Science Expo

Visitors of all ages explore at Science Expo

2020 Science Expo Canceled Due to COVID-19 Concerns

March 7, 2020

UC Davis TERC has made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s 2020 North Lake Tahoe Science Expo and South Lake Tahoe Science Expo due to concerns about the community spread of COVID-19. We have made this decision based on the CDC guidelines for “Large Community Events” and the UC Davis emergency operations plan.

UC Davis is choosing to cancel this large event which showcases engaging hands-on science activities for nearly one-thousand students and hosts nearly one-hundred community volunteers for the safety and well-being of our local students, volunteers, event staff, and the community.

About Science Expo

The annual Science Expo event is designed to increase student excitement and interest in science through interactive, hands-on activities, games and demonstrations. Science Expo is hosted by UC Davis TERC. Science Expo includes nine days (5 days in North Lake Tahoe and 4-5 days in South Lake Tahoe) of hands-on science activities for third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade students from the greater Lake Tahoe and Truckee Region and an evening public event for families. Interest in the event has grown tremendously.

Student groups come for a two-hour session and interact with 30-40 hands-on science activities within the theme of Earth and Space Science (2020), Life and Health Science (2021), and Physical Science (2022). Themes are on a three year rotation to ensure that local students who come every year during grades 3 through 5 will experience different activities each year. The cost is $5 per student.

UC Davis staff, AmeriCorps members, and volunteers share experiments, activities, and science demonstrations with the students in the community. Other regional partners including Sierra Watershed Education Partnerships, Tahoe Institute for Natural Science, Incline Village General Improvement District, Washoe County School District,  Lake Tahoe Unified School District, U.S. Forest Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also offer activities, experiments, or demonstrations. Coffee on the North Shore is provided for volunteers by the local Raley's Grocery Supermarket.

Students from Kings Beach, Incline Village, Tahoe City, Truckee, and South Lake Tahoe will attend during the school days and the public is invited to participate during an evening open house providing fun for the entire family and a great educational experience for kids. Free ice-cream is provided during the public event by Susie Scoops of Incline Village.

Teachers should contact Heather Segale at 775-881-7562 or hmsegale@ucdavis.edu to book their time slot for the 2021 Science Expo (usually held Mid-March in North Lake Tahoe and the beginning of April in South Lake Tahoe). The Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences facility is located at 291 Country Club Drive in Incline Village (between Tahoe Boulevard/SR 28 and Lakeshore) and provides the perfect setting including use of teaching laboratories, a 3-D visualization theater, and other educational tools.

    Teacher Materials (2020 - Earth & Space Science)

    Teacher Materials (2019 - Physical Science)

    Teacher Materials (2018 - Health & Life Science)

    Comments from visiting students and teachers:

    • “The students left with so many discoveries, insights, and questions which has left them on further explorations. Your team is amazing!" (Jessica, Creekside Charter)
    • “We're so lucky to have this great resource in our community!” (Patricia Mills, Tahoe Lake Elementary)
    • "All excellent! I want to compliment the quality of the stations and presenters!" (Kathee Hansen, Tahoe Lake Elementary)
    • "I had so much fun being a scientist!" (Julie Otis, Kings Beach Elementary)
    • "We debriefed almost a week later and many [students] retained information they learned and/or were able to recall significant facts when reviewing their passports." (Susan Earnest, Bijou Community School)
    • "I enjoyed learning about our brains, how they work, and how the cells all play a different part in your body." (Kings Beach Elementary 3rd grader)
    • "My favorite part was the lungs, reptiles, and germs." (Creekside Charter 3rd grader)
    • "My favorite part was the brain and getting to see and feel them. You Rock. I loved it a lot!" (Creekside Charter 3rd grader)
    • “I learned a lot about science, so much that my brain is sore. Just kidding, but really, if my brain could not grow it would be full.” (Summer)
    • “I learned in ice that when matter changes from a solid directly into a gas it is called sublimation.”
    • “I enjoyed the experience and the magic of science. It was really awesome!” (Jessica)
    • “I really felt like a scientist and a nerd at the same time... I had a lot of fun.” (Damen)
    • “That night I dreamed about being a scientist and being the engineer of the fastest car. That reminds me... I'm a scientist can't you see, the cosmos is my lab for discovery, growing plants, checking out the stars, and I'm the engineer of the fastest cars... Yeah!” (Mckenna)
    • “I can’t wait until next year. Thanks again for making last Wednesday so much fun.”
    • “I really appreciate you letting us come. I enjoyed all of the fun science. I learned how science is fun and exciting. I hope I can come back next year.” (Mckayla)