Sandia LabNews

Hands-on STEM


HMTech takes place in person, first time since pandemic

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INTERACTIVE EXPERIMENTS — Sandia chemist and volunteer LaRico Treadwell, left, helps students make liquid nitrogen ice cream during HMTech.
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CHEMICAL BONDING — Sandia chemical engineer and volunteer LaRico Treadwell, left, works with his son during a chemistry class. Some families participated in HMTech.

Local students participated in hands-on STEM activities and learned about science and engineering careers during Sandia’s 36th annual HMTech program at Albuquerque High School. During three Saturdays in June, middle school and high school students conducted chemistry experiments, worked with circuits and microcontrollers, learned about 3D printing and readied robots for competition.

Volunteers also led classes in personal finance, everyday math and STEM careers where instructors gave students tips on how to succeed in school and apply for jobs.

HMTech began in 1986 as an after-school program led by a group of Black Sandia employees who wanted to inspire Black students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math. Ten years later, HMTech evolved into a summer program sponsored by the Labs. It is open to all students entering grades 6-12 and hosted by Sandia’s Black Leadership Committee and Community Involvement team.

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SUMMER SCIENCE — Sandia volunteer Erin Akinnikawe, an electrical
engineer, assists a student debugging Python code to program a circuit playground microcontroller to turn on LEDs.
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REACTIVITY — Sandia chemical engineer and volunteer LaRico Treadwell leads a class during the 36th annual HMTech program.
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STANDING BACK — Students learned about chemical reactions by launching Mentos volcanoes during HMTech.
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FORMING NEW QUESTIONS — Sandia chemist and volunteer LaRico Treadwell engaged with students in HMTech’s chemistry class with indoor and outdoor activities.
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SKILL BUILDING — A student in the HMTech program works on a project during a chemistry class.

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