Berkeley - Let a tarantula crawl on your hand, listen to a lecture by a Nobel Prize winner, or plan your next mission to Mars at Cal Day, the annual open house for the University of California, Berkeley, to be held this year on Saturday, April 21, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This year's event promises to be one of the most spectacular ever, with families and prospective students coming from around California to take an insider's look at one of the world's premiere universities. Free to the public, Cal Day has become a tradition that annually attracts over 30,000 visitors.
Attendees can dig for fossils at a mock archeological dig, rappel down a building or, for the energy conscious, take a tour of UC Berkeley's power co-generation plant to see how the campus turns waste heat into useful electricity.
A highlight this year will be a talk given by professor Daniel McFadden, winner of the 2000 Nobel Prize in economics, who will be speaking about how economics relates to our everyday choices. Other Cal Day faculty lectures include neuroscientist Corey Goodman on "how the brain gets wired up" and civil engineer James Rector on modern-day methods of searching for buried treasure.
Prospective students of any age can drop by the new "Kindergarten to College" resource fair, organized to help students and their families prepare for college, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Dwinelle Plaza. Residence halls and student facilities will be open for tours between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Newly
admitted students and their families are invited to meet Chancellor Robert M. Berdahl at Haas Pavilion at 8:30 a.m. and enjoy information sessions on academic programs, financial aid, housing and other campus services.
All Cal Day visitors are invited to explore UC Berkeley museums for free. Meet T. Rex and tour the Museum of Paleontology from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or bring the kids to "Family Day - Arts 2001" at the UC Berkeley Art Museum from 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. for a day of music, storytelling, and art-making workshops. Browse art collections that are seldom open to the public.
Sports-minded visitors can start off with a fun run around the campus to benefit Bay Area youth organizations at 8 a.m., or take in a men's tennis match at noon or a women's lacrosse game at 2 p.m.
Visitors who like space travel are invited to check out the Mars space suit, robotic devices and experimental equipment on display at the Mission to Mars station in Dwinelle Plaza between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
At the Space Sciences Lab, researchers will offer guided tours of the ground station for the HESSI satellite, which will be launched later this year to study solar flares and space weather.
From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., visitors will delight in traditional and cultural dances performed at "ShowTime on Sproul."
Campus guests can drop by this year's Celebration of Children's Literature, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Tolman Hall, to meet their favorite children's authors and enjoy storytelling, singalongs, traditional Chinese folktales and a poetry writing activity for kids.
Visitors can root for your favorite robot car as student-built vehicles negotiate a 100-meter race course under computer control from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Cory Hall courtyard.
Tours, tours and more tours will be offered of places like the Jepson Herbaria with its extraordinary collection of plants (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.), the campus radio station KALX (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and the special collection of manuscripts and rare video footage at the Mark Twain Project in the Doe Library (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.).
Visitors are invited to explore the world of micromachines, tiny devices being used to solve a myriad of engineering challenges from transportation to health care, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in 5107 Etcheverry Hall.
Free admission to the Lawrence Hall of Science will allow children of all ages to enjoy hands-on fun at Cal's family science center. Visitors can handle live animals from 1:30 to 4 p.m., say hello to a robotic dinosaur and participate in planetarium shows.
Experience the thrill of finding fossils - fish scales, turtle shells and even dinosaur teeth - in this hands-on activity at 3007 Valley Life Sciences Building from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Or explore the incredible insects from the collection of the Essig Museum of Entomology from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Wellman Hall, 2nd Floor.
Campus guests can go climb a wall, learn some new skateboard and snowboard moves, watch gymnastic demonstrations or get a free massage at Dana Court. A rappelling clinic will operate from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. down the face of four-story Wheeler Hall.
At the International House, visitors can sample exotic foods from around the world, children can create crafts, and all are welcome to view dance and music performances from 1 to 6 p.m.
Visitors are invited to check out "Bambi in the 'Hood," a talk about the urban deer population in the East Bay, including a demonstration of how to track deer with radio telemetry, from 2 to 4 p.m. in 103 Mulford Hall.
Don't forget to look up, because from 12:30 to 1 p.m. the Air Force ROTC cadets will fly two aerobatic aircraft over the campus to demonstrate aerial formations and maneuvers.
Faculty lectures will continue all day. Among the highlights;
* "2001 Redistricting - California's Blood Sport" presented by political science professor Bruce Cain, director of the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies at 10 a.m. in 155 Dwinelle Hall.
* "How Flies Fly: Fighter Jets Have Nothing On Insects!" Virtual reality video and giant models will be part of the presentation by integrative biology professor Michael Dickinson at 1 p.m. in 2050 Valley Life Sciences Building.
* "Is Anybody Out There? The Search for Extraterrestrial Civilizations with Help from a Million SETI@home Volunteers" presented by Dr. Dan Wertheimer of the Space Sciences Laboratory at 1 p.m. in 4 Le Conte Hall.