then led kids and their adults through virtual demonstrations that simplify complex scientific concepts in plants and weather. Prior to the event, attendees received STEAM kits containing materials for the activities. Worksheets are also available for anyone who wants to try the activities at home: capillary action, LED flashlight, and glowing groundhog bag. Mo and Alisa were also joined by volunteers from Berkeley Lab's Earth and Environmental Sciences Area. Kolby Jardine (middle), a plant and microbial research scientist, took us on a tour of his backyard garden ecosystem and demonstrated how seasons affect photosynthesis. Hang Deng (right), an environmental research scientist, used colored water to demonstrate how hot and cold fronts move and how storm formation occurs as a result. For a quick stretch break, The ClimateMusic Project, a collaboration of scientists and musicians who communicate climate science through music, shared a composition called Climate by composer Erik Ian Walker. The piece uses climate data and projections such as carbon dioxide concentration from the 1800s to 2250 to guide musical progression. To conclude the event, kids were encouraged to continue observing their hands-on projects as well as their environment. We look forward to seeing how the students continue engaging in climate science!