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:
For 2023, we will be offering the following activities:
Make Your Own Circuit Card [In-person / Virtual]
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!
What Are Stars Made Of? [In-person]
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!
Neuroscience with Visual Illusions [In-person / Virtual]
How does the brain process information? Get students surprised as they see how much their brains are tricked by visual illusions. Students will create and demonstrate visual illusions, and learn how brains process visual information. Hear from Berkeley Lab scientists about neuroscience research that helps further our understanding of how our brains work.
Daytime Star-Gazing [In-person / Virtual]
You don’t have to wait until it’s dark to look at the stars! Take students on a tour through space using Stellarium, a free open source planetarium program. Explore constellations, the birth and death of stars, and the mysteries of the expanding universe. Talk with Berkeley Lab astrophysicists about the latest on what we know about the universe and what’s left to discover!
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:
Physics (quantum, particle, high energy)
Biology (microbiology, genomics, synthetic)
Math (computational methods, mathematical applications)
Computer Science (computational thinking, super computing, data systems, AI, machine learning, data science)
Chemistry (elemental discovery, nuclear science, radioactivity)
Virtual tours focus on the multi-million dollar facilities that Berkeley Lab staff use to make amazing new discoveries. Schedule a virtual tour with a friendly researcher or an enthusiastic science communicator to explore these spaces and the work that happens there.
Speak with scientists and engineers as they show off the facilities that shape fundamental research like the Advanced Light Source, Advanced Quantum Test Bed, Joint Genome Institute, Molecular Foundry, and National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center.
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