Kids Day

Our Roots: Virtual Kids Day 2021

Kids Day (formerly Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day) is traditionally held each year as an opportunity for Sandia employees and contractors to bring their children, friends and relatives in grades 5-12 to their workplace. The day provides an avenue for students to learn more about Sandia’s mission and inspires the next generation of leaders in science, technology, engineering, math, business, clerical and trades careers. This year, Kids Day is being held virtually with over 15 fun and informational videos and demos online for kids, family and friends to watch at their leisure.

Please see key below to determine the general age range for each activity:

  • All = All Ages
  • E = Elementary School
  • M = Mid-school
  • H = High-school
Solids, Liquids, and Gases (All)

Child experimenting with liquid gasDescription: We will be exploring solids, liquids, and gases in two fun experiments! The first is a demonstration of a reaction between baking soda and vinegar. The second shows the reaction between dry ice and water.

Instructions: Download the Lesson Sheet below for an overview on Solids, Liquids, and Gases, as well as information and instructions for hands-on activities that you can do from home!  

Activity materials:

What is a Watershed? (E/M)

Description: Did you know all of our drinking water comes from Earth, including the bottled water you buy from the store? Even juice and soda are made with water that comes from rivers, streams, and the ground. Don’t worry, it gets cleaned first! Learn more about where our water comes from and how we can keep it clean for safe for drinking, swimming, and fishing.

Instructions:  Watch this video

Measuring Elements at Sandia (M/H)

Laser blast rover on planetDescription: In this video we will show you how a laser blast can be used to measure the elements of an object – rock, sand, or bolt. We will explain a concept called "atomic emission" and show you how NASA is doing this very thing on Mars with the Curiosity and Perseverance rovers!

InstructionsWatch this video

Fun with Chemistry (E/M)

Glass of water upside downDescription: Join former Sandia chemist, Len Duda, as he teaches you the basics of chemistry through fun demonstrations. Len has has provided demonstrations for kids for over 30 years, most recently as part of Explora’s Educator team.

InstructionsWatch this video

Truck Driving Simulator (H)

Child driving in a truck simulatorDescription: In this video we demonstrate the skills that Sandia’s professional drivers develop by training on a drive simulator. We will show you three different vehicle scenarios on the simulator: a bus, a tractor-trailer, and a passenger vehicle. Demonstrators include two New Mexico State Police Officers who explain the importance of sharing the road, not texting, staying, and knowing your surroundings. You’ll also get to watch a few lucky kids try the drive simulator as well.

InstructionsWatch this video

Sandia's Protective Force (H)

Sandia Protective Force trainingDescription: The Sandia Pro Force team keeps the labs safe, and they are always ready to protect the people who work at Sandia Labs. In this video you’ll see first hand how they train for any emergency situation — so buckle up for a ride with the Pro Force!

InstructionsWatch this video

Peanut Butter and Jelly Rocket Ship (E/M)

Peanut butter and jelly sandwich next to a toy rocketDescription: In this activity we will build a rocket ship to the moon with ingredients from your kitchen! But before we start, we enjoy a little snack.

InstructionsWatch this video

Activity materials:

  • Peanut butter and bread
Solve a Bioforensics Mystery (M)

Girl looking through a magnifying glass while standing in front of strawberry backgroundDescription: Uh-oh, strawberries are making people sick! Help solve the mystery of the contaminated produce by using DNA extraction, separation chemistry, and microscopy. Learn about how much DNA is in a strawberry, how to identify if pesticides are being used, and see what microbes look like under a microscope. Together, we can uncover which farm is selling bad berries and what contaminants are making people sick.

Instructions: This is a hands-on activity that you can do from home with up to five participants! Start by watching the Introduction Video and by reviewing the Introduction Module document. Each participant will then need to download their own Participant Clue Packet numbered one through five. Then, you can participate in the three activity modules (in any order you’d like) to try and uncover how and why people are getting sick from the strawberries. For each module, there is an Instructional Video and a Module document. Each Module document includes an activity, a materials list, and the protocol for each. Together with the Participant Clue Packets, they provide detailed instructions on how to complete the investigation.

Activity materials:

Tour a Solar Energy Laboratory (All)

Solar panels at Sandia's Solar thermal Test FacilityDescription: Take a tour of Sandia’s Solar Thermal Test Facility and learn about how Dr. Kenneth Armijo found himself working there after growing up on a New Mexican chile pepper farm.

InstructionsWatch this video (courtesy of 2021 STEAM Virtual hosted by the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History)

Our Brains in Action (M/H)

Brightly colored rays coming out of a manicans brainDescription: In this activity, we learn about Sandia’s Human Performance Lab, which uses techniques such as eye tracking and electroencephalography (EEG) to study how people perform complex tasks and to test ways of improving their performance. Using the Lesson Sheet we’ll show you some examples of classic cognitive psychology experiments that you can try at home. In the video we explain how Sandia uses eye tracking and EEG to study human cognition.

Instructions: Watch the videos and download the lesson sheet below.

Activity materials:

LEGO Kibble Balance (M/H)

Kibble balance built from LEGO blocksDescription: The kilogram is the base unit of mass and has historically been defined in terms of a physical mass standard. In 2019, the definition of the kilogram was re-defined in terms of three fundamental physical constants, the second, metre, and the Planck constant. To demonstrate this new realization of the kilogram, Sandia built a LEGO® Kibble Balance that indirectly compares mechanical power to an equivalent amount of electrical power. This LEGO® Kibble Balance will be on display and demonstrations using physical mass standards will be shown.

InstructionsWatch this video

Pressure Differential Demo (M/H)

Image of a pig in an astronaut suit hovering over earthDescription: In this short demonstration you will learn why astronauts require special sealed suits and equipment to protect them from the vacuum of space. We also explain why a person’s blood would boil in space without a sealed suit due to the very low pressures.

InstructionsWatch this video

Wheatstone Bridge and Electrical Resistance (M/H)

Diagram of a Wheatstone bridgeDescription: In this video you will learn about the Wheatstone bridge, which is a simple electrical circuit that can be used to measure an unknown electrical resistance by balancing two legs of a bridge circuit where one of the circuit legs includes the unknown resistance. We will demonstrate how to use a simple Wheatstone bridge to measure an unknown amount of resistance.

InstructionsWatch this video

Ohm's Law: Exploring Simple Physics (M/H)

Cartoon image of Einstein in front of a chalkboard teaching PhysicsDescription: In this video you will learn about Ohm’s law, which is a basic physics principle that describes the flow of electricity in electrical circuits and the relationship between voltage, current, and resistance. In the demonstration you will see how this principle is applied by scientists at Sandia.

InstructionsWatch this video

Sandia History Fun Facts (All)

Photo of scientists holding a rocketDescription: Learn about Sandia’s long and interesting history starting in 1949. Explore the links below to learn about ways that Sandia’s technology solutions have helped to solve national and global threats to peace and freedom.

Instructions: Explore the resources below to travel back through time.

Activity materials: