Cal Day is the annual open house for the University of California, Berkeley where the university opens the campus to prospective students, alumni, and anyone else that’s interested. There are numerous events to showcase the different departments and the research that is currently happening within them. This year’s event happened a few weeks ago on April 21st. Cal Day is one of my favorite days of the year since it combines some of my favorite things – insects, outreach, little ones, and craft time!
The Entomology club that I’m involved with teams up with members of the Essig Museum of Entomology to offer a range of activities to families. There are live insect displays as well as what is termed the “oh my!” collection of preserved insects and other arthropods. This collection showcases some of the most showy, beautiful, and bizarre insects. My favorite, favorite part of Cal Day is talking to young children and their families about these insect displays. Outreach and talking to people about how amazing insects are is one of my true passions (also one of the reasons I started this blog in the first place).
There are also several activities with an insect theme aimed towards younger audiences – arts and crafts, insect face painting, and bug hunts throughout the day. Face painting is my favorite of these activities since it one of the few times of the year I get to pretend that I’m artistic in any way. And no matter how crooked the butterfly might be on a child’s face, they absolutely love it! I’m looking forward to this event again when it happens next year. If you’re in the Berkeley area, make sure to come on by and see all the insect displays!