Sandia LabNews

Sandia opens doors to family, friends

Family Day 2019 set for Sept. 7 in Albuquerque and Sept. 14 in Livermore

visitors inspect telemetry display at 1959 event
1959 TELEMETRY DISPLAY — Sixty years ago, Sandia/California opened its doors to family and friends for its first Family Day event.  (Photo courtesy of Lab News archive)

See below: Planning your visit

Family Day is a rare opportunity for Sandia’s workforce to show family and friends the critical work conducted at the site in the interest of the nation. This year’s Albuquerque event is Saturday, Sept. 7, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., and the Livermore event is Saturday, Sept. 14, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

“There is a certain element of mystery and wonder about what goes on at Sandia,” said Associate Labs Director for Integrated Security Solutions Andy McIlroy. “Family Day 2019 offers an exclusive look into the extraordinary work and culture at Sandia. We are proud of everyone who works here and their accomplishments, and we want to showcase their talents, teamwork and the special activities that take place at the Labs.”


cover of Salton Sea 1959 event brochure
SALTON SEA — Sandia friends and family took part in Family Day at the Salton Sea Test Base in 1959. (Photo courtesy of Lab News archive)

The event will feature activities, tours and demonstrations that are designed to be both fun and educational, focused on highlighting the breadth and depth of the engineering and science research at Sandia.

The event, which has a 60-year history, has been in the planning stages for several months, thanks to a team of dedicated volunteers led by Sandia’s community involvement team in Albuquerque and Livermore.

The planning team hopes families and guests feel comfortable and welcomed as they are introduced to the two Sandia sites.

“We hope that all visitors will be inspired to share and promote Sandia’s work within their own circles and communities,” Sandia/California community relations officer Kayla Norris said. “We encourage everyone to take full advantage of this opportunity to show their guests where they spend 40-plus hours a week and how they individually contribute to the Labs’ programs, mission, the nation and Sandia’s overall successes.”

Kayla said Sandia’s employees spend countless hours, years and oftentimes their entire careers working to support the Labs’ mission.

presenter holds child while explaining cantilevers to visitors
MICROSCOPY IN PERSPECTIVE — Ray Friddle, right, holds his two-year-old daughter, Lily, while explaining microscopic cantilevers used for atomic force microscopy during the 2012 Family Day event.  (Photo by Randy Wong)

“Hopefully, it’s a day to slow down, connect and spend quality time with family, friends and colleagues,” Kayla said.

“Sandia is a very tight-knit community, and it was important to have a balance of learning and activities that bring people together,” said Krissy Galbraith, who helped spearhead the event planning at the Sandia/California GAA event pad and throughout the site. “We want to make this an event that employees can enjoy with their guests of any age by hosting a variety of interactive activities, tours and demos across all mission areas.”

The GAA event pad will be the central location for obtaining information about the day’s activities at the Livermore campus (California event map), and Hardin Field will serve as the central location in Albuquerque (New Mexico event map). Eventgoers are encouraged to visit the information booths for a schedule and map. Sandia swag, including new custom stainless-steel water bottles to use for the day, will be available for purchase.

woman and child examine exhibit
2014 FLASHBACK — Grace Beasly, right, daughter of Stephanie Beasly, compares the results of a chromatography activity with Pam Lane. That year, nearly 500 employees, along with their family members and friends, attended Family & Friends Day at Sandia/California.  (Photo by Dino Vournas)

Key community partners and Sandia organizations will be at both locations to share extended learning opportunities focused around science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics for K-12 students.

A variety of food vendors will sell healthy and sweet treats throughout the day. Food truck vendors will sell breakfast items for the morning crowd, and new trucks will roll in to offer lunch options during the afternoon hours.

Those interested in volunteering at the event should contact Community Involvement. Employees can visit Sandia’s internal 2019 Family Day website.

Planning your visit

Employees who are bringing family and friends to Sandia’s 2019 Family Day event are responsible for keeping their guests safe and secure. Below are some tips to keep in mind when planning for the event:

  • Stay hydrated. Bring a water bottle. Water fountains and bottle filling stations will be available.
  • Wear comfortable clothes and closed-toe shoes.
  • Observe safety practices throughout the site.
  • Put trash and recyclable materials in marked receptacles.
  • Park in designated areas and avoid parking in front of fire hydrants.
  • Leave all pets at home.
  • Report any unsafe conditions.
  • Do not bring intoxicants, illegal drugs, drug paraphernalia, firearms or explosive materials.
  • Don’t talk about classified activities or sensitive projects.
  • If entering limited areas, do not bring any electronic devices, including but not limited to, cell phones, laptop computers, removable computer media, audio and visual recording devices, portable and wireless devices with transmitting capability, two-way pagers, smartwatches, Apple devices, e-readers, Fitbits or other fitness trackers and Bluetooth devices.

Visit the 2019 Family Day website to plan your visit, and download the California event map or the New Mexico event map for event details.