Science Expo

This Year's Science Expo

The 2016 Science Expo event will be held from March 14-18 of 2016, our public event will be held Wednesday, May 16th from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. Flyer for the 2016 Science Expo. Español versión aquí.

Plan to attend the 11th annual family SCIENCE EXPO at the Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences in Incline Village. Many hands-on science investigations and experiments will be available for children ages 6—12 and their families. The 2016 Science Expo's activities focus on PHYSICAL SCIENCES and activities will include properties of matter, physical/chemical changes, energy and energy transfer, electricity, light, sound, forces and motion, magnetism, air pressure, friction, and more. The Science Expo fosters student excitement and interest in science. Learn with your child or become a volunteer!

This year marks TERC's first ever South Lake Tahoe (SLT) Science Expo! This event is scheduled from March 30, 2016 - April 1, 2016. Mark your calendar and plan to stop by Lake Tahoe Community College (1 College Way, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150) for over 40 fun and engaging science experiments. There will be a SLT public event at this location on Thursday, March 31, 2016 from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. To schedule your students' visit to the SLT Science Expo please contact Beth Quandt ( or 530-543-2371 ext. 1454) If you would like to volunteer at the SLT Science Expo click here to sign up.

2015 Life Sciences

Student admires a bearded dragon after learning about its evolutionary path

2015 Life Sciences and Health Fair

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 and the Tahoe Expedition Academy, with support from the Rotary Club of Tahoe-Incline and the Rotary Club of Tahoe City. Science Expo includes five days 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. Last year, we hosted between more than 1100 students during the previous five-day Science Expo event.

Student groups come to the Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences building for a two-hour session and interact with 30-40 hands-on science activities within the theme of Physical Science (2016), Earth and Space Science (2017), and Life Science (2018). Local students who come every year during grades 3 through 5 will experience different activities each year.

2014 Earth and Space Sciences

Student learns how a change in pressure can cause a candle to "magically" rise

2014 Earth and Space Sciences

UC Davis staff, AmeriCorps members, Youth Science Institute (high school students) participants, and volunteers share experiments with the younger 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 offer activities, experiments, or demonstrations. Coffee is provided for volunteers by I.V. Coffee Lab.

Students from Kings Beach, Incline Village, Tahoe City, Truckee and South Lake Tahoe will attend during the school days and there is also an evening public open house on Wednesday evening from 4 - 6 p.m. 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 to book their time slot for the 2016 Science Expo. 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.

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)

Teacher Materials (2016 - Physical Science)

Teacher Materials (2015 - Health and Life Science)

Teacher Materials (2014 - Earth and Space Science)

2014 Earth and Space Sciences

Friction wins the tug of war battle against skateboards

2013 Physical Sciences