Discovery Day Hits Another Home Run

Sunday, December 1, 2019

It only takes one time to get hooked to the annual Bay Area Science Festival’s Discovery Day.

Thousands of kids and families gathered on Nov. 2 at Oracle Park to enjoy fun science activities at Discovery Day, now in its eighth year.

First-time attendees Karen Krukowski and Paul Dickens said after the day they and their daughter had, they were now committed fans.

“[We] will definitely go back next year,” said Dickens, adding that the activities were fun for kids and adults as well.

Discovery Day serves as a platform to encourage and excite kids and families across the Bay Area to explore science, technology, and engineering through hands-on experiments and artistic creativity.

This year, over 100 new and returning exhibitors came to celebrate science with the community and give local scientists an opportunity to share their passion for science. “[It is a] great opportunity for kids to engage with the scientific community,” said Krukowski. “[The] volunteers [are] especially impressive, so enthusiastic.”

The Science and Health Education Partnership (SEP), who co-organizes this event with UCSF every year, had a booth where kids were challenged to create a boat using only aluminum foil that could float and then carry as many penny “passengers” as possible.

UCSF students volunteered with SEP to coach participants as they undertook the challenge. Kids and parents gathered to test different boat designs to beat the morning’s record of 35 penny passengers.

Youreka Science — a group “born from the idea of making scientific findings accessible to the general public through fun whiteboard videos,” according to its website — returned to Discovery Day this year to share a passion for science communication. Aarati Asundi, one of the content creators/artists from Youreka Science and recent PhD graduate from UCSF, shared her experience as a returning volunteer.

“Overall we had a positive experience,” Asundi said. “Participating in Discovery Day is a great way for us to connect with the community and spread the word about our group.”

A kid stopped by to draw out everything he knew about bacteriophages, a virus that infects and replicates within bacteria. You could see the wheels turning in his head as they used dry erase markers of a variety of colors to re-create its life cycle on a whiteboard.

Discovery Day 2019 marked the end of the Bay Area Science Festival, a week-long series of events in science, technology and engineering.

Thanks to the collaborative efforts of UCSF, Chevron, and scientists in academia and industry, this event continues to be a fun science day accessible to the community.

Be sure to mark your calendars for Discovery Day 2020.