Robotic patients, an insect zoo and even an enormous model of the human heart will all be found in the same building this Saturday as part of Stanislaus State’s eighth annual Science Day, a free event that welcomes the public to the university’s science department each year.
“Anyone who comes here is going to find something of interest to them — it’s all the sciences in one spot,” said biological sciences professor Mark Grobner, who started the event in 2012. “There are a lot of different activities for kids of all ages. I’d like to see all of Turlock here on Saturday.”
This year’s Science Day will feature hands-on activities from each department in the College of Science, including biology, chemistry, computer science, geology, math, physics, nursing and even child development and psychology. There are over 20 activities planned, like labs and guided tours, up close looks at skeletons, skulls and fossils, and geo-caching fun on the campus’ Trans-California Pathway. Future forensics enthusiasts will have the opportunity to extract DNA from cheek cells, while potential gardeners can take home a plant they potted themselves in the greenhouse.
According to Grobner, the event has grown over the years from an open house event to a full-scale celebration of science, giving students who may not otherwise learn about the subjects the chance to embrace them. The free, public event serves as a means to increase scientific literacy throughout the community and expose young children to the sciences, he said.
“Surveys have shown a lack of understanding in science in the U.S., and certainly here in the Valley,” Grobner said. “At Stanislaus, we serve a large, underrepresented population of students, and we’re trying to get them into the sciences. This is the way to do it.”
“Surveys have shown a lack of understanding in science in the U.S., and certainly here in the Valley."CSUS Biological Sciences Professor Mark Grobner
The different Science departments at Stanislaus State have banded together since the first Science Day to offer other outreach events throughout the community, like Science Saturday, a once-a-month science program offered for free, Junior Scientist, which invites different schools to the campus for a three-hour long science class, and Solar Suitcase, a program that helps students utilize green energy sources to deliver electricity to areas lacking utilities.
In addition, the College of Science’s Delhi Academy of Science partners with Delhi Unified School District students who are interested in using their high school experience as a pathway to careers in healthcare. For a population with many students who could potentially attend college for the first time, this program is vital in introducing them to undergraduate and graduate schools that can provide different career opportunities in the health industry.
Organized by faculty in the College of Science with support from the Office of Service Learning, the annual Science Day has drawn close to 2,500 visitors each year, Grobner said, and he expects this year to be no different as local schools from Turlock and surrounding communities have committed to sending buses of students to the event.
Stanislaus State’s eighth annual Science Day will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in the Naraghi Hall of Science, the Science 1 Building and the greenhouse. The event is free and open to the public, and various lunch and snack items will be available for purchase courtesy of a new café in Naraghi Hall.
For more information, visit www.csustan.edu/science/annual-science-day.