There’s nothing quite like seeing a child’s face light up as they discover something new about our world. NNSA is committed to encouraging curiosity and fostering future scientists. In honor of American Education Week, here are some of the amazing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) educational programs at the NNSA national laboratories.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has been hosting “Science on Saturday,” a series of science lectures for middle and high school students, since 1999. The very first Science on Saturday featured a hands-on experiment investigating how air turbulence affects light. An optical engineer led young scientists as they modified a laser pointer, aimed it at a photo detector and listened for a mini amplifier to pick up the disturbance.
The program has grown considerably since the first Science on Saturday. The next event – “Building Biologically Inspired Nano-Bots” – takes place November 18 with presentations from two LLNL senior staff scientists, a postdoctoral fellow and a local biology teacher.
Sandia National Laboratories has a number of different programs specifically tailored to minority student populations, though students of any race or ethnicity are welcome to participate. The programs introduce students to the accomplishments of minority professionals to spark a sense of pride and ignite confidence in the young scientists.
Los Alamos National Laboratory hosts a Frontiers in Science lecture series featuring its distinguished fellows discussing their research areas. Fellows are technical staff members appointed annually by the Laboratory Director in recognition of outstanding contribution. The talks are open to all ages but are best enjoyed by science fans who are at least middle school age because a basic understanding of topics like photosynthesis and subatomic particle structure may be required.
The most recent lecture was provided by Space Physicist Geoff Reeves. “Whether there’s weather in space,” was an out of this world discussion about meterology and Reeves’ research into the Van Allen radiation belts.