Created by the Bay Area’s scientific, cultural, and educational institutions, the 7th annual Bay Area Science Festival returns October 26th – November 11th 2017. The Science & Health Education Partnership (SEP) at the  UC – San Francisco (UCSF) is pleased to produce the festival alongside a core group of science institutions. The festival will provide a wide range of science & technology activities – lectures, debates, exhibitions, concerts, plays, workshops, etc. –at a variety of locations throughout the Bay Area.

Our mission is to celebrate the Bay Area’s scientific wonders, resources, and opportunities by exploring the role of science, engineering, and technology locally & in the world.

girl telescope

Young people will understand that science is fun, exciting and important, encouraging them to pursue careers in science; parents will feel more confident about supporting their kids’ interests in science; teachers will have new resources to get students thinking about science outside of the classroom; and, policy-makers and corporate leaders will understand that the public demand for science-related resources is real…and requires investment and support.

This ambitious collaborative public education initiative brings together our leading academic, scientific, corporate, and non-profit institutions to showcase the region as an international leader in innovation. Based on similar festivals throughout the world, the 50+ festival events are expected to attract over 50,000 active participants, many of whom traditionally do not have access to quality scientific resources.

• Raise awareness of the importance of science in everyday life in the minds of our local community
• Increase dialogue about science and technology throughout the region
• Provide unparalleled access to the region’s vast science and technology assets
• Create meaningful direct interactions with scientists across all age ranges
• Engage young people in the fun, excitement and awe of science to inspire them to careers in science & technology
• Encourage partnership and collaboration between and among the STEM community and our target audience

Program Areas

  • Discovery Days

    Discovery Days brings the fun and excitement of science to a huge crowd. In conjunction with local science outreach groups, Discovery Days hosts over 200 hands-on-activities, dozens of exhibits, numerous performances, and family-oriented science entertainment. Attendees are families generally with children aged 0-14, with a special emphasis on those who traditionally do not have access to quality science education resources. In 2017, we’re hosting Discovery Days at AT&T Park, at Cal State East Bay-Concord, Cal State East Bay-Hayward and at Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa.

  • Signature Performances

    High profile science acts from around the country anchor evening programming during the festival. Past performers include NPR’s Radiolab, Food Network’s Alton Brown, and famous scientists from around the world.

  • Explorer Days

    Each year, we host over 20 tours to highlight the scientific wonders of the Bay Area. From hiking along the San Andreas Fault with a geologist or touring a deep sea ocean exploration manufacturing center with marine engineers, each tour highlights local resources with the guidance of a scientists or engineer.

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About the Science & Health Education Partnership

Initiated in 1987 by UC San Francisco professors Bruce Alberts and David Ramsey, the Science and Health Education Partnership (SEP) is recognized nationally and internationally as a model organization that promotes partnership between scientists and educators in support of high quality science education for K-12 students. For SEP, the primary meaning of partnership is mutual teaching and learning among partners.

About UC San Francisco

UC San Francisco is the nation’s leading university exclusively focused on health. Now celebrating the 150th anniversary of its founding as a medical college, UCSF is driven by the idea that when the best research, the best education and the best patient care converge, great breakthroughs are achieved.

The birthplace of biotechnology, UCSF’s faculty includes five Nobel laureates who have made seminal contributions to advancing the understanding of cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, aging and stem cell research. All four UCSF professional schools  — Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy — as well as virtually all UCSF graduate programs, UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco, consistently rank among the best in the nation, according to the latest surveys by US News & World Report. The graduate-level university also leads the nation in biomedical research and is the top public recipient of highly competitive research funding from the National Institutes of Health. Together, this research, education and patient care contribute to UCSF’s public mission of advancing health worldwide.  

About the Science Festival Alliance

The science festival idea has been slowly gaining ground across the nation as Americans recognize the need for science education reform in order to maintain international leadership in science, technology, and engineering. In 2009, the Science Festival Alliance received funding from the National Science Foundation to develop, implement, and evaluate the festival model as a strategy for informal science learning. The Science Festival Alliance partners—UC San Diego, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Museum, The Franklin Institute (Philadelphia) and UC San Francisco—were strategically selected to represent major U.S. educational entities on both coasts.


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0840333. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.