Students from Los Alamos High School will travel to Washington D.C. in late April to represent New Mexico as it competes in the Department of Energy’s annual National Science Bowl. The group became the state finalists after competing against more than 25 other teams during the regional event held in early March in Albuquerque. The team, made up of five members (four students and one alternate), had to quickly respond to math and science questions covering a wide range of topics, including astronomy, biology, chemistry, earth science, math, physics, and general science.
How many sigma and pi bonds, respectively, are there in a molecule with the following formula: CH3CHCHCH2CH3?
(See answer below)
The team, made up of eleventh and twelfth graders, was coached and advised by Barbara Jo Mullis and Julie Wangler (respectively), both science teachers for Los Alamos Public Schools.
This is the second time the high school team has won the regional competition since 1994.
Also advancing to the nationals for the 2011 competition will be the middle school team from Albuquerque Academy, which won the national event last year.
The Department of Energy, Los Alamos National Security, Sandia National Laboratories, and Albuquerque Academy sponsor and host the regional event.
To read further details about this year’s competition visit: http://www.scied.science.doe.gov/nsb/default.htm.
Answer to the question above: sigma=14; pi =1.
Each year, for the last four years, the Los Alamos Commerce & Development Corporation has held “The Next Big Idea” to leverage the unique scientific history and resources within the county. In addition to interacting with scientists, inventors, and innovators, this year’s event will include a science- and math-based art competition. Artists' entries will be accepted until July 31. The free competition will award more than $3,000 in prizes, and anyone can enter their artwork. The winners will be displayed at The Next Big Idea event scheduled for September.
For more information on the art competition and to view artwork already submitted, go to http://www.nextbigideala.com/science-math-based-art-contest.htm.
In conjunction with the artistic competition this year, the Los Alamos Public Schools will hold a "Fractal Art Challenge." It’s designed to excite interest in math through art creation using tools provided by the Fractal Foundation.
For more information about the Next Big Idea, or the Science and Math-based art contest, visit www.NextBigIdeaLA.com or contact Los Alamos MainStreet Manager, Suzette Fox, at (505) 661-4844 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the Fractal Foundation, go to http://fractalfoundation.org/.
From June though August, the Valles Caldera National Preserve will hold three-day teacher training opportunities with separate sessions on geology, botany, and stream/wildlife ecology. Credit for the training can be received at the Institute of Professional Development through the University of New Mexico. Each course costs participants $260 and includes food and two nights lodging at the Preserve.
For more information on the program and what is covered in each class, go to http://www.vallescaldera.gov/education/docs/ed_TeacherTraining2011.pdf. For more information on the Valles Caldera National Preserve, go to http://www.vallescaldera.gov/index.aspx.
To encourage regional students to graduate and obtain jobs in such high-paying fields as renewable energy, information technology, and health, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Environmental Management recently awarded a $500,000 grant to the Regional Development Corporation (RDC). The grant will help 120 students a year receive certificates and associates degrees.
The initial work of the program will be to improve instructor professional development and target students who have delayed their higher education pursuits or are going to school part-time. Later, the program will assist those who need new skill sets for employment.
In addition to DOE and RDC, other participants in the program include Santa Fe Community College, Northern New Mexico College, University of New Mexico (Los Alamos and Taos), New Mexico Highlands University, and Luna Community College, with academic assistance from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. Additional support comes from Los Alamos National Laboratory, and its manager, Los Alamos National Security, LLC.
While the numbers of women graduating with bachelor and higher degrees now outpace those of men, women are still underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers. To help counteract that long-standing trend, the Lab sponsors an annual Expanding Your Horizons in Math and Science Conference. In March, more than 80 young women from regional middle and high schools had an opportunity to learn more about STEM fields and interact with women currently working in them.
Workshop sessions included cryptography, veterinary medicine, designing patterns with mobile robots, assessing water quality, and DNA extraction. Lab organizations represented included Physical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy, Fluid Dynamics and Solid Mechanics, Primary Physics, Thermonuclear Applications Physics, and Space Data Systems, to name a few.
Eowyn Pedicini gave this year’s keynote address titled “21 years in 21 minutes.” She will graduate from the U.S. Navel Academy this spring with a degree in chemistry.
For more in-depth information on the event, go here.