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Calling all budding engineers to take a design challenge

Feb. 21-27 is virtual Engineers Week at the Bradbury
February 1, 2021


  • Stacy Baker
  • CPO
  • (505) 664-0244
  • Email

“As we imagine tomorrow, engineers will be at the heart of the solutions to combat climate change, secure cyberspace, develop vaccines, and make the world a better place for all of us.” — Imagining Tomorrow 2021

Maybe you know a kid who loves to tinker. Maybe your children are inspired to change the world but never gave engineering much thought. Maybe you’re a teacher looking for virtual engineering projects. The Bradbury Science Museum’s 2021 Engineering Design Challenge could be exactly what you’re looking for.

In celebration of National Engineers Week 2021, our educators have created an exciting virtual event for students of all ages. Participants will imagine solutions for today’s most pressing global challenges through the multifaceted lens of engineering.

Take the challenge!

Via 5-to-10-minute-long videos, participants in elementary, middle and high school will learn about the Penny Bridge Challenge, the Card Tower Challenge and the Catapult Challenge. From there, build-out can take 20-45 minutes.

Materials are simple things you probably have lying around the house: pennies, index cards, popsickle sticks and more. All three activities meet Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

How to get started: At your own pace, watch one of the challenge videos on the Museum’s education page the week of Feb. 21 — then get building! Challenge participants are encouraged to submit pictures/videos of their prototypes in action by Feb. 27; the winning design of each challenge will be posted on the Bradbury website.

Videos go live Sunday, Feb. 21. Click here to get started!

Questions? Contact Bradbury educators at bsm-edu@lanl.gov.

Imagining tomorrow at LANL: Innovation, precision, persistence

At Los Alamos, engineering isn’t just a thing we do — it’s a mindset, a philosophy shared by more than 1,100 dedicated engineers as they work to tackle some of the most crucial and complex challenges of our time.

Reina Ledoux

“Being an engineer at LANL has afforded me the opportunity to work in a demanding manufacturing environment, with missions that present new challenges, all while being surrounded by the world’s best machinists, inspectors and engineers,” says Reina Ledoux. She earned a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from the University of New Mexico in 1999 and a master’s in mechanical engineering from Arizona State University in 2001.

Engineers from more than a dozen disciplines, such as mechanical, environmental, aeronautical and nuclear, collaborate in multidisciplinary teams to create renewable energy sources and design robotics tools that increase worker safety and even travel to Mars! They dream up novel ways to make the world a better place.

Creative minds willing to think outside the box and discover tomorrow’s world-changing breakthroughs is what the Lab fosters. It takes young people intrigued by engineering challenges (by any challenges, really!), and it takes institutions willing to put forth the community outreach efforts necessary to support those curious young people.

Please join the Bradbury in encouraging New Mexico kids to explore engineering, what it is and what it can be for them.