Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Delivering science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability

Scientist Ambassador Academy connects Lab employees and the public

Computer engineer Sandy Frost shares love of learning with youth.
March 1, 2017
Sandy Frost is an electrical and computer engineer who, as a Scientist Ambassador, teaches how software and coding are integral to our lives.

Sandy Frost is an electrical and computer engineer who, as a Scientist Ambassador, teaches how software and coding are integral to our lives.

Contacts  

  • Director, Community Partnerships Office
  • Kathy Keith
  • Email
“Software surrounds us, everywhere we go... Throughout your day, software keeps popping up all over the place.”- Sandy Frost

The Bradbury Science Museum’s Scientist Ambassador Academy offers Lab employees an opportunity to communicate the impactful things they do at work with the local community, children, adults, and even visitors to the museum from all over the world.

Sandy Frost, an electrical and computer engineer, is one such Scientist Ambassador. “The great thing about being a Scientist Ambassador is that every time I’m out there, I’m learning things as well,” she says, noting the time a visiting teenager introduced her to a small robot called Jibo, a social robot, which can interact with humans.

In her role as a Scientist Ambassador, Frost periodically offers a program called “Software Surrounds Us.” During her sessions, she teaches how software and coding are integral to our lives and even demonstrates how the home automation device Amazon Echo can turn off a lamp.

“Software surrounds us, everywhere we go,” Frost explains. “Your phone wakes you up in the morning, your coffee maker starts, and your thermostat triggers to get you nice and warm. As you drive to work, smart cars will let you know if you’re veering out of your lane. You can even pre-order and pre-pay at Starbucks with your phone. Throughout your day, software keeps popping up all over the place.”

Frost travels to events with a papier-mâché house display that includes images of devices throughout. “It begins the science conversation,” she says.  

Starting this conversation is the mission of the Scientist Ambassador Academy. “We offer customized training and support to help program participants craft their science messages so they can engage people of all ages and education levels,” says Linda Anderman, the museum’s point of contact for the program.

Although the 2017 Scientist Ambassador Academy application process is closed for 2107, interested parties should consider joining the program in 2018. More information is available on the program’s website, and details on current Ambassadors can be found on the Lab’s website.

On March 11, Science Ambassador Nathan DeBardeleben, with the Lab's High Performance Computing Design group, will discuss how computer memory stores its ones and zeros and how a neutron bouncing through the memory could cause information corruption. Linda Anderman, with the Lab’s Bradbury Science Museum, will present the advantages of the metric system. The event is part of the “Scientist in the Spotlight” series, which is held every second Saturday from 11 a.m.–1 p.m. at the Bradbury.

Request a Scientist Ambassador

If you would like to request a science ambassador to speak to your organization, send an email to bsm-saa@lanl.gov describing your event and which Scientist Ambassadors you'd like to request. 

Additional resources

Listen to Frost discuss her role as a Scientist Ambassador with Kommunity Radio Station (KRSN) 1490 AM, FM 107.1.


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