September 12, 2016
On Saturday, May 7th, the BERC outreach program SEED hosted their annual Energy/Water Fair on UC Berkeley’s campus. Students from both the elementary school program at La Escuelita Elementary School in Oakland and the high school program at Berkeley High braved the rain to display the science projects they worked on during the spring semester.
This year, the elementary school program curriculum focused on water resources and, more broadly, the properties of fluids. 7 UC Berkeley graduate students served as volunteer mentors to approximately 30 elementary school students throughout the year. Topics covered included water conservation, desalination, waves, surface tension, and optical properties of water. The three elementary school projects this year were a water-powered Rube Goldberg Snow Cone Machine, Luminescent Lava Lamps, and Water-Powered Beetles.
Over the past year, 15 Berkeley High juniors and seniors partnered with 14 UC Berkeley graduate students to study the science of energy devices ranging from solar cells and thermoelectrics to electric vehicles and hydroelectric water wheels. This spring, the teams designed and built experiments to measure energy conversion efficiency and optimize for the best performance.
Throughout the year the elementary and high school students enjoyed learning about science and college life from their UC Berkeley mentors, and on the Energy Fair Saturday, the students toured UCB’s campus and showed off their science to Berkeley judges. SEED will continue its collaboration with La Escuelita and Berkeley High in the fall, and interested volunteers are encouraged to email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details!