Click photo to enlarge
An EBRP docent helps kids take a sample of water to put under a microscope to see all the tiny critters that live in the Delta. (Cindy Coelho/City of Oakley)

Birds of prey, microscopic living organisms and slithering reptiles are just a few of the creatures kids got an up-close and personal view of during Oakley's annual Science Week.

"For Science Week we collaborate with a lot of different organizations, like Delta Science (Center), East Bay Regional Park District, Friends of Marsh Creek (Watershed), Iron House Sanitary District, Diablo Water District," said Oakley Senior Recreation Leader Cindy Coelho. "We even have Dow Chemical ... they bring out scientists and kids get to watch them do cool science experiments. It's very cool."

Science Week takes place all over the city of Oakley; admission is free to anyone who wants to participate and continues through Saturday.

"Our last one is going to be amazing," Coelho said. "There are going to be lots of activities to do, but the most exciting one will be with live raptors."

Coelho said that on Saturday, Native Bird Connection will be at the Iron House Sanitary District office 450 Walnut Meadows Drive, Oakley) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

"National Bird Connection is expected to bring hawks, owls and falcons," Coelho said. "And perhaps, no promises, possibly an eagle -- we're working on the eagle.

"Whenever we have live animals we just get a super fabulous turnout. So that's what is going to be super exciting," Coelho said. "And it's neat too because it going to be at the Iron House Sanitary District's office, so people can learn what the sanitary district does."


Advertisement

Coldblooded reptilians will be the main attraction Friday at Vintage Parkway Elementary School beginning at 3:30 p.m.

"This one is the Reptile Kingdom ... he brings 20 different varieties, including a 20-foot yellow python," Coelho said. "Kids just love this one, because it's live animals once again."

Last weekend, kids were able to do a variety of projects at both Creekside Park and Big Break Regional Shoreline.

The week kicked off at Creekside Park where a major restoration project was just completed. Activities at the park included kite making, water testing and trivia questions about Marsh Creek.

"A lot of families didn't even know that Marsh Creek runs through Oakley," Coelho said.

At Big Break, East Bay Regional Park District Naturalist Mike Moran encouraged a pair of siblings to check out the activities at the Big Break Visitor Center at the Delta.

"You've got to go look at the water," Moran urged them. "You've got to look at the bugs ... you're going to see some great stuff."

Inside the DSC, kids were able to observe the microscopic critters they scooped up from the Delta through a high definition microscope, which was projected onto a large flat screen. Or they could use the small individual student microscopes to view the treasure trove of living creatures found in the Delta water.

Jessie Chen, 6, sat at a table looking through a student microscope at the arthropod she captured in her beaker. Excitedly, Jessie burst out, "Whoa -- he looks scared -- he looks big. Look, he is moving over there."

Other activities during the week included an owl presentation, where kids got to dissect owl pellets and Lego engineering, where they learned about the science behind windmills and built a bridge modeled after the Golden Gate Bridge.

To learn more about Science Week, log onto www.ci.oakley.ca.us.