LANL: Bringing STEM To The Roundhouse

Herb Funsten, right, talks to Lt. Governor Howie Morales about the Laboratory’s work on the Mars Perseverance Rover. Photo Courtesy LANL


The 2023 STEAM Day at the Legislature event Feb. 16 showcased STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) organizations, as well as education and career opportunities for young people in New Mexico. The Laboratory was there to play its part.

Organized by the LANL Foundation, the event took over the rotunda of the Roundhouse in Santa Fe with hands-on activities for all ages from a range of education groups including Chama Valley Arts, CNM Ingenuity, College Career Plaza, the Encantado Foundation, Explora, Future Forge Inc., MathAmigos, New Collar Network, NM Mesa, NMSU College of Engineering, Santa Fe Children’s Museum, and STEM Santa Fe.

Representing the Laboratory inside were educators Chelsea Redman and Mel Strong from the Laboratory’s Bradbury Science Museum, who between them helped around 250 visitors build their own LED badges.

Making an appearance outside the Roundhouse was one of the Laboratory’s new Challenge Tomorrow education trailers, staffed by Laboratory volunteers ready to take visitors (including legislators) through interactive exhibits that included the LANL contributions to the Mars Perseverance Rover, and the Laboratory’s work in environmental stewardship. 

One of the visitors to the trailer was Lt. Governor Howie Morales, who learned about the Perseverance Rover from researcher Herb Funsten.

Morales joined the speakers at the afternoon press conference, which also featured Rep. Susan Herrera, Sen. Leo Jaramillo, and Cynthia Ramirez, executive director of Technology Leadership High School in Albuquerque.

“The day was a chance to engage the attendees with some interactivity and fun, while also stressing the importance of STEAM education in preparing our students for great future careers,” said Linda Deck, director of the Bradbury Science Museum.

Both Challenge Tomorrow trailers also appeared at Discover STEAM Week at the National Nuclear Science Museum in Albuquerque Feb. 17 and 18, and you can look out for them at other public events later in the year.