The New Mexico Consortium took part in the 2018 Los Alamos ScienceFest on Saturday July 14, 2018 with a booth displaying information on who we are and displays of several posters highlighting some exciting research going on at the NMC!
This year was Los Alamos’ 11th ScienceFest which was developed to celebrate the history and science of Los Alamos through fun and engaging activities for people of all ages.
Besides information, the NMC booth also had a hands-on activity for anyone interested. After trying to guess the number of algae cells in the flask, participants then could prepare a sample and use an Automated Cell Counter to figure out the answer. Several young potential scientists really enjoyed the pipetting!
Many people stopped by to talk to Steve Buelow, the NMC Chief Executive Officer, Shannan Schnedler, Chief Communication Officer, and Carrie Talus, Science Outreach and Communications. Overall, the day was a great success participating in this fun community event.
Schambach taught two 1 hour workshops on Algal Biofuels, the first had 7 young women participating and the second had 14 participants. Her workshop included a brief presentation teaching about what algae are, the different types of algae and where they are found, why LANL cares about algal research, and a little about Schambach’s specific research – growing algae in the presence of dead plant material. The students actively participated in the presentation by answering questions as well as asking questions of their own.
Next, the students observed different species of algae under the microscope and had to try to match them with the pictures and names of the species Schambach had on the board. The students all did very well even though it’s not an easy task! Many of them told Schambach they had a lot of fun learning about all the different types of algae and how we make biofuel and other products from it. A couple of the participants even said this workshop was their favorite of the day!
STEM Santa Fe leads many STEM programs in Northern New Mexico that are project based, hands-on and provide extended learning experiences for youth at low to no cost. To learn more see their webpage at http://stemsantafe.org/