Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

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Summer activities, new Energy Secretary, contractor awards scholarships and a STEM summit
June 1, 2013
Bradbury Science Museum

Bradbury Science Museum in Los Alamos


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Bradbury Science Museum can help stem summer “brain drain”
Research has shown that students who don’t stay engaged in academic subjects, such as math and reading, during the summer can lose several months achievement by the time they return to school in the fall. While trips to the library or downloads of free eBooks can keep up reading skills and math games can help keep kids scholastically fit, the Lab’s Bradbury Science Museum provides a variety of summer activities to make learning about science interesting and fun. Visits to the Bradbury are free and there are activities available for all ages.

  • For elementary-school children
    Each Tuesday at 10 and again at 11 a.m. in June and July, the Los Alamos Historical Society in conjunction with Bradbury Science Museum will sponsor activities to engage kindergarten through third-grade children on a variety of topics. Called "History Adventures at Fuller Lodge," the activities are free and no signup is required. For more information, contact Raffi Andonian at (505) 695-5251.
  • Lab Museum’s Faces of Science
    A new interactive exhibit, developed in conjunction with the Lab’s 70th anniversary, highlights the people behind our science. Whether the subject is renewable fuels, homeland security or global health, Los Alamos scientists are on the job. Listen to display audio by phoning (505) 515-0004 (when prompted, key in “7001” through “7011” for each audio snippet, followed by the “#” sign) or view the videos online.
  • Big Sky Learning Camps
    In partnership with the Bradbury Science Museum and the Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation, Big Sky Learning will conduct a series of weeklong camps for children (ages 5 to 14) from July 8 through August 2. The camps’ age-specific classes will cover everything from how to make a solar-powered, black light mobile all the way to creating a jousting robot ready to enter competition. Scholarships are available. For more information, go to the Big Sky Learning’s site.

New Secretary of Energy announced: Dr. Ernest Moniz
On May 16, Dr. Ernest Moniz was sworn in as the nation’s 13th Secretary of Energy, confirmed by the full Senate in a 97-0 vote.

“I look forward to the progress we will make together in the coming years—advancing the President’s all-of-the-above energy strategy, maintaining the nuclear deterrent and reducing the nuclear danger, promoting American leadership in science and clean energy technology innovation, and cleaning up the legacy of the Cold War,” said Moniz in an email to DOE staff. “I believe we can, and must, commit ourselves to the highest standards of management excellence, delivering results for the American people as efficiently and effectively as possible and enhancing our capacity to succeed in our critical missions.”

Prior to his appointment, Dr. Moniz was the Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physics and Engineering Systems at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he was a faculty member since 1973. At MIT, he headed the Department of Physics and the Bates Linear Accelerator Center. Most recently, Dr. Moniz served as the founding director of the MIT Energy Initiative, heading the MIT Laboratory for Energy and the Environment. Moniz led multidisciplinary technology and policy studies on the future of nuclear power, coal, nuclear fuel cycles, natural gas, and solar energy in a low-carbon world.

From 1997 until 2001, Dr. Moniz served as Under Secretary of the Department of Energy.  He was responsible for overseeing the Department’s science and energy programs, leading a comprehensive review of nuclear weapons stockpile stewardship, and serving as the special negotiator for the disposition of Russian nuclear materials. From 1995 to 1997, he served as Associate Director for Science in the President’s Office of Science and Technology Policy.

View the Department of Energy news release.

Lab contractor awards regional scholarships
As a result of Day & Zimmerman SOC’s 16th annual Los Alamos High School Scholarship Program, 10 regional high-school seniors will each receive $1,000 scholarships. The students were selected based on their academic excellence, demonstrated leadership skills, commitment to community service and expressed desire to return to the area and positively impact the communities that supported them.

The students attend the following high schools: Coronado, McCurdy Charter, Mesa Vista, Espanola, Pojoaque Valley, Penasco and Escalante.

Day & Zimmerman SOC has given out more than $160,000 since it started its scholarship award in 1998 and the efforts are part of its Subcontractor Regional Community Development plan with the Laboratory.

Advancing regional science education
A recent Laboratory summit on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education was designed to address how to better align and leverage programs and resources within the Lab as well as to strategically integrate with state and national goals in science education.

The Laboratory, and the nation, increasingly needs more high-tech employees than are being graduated, particularly as the need for computer scientists increases and experienced baby boomers continue to retire from the workforce.

The eight recommendations coming out of the summit included efforts to increase two-way communication between the internal organizations involved in STEM education initiatives but also with regional stakeholders, increasing employee engagement and the development of sustainable STEM program funding.

Next steps for the process include presenting the recommendations to Laboratory management and convening of subcommittees to assist with the most important findings.