On Cal Day, SSL scientists, engineers and undergrads draw an audience

On April 22nd, a sunny and warm Saturday, the yearly Cal Day celebration took place from 8:00am-4:00pm. White-tented booths were arranged around the central Berkeley campus, staffed by dozens of individual departments for the annual UC open house. More than 6500 official visitors (incoming students, current students and their families) enjoyed exploring the booths to learn all about Berkeley.

Our SSL booth was located in the Mining Circle between the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation and the Physics booth. A dozen dedicated SSL volunteers, composed of undergrads, post-docs, researchers and engineers, energetically staffed the booth all day. Nearly 300 people stopped by our booth specifically to ask questions about SSL and NASA missions, get info & mission swag, and engage in hands-on activities. Families of the incoming students enjoyed demos, which included our Sunspotter (a simple wooden and glass Sun projector), a 3-D Mars magnetic field model built by the education team,  and flight hardware retrieved from the GREECE sounding rocket mission (“stuff that has been to space and back!”) While their families loved the demos, the incoming Cal students were most keen on quizzing our helpful undergrads about research and employment opportunities and other offerings at the lab.

On behalf of SSL, we extend thanks and appreciation to our dozen volunteers, who have been regularly meeting and brainstorming with me (Karin Hauck) for six weeks:

  • Scientist Joanne Wu
  • Engineer David Glaser
  • Engineer Joe Krajewski
  • Post-doc Sam Walton
  • Undergrads Marvin Lin (mechanical engineering major with the Experimental Astrophysics Group), Pearl Bhatnagar, Andrew Ji (aerospace major with the Experimental Astrophysics Group), Jason Hodes (mechanical/aerospace engineering major with ICON), Komal Kaur (astrophysics and computer science major and an intern under Dr. Lejosne), Yasaman Ebrahimi (data science major working with COSI) and Garima Prabhakar (physics major working for Dr. Raul Monsalve at the Radio Cosmology lab.)

Additional thanks to Robert Lettieri, John Bonnell, Matt Fillingim, Walt Fitelson, Luciana Messina, Matt Fraysse and others for their behind-the-scenes support.