New Mexico Science Fiesta

By Katrina Wagner

Photography By Katrina Wagner

Thursday, August 01, 2019

A STEM celebration for all ages

Aaron Hall demonstrates wood working technique
TOP TABLE — Aaron Hall, right, demonstrates how to make an inlay for an American Federal-style table.

Sandians brought STEM fun to the New Mexico Science Fiesta at several locations in Albuquerque in June. Sandia hosted a table at the Expo New Mexico where students could explore engineering and science with hands-on activities such as creating jewelry using ultraviolet beads that change colors in the sun and playing with circuit sets to learn about electronics.

volunteer and visitor string beads
SCIENCE BLING — Patricia Schmitt, right, shows a fiesta attendee how to make a bracelet with color-changing ultraviolet beads.

Volunteers from Advancing the Next Generation of Leadership Excellence performed the “What Happens Next” interactive game show on the main stage, featuring live science demonstrations about air and smoke vortices, heat and cold reactions and air-ball bowling.

Hy Tran works on skew tool
STEM FOR FUN — Hy Tran uses a skew tool to make a toy.

Sandians Hy Tran and Aaron Hall demonstrated the science of woodworking with New Mexico Woodturners. “The hands-on experiences of woodworking and woodturning introduce children not only to craftsmanship and artisanship, but also to tools, materials science, design and art,” Hy said. “I love working in educational outreach: STEM is not only useful in careers or for a well-educated citizen, but STEM is also fun.”

Father and child do experiment on bike wheel with volunteer
HANDS-ON PHYSICS — Kenyatta Harris, right, explores physics with a participant at the New Mexico Science Fiesta.

Interns from Sandia’s Technical Internships to Advance National Security program volunteered at Explora during Teen Night. The event featured a teen takeover of the children’s museum with an escape room, brain room and science lounge. The TITANS interns showed the teens how to use Scratch, a software platform that teaches kids how to program interactive stories, games and animations.  

“It was an exciting experience, and I got to hang out with some really great kids and teach them about computer science,” said Sandia intern Jonathan Grimes. “There were some sparks that were lit because of us being there.”