The free educational program, now in its 11th year, offers a different interactive, science-related workshop each day. All ages are welcome to attend, and no pre-registration is required. Students 2 to 17 may pick up a Passport to Science and receive a stamp at each activity they attend. Those who receive five or more stamps in their passports will earn a special prize at the end of the program.
“Oakley Science Week is special because it makes science fun and exciting,” said Oakley Recreation Technician Cindy Coelho. “I’m proud that we’re able to keep this program free, especially in this tough economic climate. I hear from parents who tell me that it’s become a tradition in their families to attend Science Week with their children every year to see what new and exciting activities they can join in.”
Science Week kicks off Saturday, April 21 at 10 a.m. with Big Break Discovery Day at Big Break Regional Shoreline. East Bay Regional Park District Naturalist Mike Moran will lead a short walk to the pier, offering information about the nearly 70 species of birds and mammals that call Big Break home. Families with strollers are welcome for this outdoor event.
This year, residents are invited to take an in-depth look at the insects that live in Marsh Creek during a new program called Creek Bugs, held Wednesday, April 25 at 3:30 p.m. at Gehringer Elementary, 100 Simoni Ranch Road. Moran returns to discuss the creepy crawlies that live in the creek, and he’ll bring a variety of bugs for kids to check out while they learn about why bugs are beneficial to the creek ecosystem.
Also new this year is Engineering FUNdamentals with Legos, held Monday, April 23 at 3:30 p.m. at Laurel Elementary, 1141 Laurel Road. Members of Play-Well TEKnologies will discuss the principles of engineering and design using Legos and set children loose designing and building a project.
For another hands-on science opportunity, the DOW Wizards visit the Oakley Recreation Building (ORB), 1250 O’Hara Ave., on Thursday, April 26 at 3:30 p.m. to present Cool Chemistry Experiments. Coelho said this presentation is ideal for budding scientists who want to get up close to the action.
Returning favorites include Mad Science on Tuesday, April 24 at Delta Vista Middle School, 4901 Frank Hengel Way, and Reptile Kingdom on Friday, April 27 at Vintage Parkway Elementary, 1000 Vintage Parkway. Both program start at 3:30 p.m.
In honor of Earth Day – Sunday, April 22 – Science Week participants are invited to join volunteers from the Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed for a community cleanup from noon to 2 p.m. at Creekside Park, 3900 Creekside Way.
To wrap up Science Week festivities, Oakley will once again host Extreme Delta on Sunday, April 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Ironhouse Sanitary District, 450 Walnut Meadows Drive. Made possible in partnership with the Delta Science Center, Diablo Water District and Ironhouse Sanitary, the program provides hayride tours of the new water recycling facility and microscopes for examining water samples to see what critters live in our water. Water conservation information, tools and free handouts will be available, plus live sturgeon for kids to see along with a pictorial of the life of the sturgeon – the Delta’s eldest resident, known to be swimming through local waters back in prehistoric times.
Oakley Mayor Kevin Romick encourages residents to take part in this series of free educational programming. “It will hopefully encourage an interest and passion for science among the children of Oakley and serve as a reminder of the importance of science in our daily lives for all of us.”
Science Week Passports are available at Oakley City Hall, 3231 Main St. For more information, call Coelho at 925-625-7044 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.