UC Davis hosted Biodiversity Museum Day on Feb 18, 2017. 3000 people participated in a day of intense science learning experiences, ranging from what yeasts are important in food, to how Native Americans made arrowheads. Half of the visitors were under 18 years old.
The yeast exhibit, put on jointly by the Phaff collection and the Department of Viticulture & Enology's microbe collection, had 888 visitors during the 4 hours it was open, up about 100 from last year. Feedback indicates people learned real science through this fun event!
Visitors learned about such facts as what percent of human genes yeasts share (26%), yeast reproduction, and where yeasts lie on the evolutionary tree. Children enjoyed coloring in drawings of a yeast cell and assembling a flip book showing how yeasts divide by budding or fission. Visitors left with an understanding of what yeast does after seeing bread made with yeast side by side with bread made without yeast.
Visitors to Biodiversity Museum Day came from a wide range of communities, and social and cultural groups. They came from all over northern California, including the Sacramento Region from Auburn to Fresno, the San Francisco Bay Area, Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa, as well as southern California from Riverside to Los Angeles. In addition, they came from other states -- Hawaii, Oregon, Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Arizona, New York, Illinois, and overseas from Argentina, Brazil, China, Canada, Japan, Mexico and South Korea.