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News & Events at the Bradbury Science Museum

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Their products will enhance visitor understanding of the Manhattan Project.

Student interns

Front row: Erick Rangel, Desiree Ramirez, Rock Ulibarri, Dre' Gallegos. Middle row: Terence Garcia, Patricia Chavez, Janel Herrera, Clarence Bustamante, (interpreter on computer) Tammy Real, Rebecca Sharp. Back row: Miriam Langer, Jim Hunyadi, Shane Flores, Kerry Loewen, Andrew LaPointe

Highlands University students advance Historical Park interpretation

Last month I was happy to begin interacting with 15 New Mexico Highlands University students serving as interns at the Bradbury Science Museum. They will work with the Museum and the National Park Service to interpret aspects of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park (MAPR) as part of the University’s Program for Interactive Cultural Technology (PICT). PICT includes all the kinds of techniques and tools used to interpret cultural sites for visitors, things like videos, printed 3-D models, virtual reality, and graphic panels.

An outstanding benefit of working with the PICT interns is their interest in and mastery of cutting-edge techniques that visitors of the same age have come to expect. There’s no better way to invite young visitors to engage with our topics than to have their peers create the kinds of experiences young people crave. Those experiences will then lead them to interest and understanding. A previous PICT project you might be familiar with is the interpretation at the Coronado Historic Site north of Albuquerque, NM. Check out PICT’s Coronado work online.

The National Historical Park

Here, 17 Laboratory historic properties are included as part of MAPR. Work is ongoing to stabilize and repair the structures; then, efforts can begin on logistics and architectural “hardening” so that visitors can actually set foot in them. All properties are “behind the fence,” meaning on Lab property, and require careful planning to allow for access.

Because of this necessary preparation, PICT students are tasked with accommodating visitors who come to the Bradbury in search of information about MAPR. The students are creating experiences that will lead visitors to both knowledge and an appreciation of why these sites are important to Manhattan Project history.

A More Encompassing History Film

At the Bradbury we show our signature 16-minute video “The Town that Never Was” multiple times every day. It provides a concise and compelling storytelling of Los Alamos’ role in the Manhattan Project. That well-loved film will live on via the Museum’s website, but we’d like to show a more modern take on the story, expanded to bring in the stories of the Los Alamos MAPR sites. It’s also important to tell, even briefly, what happened at the two other locations of MAPR—Oak Ridge, TN, and Hanford, WA. We’ll supply the PICT team with research materials, backgrounders, and other source material, and look forward to their proposal to bring this story alive for current visitors.

Linda Deck, Museum Director

View the entire February issue of @theBradbury.