Record-breaking crowds attend Sandia’s New Mexico Family Day

By Katrina Wagner and Randy Montoya

Photography By Randy Montoya

Thursday, September 26, 2019

group gathers outside warehouse to view combustion experiment
girl plays with remote control while dad watches

Family and friends walked the usually restricted streets of Sandia’s Albuquerque campus during the Sept. 7 Family Day event, to show support for their loved ones and see where they work. The long tradition of Family Day is an opportunity to show friends and loved ones some of the interconnected teamwork and facilities they don't usually get to see.

A large variety of activities were offered thanks to the enormous efforts of many Sandians, who worked hard to analyze, plan and execute both events. Some of the demonstrations, tours and exhibits included large particle accelerators, drop tests, hypersonic wind tunnels, the solar tower, photovoltaic fields, numerous science and technology demonstrations, fun kids’ science experiments and more.

Katrina Wagner, lead planner for the New Mexico event, reported that attendance probably topped 17,000. “We were excited to host Family Day 2019 because we knew that at least 40% of our employees may have never been to a Family Day and would enjoy the opportunity to share their workplace with friends and family,” she said.

elderly couple with walkers lead a crowd toward a demonstration area
explosives demonstration

The Family Day planning teams at both the New Mexico and California campuses began planning early last winter and consisted of representatives from Safety, Security, Facilities and Communications. Volunteers from across the Labs hosted more than 70 activities to give guests the opportunity to learn more about Sandia and its mission and programs, while promoting STEM education.

scientist talks to visitors as kids look up to her
children inspect a drone