Berkeley Lab is committed to supporting and enriching the local community. The Lab leads, sponsors, and participates in a wide variety of education and outreach activities aimed at sharing our research, knowledge and resources with our community. Examples are listed below.
As part of the Lab’s education mission to inspire and prepare the next generation of scientists and engineers, the Center for Science and Engineering Education runs numerous education programs for all ages of students—from elementary school to college undergraduates—as well as for high school and college science teachers. Contact CSEE to arrange a classroom visit by one of our scientists or to apply for an internship.
Started in 2003, Nano-High is a series of Saturday morning lectures focused on the cutting-edge scientific issues of the day, from molecular medicine to nanoscience, from solar energy to the math behind Sully, Remy and Buzz Lightyear. Nano-High talks are aimed at high school students.
LAB-SPONSORED OUTREACH ACTIVITIES
Science At The Theater
Join a panel of scientists as they reveal the latest research on subjects such as cool roofs, dark energy, and carbon reduction. These events, which are sometimes standing room only, take place in the Spring and Fall at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre and are free and open to the public.
Friends Of Berkeley Lab
The Friends of Berkeley Lab group receives early notification of Lab events and occasionally is invited to participate in special topic discussions.
Once a year, Berkeley Lab opens its doors to the public for a free day of science and fun. More than 4,000 visitors attended the Lab’s Open House in October 2010 and another 4,500 attended the October 2011 “Cirque des Sciences.” Open House includes scientific demonstrations, lectures from some of the Lab's most eminent scientists, activities for children, live music from the Lab's music clubs, tours of world-class facilities and opportunities for the public to enjoy a broad range of science, from advanced computing to the biology of fruit flies to tabletop accelerators.
Human Resources Interview Training
The Lab’s Human Resources division worked with the California Department of Rehabilitation to conduct a one-day mock interview workshop for individuals with disabilities.
Information Technology (IT) Division’s Second-Grader Workshop
The Lab’s IT Division hosts Berkeley second-grade students every year for some hands-on computer fun. IT staff developed a curriculum that helps teach students how computers and networks support science at Berkeley Lab. Over 60 students and parents participated in the 2011 event, which one chaperone called “the best field trip of the year.”
Nuclear Science Day For Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts
Sponsored by the Lab’s Nuclear Science Division and the Center for Science and Engineering Education (CSEE), the Lab hosts Scouts from more than 30 troops. Scouts receive a tour of the 88-Inch Cyclotron, build electroscopes and models of the atom, measure radioactivity, qualify for badges, and learn about career paths in nuclear science.
OTHER OUTREACH ACTIVITIES
Albany High School’s Annual Job Shadow Day
As part of Albany High School’s annual Job Shadow Day, students shadow Berkeley Lab scientists, mathematicians, engineers, technicians, and communications staff. Based on their choice of potential career paths, students are matched with mentors at the Lab's main campus, the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) in Oakland, and the Potter Street biosciences research center.
Education Program at SC Conference (Supercomputing)
Each year, the leading professional societies for computer science (ACM and IEEE) co-sponsor the SC Conference. Lab staff have participated in the conference's four-day education program open to high school and undergraduate teachers, where the teachers learn about high-performance computing and how it can be integrated into the curriculum.
Support for Community Organizations
Berkeley Lab supports a variety of local, nonprofit community organizations such as Rebuilding Together and Rising Sun.
Rebuilding Together conducts local home retrofits and installs improvements to support low-income, disabled seniors. Lab volunteers assist elderly homeowners by providing light carpentry and cleaning, replacing old, inefficient windows, painting, and installing new insulation.
The Rising Sun Energy Center is a local nonprofit that provides free green workforce development training and employment to create green career pathways for youth and adults. The Lab has sponsored student work crews through the Rising Sun Energy Center to perform an energy audit and retrofit of homes in Berkeley. Photos of the Lab sponsored youth work crew can be seen here.
Cal Day - UC Berkeley's Open House
Lab staff host a booth to provide information to the nearly 40,000 attendees regarding the Lab’s research and its student internship programs.
Berkeley Lab participates each year in the East Bay’s largest street festival by hosting a booth with activities such as “Ask a Scientist.”