• Attendance

    Total Attendance: 53,609
    – Discovery Days at AT&T Park: 30,000
    – Discovery Days – North Bay: 8,000

  • Festival Ratings

    2013 Average: 4.3
    Discovery Days at AT&T Park: 4.24
    Discovery Days – North Bay: 4.26
    (Ratings on 1 to 5 scale)

  • Attendee Feedback

    • 88% plan on attending the Festival in 2013
    • 80% indicated Festival made Science/Engineering/Math learning fun
    • 81% interacted with a science professional/scientist
    • 81% attended Discovery Days with children 5-16, compared to 43% at Smithsonian science museums

2012 Program Highlights

Flash Mob Science
Sponsored by Chevron, Chabot Space & Science Center hosted a free admission day on 10/27 featuring specialized hands-on science activities. At specific times throughout the free day, a “flash mob” was called with families coming together at activity tables staffed by Chevron engineers. Each featured basic engineering concepts using pre-built kits from RAFT. Each participating family walked away with a “take-home” version of the activity to continue their exploration at home. In the evening, the museum transformed into a haunted house with activities geared toward a teenage crowd.

In addition, Chevron sponsored free shuttle service from Fruitvale BART in order to attract a more ethnically and economically diverse crowd to the museum. As the museum is situated high atop the Oakland Hills with few transit options, this strategy was designed to enhance awareness of Chabot to Oakland families. Oakland Unified School District supported the event by distributing information to over 22,000 students. BART also provided in station messaging at all East Bay BART stations.

This strategy was largely successful with over 36% of attendees coming from underrepresented minorities*. 77% of attendees reported participating in hands-on activities and 86% rated the event highly (either very good or excellent).

Passport to Science
Passport to Science highlighted the incredible science resources in the Bay Area with a series of 15 tours, hikes and active explorations. These intimate events were designed to provide a “behind-the-scenes” experience while also creating an event in which all of the festival partners could participate (museums, universities, laboratories, etc.). Nearly 400 people attended the tours, many of which are not regularly offered to the public.

List of Tours
• Tour a Goat Farm, Learn About the Science of Making Cheese
• Heath Ceramics Factory Tour
• Mixin’ It Up with Food & Drink – Chemistry and Cooking
• TCHO Chocolate Factory Tour
• Exploring the Deep Frontier at DOER Marine ROV center
• UC Botanical Garden Hike
• Guided Tour of The Marine Mammal Center
• Guided Hike Along the San Andreas Fault
• UCSF Human Performance Center: What is Biomechanics?
• Exploration of dormant Volcanoes In Clayton
• Wetlands Restoration Hike at the Don Edwards Wildlife Refuge
• Hayward Fault Hike with Seismologists
• Fun with Science – Guided Experiments at the Lawrence Livermore Labs
• Bike Levee Tour of the South Bay Salt Ponds
• Wonders of the Parasite World – a Global Tour at UCSF Parasite Labs
• Exploring the Universe Day at SLAC Linear Accelerator

Discovery Days at AT&T Park

The festival finale at AT&T Park grew significantly in 2012. Over 30,000 attended the 5-hour event on 11/3 – a 30% leap in attendance. The content also grew with over 175 exhibits and activities. Attendee ratings slightly rose from 2011; this indicates the quality of the content did not degrade with the significant rise in attendance. Discovery Days drew attendees from virtually every part of the Bay Area, with small populations coming from as far as Sacramento and Central Valley. This event truly served as a finale for a Bay Area wide celebration of science.

Importantly, there were also significant gains in attendee diversity with these numbers rising to match the demographics of San Francisco County – nearly unheard of in terms of traditional large-scale informal science events.

Chevron STEM Zone
Chevron, the lead sponsor for the Festival, crafted a 4000+ sq ft activity zone place in centerfield. This area featured exhibit content developed by the Exploratorium and hands-on activities operated by East Bay non-profits. Anchoring the space was a functional TV studio where children were filmed describing what they learned at the Science Festival. Chevron handed out nearly 8,000 take-home science kits built by RAFT (Resource Area for Teaching) throughout the day.

Math Midway
The Museum of Mathematics in New York brought their “Math Midway 2 Go” – a set of 6 hands-on exhibits exploring the surprising mathematics inherent in everyday situations. Professional mathematicians from various companies and research centers staffed the traveling exhibit, courtesy of a partnership with Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) and Bay Area Math Circles. In addition, the exhibit was a smaller version of a full-featured Math Midway installation at the Lawrence Hall of Science (LHS); participants were encouraged to visit LHS to continue their exploration. This exhibit anchored a math area, a topic that is often under-represented in science festivals.

Discovery Days – North Bay
In the North Bay, Discovery Days was moved north to Santa Rosa from Infineon Raceway. This decision was driven by a desire to expand Latino attendance and host the event in a location with few science resources. In 2011, the event largely featured North Bay exhibitors and attendees from southern Marin County. In 2012, there was an explosion in attendance, from 4,000 to 8,000. There was also a doubling in Latino population attendance (9% to 17%) and a significant rise in overall ratings.

An Evening with Alton Brown
For each Festival, a signature performance is booked to drive media attention and “buzz.” In 2012, the Festival hosted Food Network star Alton Brown’s science/food variety show. 1400 attended the sold out show at the Castro Theater with dynamic demonstrations, science discussions, and lengthy Q&A. Overall ratings for the show at 4.85 matched that for the Radiolab show in 2011 (4.84). Most importantly, the show garnered significant media attention, raising the profile of the Festival overall.

2012 Festival Galleries

Festival Galleries

Discovery Days at AT&T Park

Discovery Days – North Bay

Alton Brown at the Castro Theater

Zombie NightLife


Science Superheroes

Flash Mob Science

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