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New virtual platform shows students the science behind everyday objects

See the Science targets middle-school students—especially girls—with educational videos, games, and Q&A sessions with experts
February 11, 2021
Available to educational institutions across New Mexico, See the Science builds student confidence in the subject by demonstrating the scientific concepts embodied in familiar objects. Illustration by Samantha Courtney.

Available to educational institutions across New Mexico, See the Science builds student confidence in the subject by demonstrating the scientific concepts embodied in familiar objects.

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Not only is See the Science fun and accessible, projects like this one can be key to developing a stronger, more diverse scientific community in the future.- Harshini Mukundan

LOS ALAMOS, N.M., Feb. 11, 2021—What makes bread rise? Why does hand sanitizer keep you from getting sick? How does a microwave oven heat your food? These are just a few of the concepts covered in the new virtual learning platform, See the Science, unveiled in celebration of International Women and Girls in Science Day, February 11, 2021.

“I want our Laboratory’s education-outreach projects to inspire all students, and particularly girls in New Mexico,” said Laboratory Director Thom Mason. “That’s why I congratulate our See the Science partners, especially Laboratory scientist Harshini Mukundan, an AAAS If/Then Ambassador who has spent the last year inspiring young women to pursue science through initiatives like this.”

See the Science targets upper elementary and middle-school students—the age at which students, particularly girls, get intimidated—or inspired—by classes in science, technology, engineering, and math. Materials will also emphasize the scientific contributions of women.

“Not only is See the Science fun and accessible, projects like this one can be key to developing a stronger, more diverse scientific community in the future,” said Mukundan.

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In 2018, Harshini Mukundan’s team at Los Alamos National Laboratory won an R&D Magazine’s R&D 100 Award for their Universal Bacterial Sensor, a diagnostic tool for doctors that can detect any and all infections in minutes. It could be a public-health game-changer in the world’s resource-poor regions. Mukundan is also an AAAS IF/THEN Ambassador, a high-profile role model for young women and girls, and a visionary behind See the Science.

See the Science is the vision of Harshini Mukundan, Bradbury Science Museum Director Linda Deck, Bradbury Science Museum Association President Jennifer Cline, and past-president Ryn Herrmann. It is made possible with the support of Lyda Hill Philanthropies as part of the AAAS IF/THEN Ambassadors program and the Bradbury Science Museum Association. See the Science is expected to be available March 2021 at www.lanl.gov/museum.

About the Bradbury Science Museum & Association
The Bradbury Science Museum Association is the nonprofit partner of the Bradbury Science Museum, a source of science communication, education, and inspiration named for former director of Los Alamos National Laboratory, Norris E. Bradbury. The Museum is located in Los Alamos, NM.

About AAAS IF/THEN Initiative
“IF we can support a woman in STEM, THEN she can change the world,” is the motto of the IF/THEN Initiative, a national effort sponsored by Lyda Hill Philanthropies, inspiring girls to pursue STEM careers while creating a culture shift in the perception of women in STEM. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and Lyda Hill Philanthropies selected 125 female STEM innovators for the initiative—all serving as high-profile role models

About Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory, a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security, is managed by Triad, a public service oriented, national security science organization equally owned by its three founding members: Battelle Memorial Institute (Battelle), the Texas A&M University System (TAMUS), and the Regents of the University of California (UC) for the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.

Los Alamos enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health, and global security concerns.