Cal Day, on April 16, is just around the corner

It’s not too early to start planning for Cal Day 2011 — set for Saturday, April 16 — when the UC Berkeley campus will once again open its classrooms, labs, museums, libraries and performance spaces to the public.

Cal Day visitors looking at a science exhibit

Cal Day typically attracts 40,000 visitors, including prospective students and their families. The program runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and features more than 300 events.

A Cal Day theme this year is public service, present and past, by members of the UC Berkeley community. In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps, the open house will highlight Berkeley’s contributions — as the top producer of Peace Corps volunteers, among U.S. colleges and universities, over the past half century.

Returning Cal Day visitors can plan on enjoying the usual amazing mix of serious-minded talks and fun, educational activities. Young visitors ages 5 to 12 can once again pick up science “passports” and get them stamped at each designated kid-friendly science stop-off.

This year’s line-up of talks by distinguished UC Berkeley faculty includes a timely discussion by campus historians on the meaning of Egypt’s 2011 revolution; Professor Ananya Roy speaking on global poverty; and political scientist Jack Citrin dissecting the budgetary abyss that U.S. governments — from local to federal —  now face.

Admission is free; no registration is necessary; arriving by public transportation is recommended. The schedule of Cal Day events — searchable by category and times — is available online.