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The Bradbury Science Museum Association

Then, now, and next.
November 1, 2019
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  • Stacy Baker
  • (505) 664-0244
  • Email

In the beginning, there was only an ambitious idea, a desire to offer students across Northern New Mexico broader access and exposure to scientific exploration and STEM education. Thanks to the efforts of a dedicated few, that ambitious idea took root and became the Bradbury Science Museum Association (BSMA): a local nonprofit organization supporting science education for regional K–12 students. Now in its fifth year, the BSMA has grown considerably and continues making science a more tangible concept for students in a dozen New Mexico counties and pueblos. 

Founded in the spring of 2015, the BSMA worked diligently towards its goal to promote STEM learning and scientific literacy through workshops, field trips, special events, and support for Museum and community educators. By the end of 2016, the BSMA had opened its gift shop, Gadgets, and was ready to transform that original ambitious idea into reality. 

In 2017, with proceeds from Gadgets, generous sponsorship from BSMA members and from Los Alamos National Bank, and logistics and marketing support from the Museum, the BSMA kicked off its first field-trip season with a visit to the Bradbury by over 90 students from Santa Fe’s El Camino Real Academy. That spring, the association funded transportation costs for over 1,200 students from Northern New Mexico schools!

 Since then, the BSMA has evolved quite a bit. It now routinely presents teacher-development workshops, funds transportation costs for over 20 field trips annually (that’s almost 1,000 students), and sponsors dozens of science presentations and lecture events. It has also made significant changes in its gift shop. It has turned what was a tiny, folding kiosk on wheels, open only when volunteers were available, into what is now a beautiful, fully stocked and staffed brick-and-mortar store nestled within the Bradbury Science Museum.

 The BSMA also has some pretty cool plans for the future! Looking forward to 2020, with annual proceeds from sales of Gadgets merchandise having tripled, even greater outreach is certainly on the horizon. The BSMA plans to bring to Los Alamos even more great events, including book signings by local authors and presentations by Lab scientists, as well as the BSMA’s quarterly signature event, Night with a Nerd. The association is also excited to roll out the new BSMA Education Docent program, which seeks to pair local science-minded volunteers with staff at the Bradbury in support of ever-increasing school field trips.

 All in all, it’s been an amazing few years for the BSMA. From the tiny seed of that original idea, with just a handful of enthusiastic and determined champions, the nonprofit has grown into a valued resource for dozens of schools and teachers and thousands of students throughout Northern New Mexico.

More information on the Bradbury Science Museum Association can be found here.