Let's Talk About STEM

Berkeley Lab staff are volunteering to share their experiences in STEM with students and classrooms. 

Each one-hour session will cover a deep-dive into a specific subject, hands-on activities, STEM career talks, or a virtual tour of Berkeley Lab's facilities. This program is open to school groups and out-of-school organizations. Recommended for grades 6-12, requested minimum group size of 10 students. 

Please indicate on your booking if the listed times do not work for your group, or if you need speakers for several class periods or days. We can make adjustments as necessary. To learn more about what is available, look below or check out Berkeley Lab's scientific areas and research facilities

We offer the following types of experiences:

Hands-on Activities 

For 2023, we will be offering the following activitiesn for 6th grade classes:

This hands-on activity introduces students to the basics of circuits through the creative medium of paper circuits. Students learn what components of a circuit are needed to light up an LED and then create their own circuit card that lights up an image of the Advanced Light Source. Learn from Berkeley Lab scientists about the exciting research happening at the Advanced Light Source!

The closest star to Earth (other than the Sun) is about 4 light years away. That's about 23 trillion miles! There are many more stars that are much further away. How can astronomers know what stars are made of if they are so far away? In this observation-based activity, students will observe different emission spectra patterns of elements and then apply their knowledge to see what elements exist in the stars. Talk with Berkeley Lab astrophysicists about the latest on what we know about the universe and what’s left to discover!

In this activity, students use their observation skills to identify patterns, shapes, and materials using a microscope. Several activity stations are set up with activities and materials (fingerprinting, sand, salt, newsprint, fabric) that allow participants to see what's beyond the eye. 

In this activity, students get an introduction to coding and electronics. Using a template, students are able to construct a circuit using copper tape, circuit stickers, and a battery that reflects a traditional stoplight. They are then able to connect to a small microcontroller that attaches to their circuit and allows them to control their lights via programmable commands.

Our researchers have expertise in a wide range of STEM subjects and are excited to connect their research to concepts covered in the classroom. Learning about the periodic table? Hear from our nuclear chemists and particle physicists. Studying biology? Talk to our researchers at the Joint Genome Institute. Allow us to help you connect concepts in the classroom with real-world research!

Primary subjects can include: 

What does a scientist or engineer do all day? Do you have to love science from a young age to become a scientist as an adult? What if you want to work in a STEM space but not be a researcher? If you could go back, what would you do differently and why?

Career chats are a chance to hear from researchers, communicators, project managers, and administrators who demonstrate the wide variety of career paths in STEM. Learn about how Berkeley Lab staff arrived at their current positions and get insight on their day-to-day work. Careers can include: entrepreneurs, mathematicians, mechanical and environmental engineers, fabricators, biologists, geologists, journalists,  graphic artists, social media managers, etc. 

To see past examples of career chats and view recordings, check out our STEM Career Talks Page