Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

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Safety, supercomputing, science museums, scholarships—read all about ’em.
May 2, 2016
May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

Richard Sturgeon, head of the Lab's Motorcycle Safety Committee, wrote to the Governor suggesting that the state raise the safety awareness of New Mexican drivers and motorcyclists as the season for motorcycle riding begins. A few days later, Sturgeon says, the Governor’s Office called him requesting language specific to New Mexico.

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"The Bradbury has more than 60 interactive exhibits to help visitors explore the world of science, engineering, math and technology." —Linda Deck, Director, Bradbury Science Museum.

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

Although being aware of motorcyclists on the roads is necessary year round, attentiveness is particularly important this month, as days become longer, temperatures warmer, and the number of bikers on New Mexico roads increase—which is why New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez proclaimed May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in New Mexico. 

The proclamation was drafted by Laboratory employee Richard Sturgeon, who chairs LANL’s Motorcycle Safety Committee. Sturgeon also wrote another Motorcycle Safety Awareness proclamation for Los Alamos County, which will be read at the May 3 County Council meeting.

“Even though a number of motorcyclists in Los Alamos like myself ride year round, raising everyone’s safety awareness in May just makes sense,” says Sturgeon, who asks that people look twice and share the road. "You just might be saving the life of a coworker, a friend, or neighbor.

Supercomputing Challenge

More than 200 New Mexico elementary, middle, and high school students and their teachers came to Los Alamos National Laboratory on April 25­–26 to showcase their year-long computing research projects at the 26th annual New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge expo and awards ceremony.

The top projects, which focused on areas including astronomy, biology, ecology, computer science, and math, were judged for excellence in teamwork, creativity, and high performance, among other award categories.

“One of the goals of the year-long competition is to teach student teams how to use powerful computers to analyze, model and solve real-world problems,” says David Kratzer, LANL’s coordinator of the Supercomputing Challenge. “Participating students improve their understanding of technology by developing skills in scientific inquiry, modeling, computing, communications and teamwork, and they have fun doing it.”

While at the Laboratory, students presented their projects and participated in tours, talks, and demonstrations with Laboratory scientists. During the awards ceremony on April 26, many students received plaques or cash prizes; some high school seniors were also awarded scholarships.

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Ming Lo, Andy Corliss, and Phillip Ionkov and of Aspen Elementary along with Max Corliss of Los Alamos Middle School won first place in the Supercomputing Challenge for their project, “Solving the Rubik’s Cube 2.0.” They created a 3D simulation of a Rubik’s cube, as well as an implementation of a cube-solving algorithm.

Bradbury named among best science museums in USA

On American Mensa’s list of the top-10 best science museums in America, Bradbury Science Museum ranks No. 5. The rankings were assembled by educators and scientists who are members of Mensa, the internationally recognized high-IQ society (see the complete list here). All ten recognized museums were honored for having a variety of exhibits and hands-on and interactive learning activities.

“The Bradbury has more than 60 interactive exhibits to help visitors explore the world of science, engineering, math and technology,” says BSM Director Linda Deck. “Some are computer simulations and animations; others are hands-on puzzles and games. We know people learn in a variety of ways, and this gives plenty of opportunities for all.”

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American Mensa gathered a list of 30 of the best science museums in the country based on reputation and patronage and asked a group of Mensan educators and scientists to select the best 10. The Bradbury Science Museum was their No. 5 pick.

Northern New Mexico Tribal Business Scholarship seeks applicants

Native students hoping to pursue business-related degrees should consider applying for a Northern New Mexico Tribal Business Scholarship. The scholarships, which are $1,000 each, are awarded with the intention that students will use their education to participate in their tribe’s long-range goals for enhancing economic development and business.

Scholarships are administered by the LANL Foundation, and recipients are selected by a Laboratory/tribal selection committee. Read more about the application criteria here; the deadline to apply is June 15, 2016.

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Aynjil Baca, of San Felipe Pueblo, was a recipient of the 2014 Northern New Mexico Tribal Business Scholarship.


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