2019 News

DOE Scientists Connect with Students During National Lab Day

October 11, 2019

Scientists and engineers from over 10 national labs took part in K-12 outreach events hosted National Lab Day at the University of Toledo on Friday, October 11, 2019. During their visit to the UToledo campus, 100 high school seniors from the northwest Ohio area had the opportunity to learn about STEM careers, the wide breadth of research being conducted at Department of Energy National Laboratories, and future opportunities for undergraduate and graduate internships.

The day started with a visit to UToledo’s planetarium where students watched the Phantom of the Universe: The Hunt for Dark Matter which was executive produced by Michael Barnett, a physicist at Berkeley Lab. A question and answer session followed the viewing with UC Berkeley graduate student Sarafina Nance and UToledo professor Eli Visbal. During lunch, students participated in a speed networking session with former DOE interns, early career and senior scientists from 11 of the 17 National Labs. An interactive STEM fair highlighting the research at DOE laboratories concluded the program.

Program from the Day: https://www.utoledo.edu/research/national-lab-day/outreach.html

Main picture : Postdoc Mariah Parker, Representative Marcy Kaptur, Director Mike Witherell and graduate student Sarafina NanceTop Thumbnail: President Sharon Gaber, University ToledoMiddle Thumbnail: Charles Wade, ORNL SULI intern and UToledo Junior

Updates to Building 2 -100B Conference Room for STEM Education Visits

Conference Room 100B Before Update

Conference Room 100B After Update

September 18. 2019

As the K-12 office works to increase the number of students visiting the Lab, conference room 100B in Building 2 received a face lift this summer. The space was painted a brighter color and carpet was removed to accommodate hands-on explorations and activities. White boards were placed around the room to encourage brainstorming sessions, drawing, collaboration, and real time data collection. Large screens, cameras, and microphones have been purchased to complete the update. Installation of these items will take place in October.

In addition to the cosmetic updates, new tools were purchased to facilitate the development of hands-on workshops for students visiting the Lab. The K-12 office has purchased laptops, 3D printers, a laser cutter, microscopes, and optical benches. The tools will be incorporated into workshops focused on mission science and will be taught in conjunction with tours of user facilities and laboratories.

The office would like to thank Richard Reisinger and many others in facilities for working hard to complete this project. Anyone interested in being a part of the development process and updates to outreach content should sign up to be a K-12 volunteer.

Rising Sun Youth Opportunities Summer Orientation

June 28, 2019

On Friday, June 28, Berkeley Lab participated in the Rising Sun Youth Opportunities summer program orientation. Students were able to take part in round-table discussions that showcased individual career pathways and highlighted the research at the Lab. Rhett Persaud (top left corner) shared his unique background as a historian and educator on his pathway to being an Emergency Management Specialist at the Lab. He championed the importance of community colleges and encouraged students to think about the positions that support scientific research at the Lab. Berkeley Bridge Fellow, Christian White (bottom left), shared his experiences as a first year PhD student in the civil and environmental engineering department at UC Berkeley. The Berkeley Lab Bridge Fellowship is a pilot program designed to engage UC Berkeley students in active roles at a national laboratory. Finally, Cyclotron Road spinoff, Treau, was represented by Grace Li. She shared her experiences as a mechanical engineer and the company's work to design building heating and cooling solutions and its focus on eliminating global warming emissions.

San Marin High and Lead PS Charter School Visit Berkeley Lab

May 29, 2019

The K-12 Program team in the Government and Community Relations Office, hosted almost 80 students on May 21 and May 23, 2019. Students had the opportunity to tour the Advanced Light Source, Molecular Foundry, Earth and Environmental Sciences, and the Machine Shop during their visits. The 60 students from the STEM Academy at San Marin High School heard from six speakers representing Nuclear Science, Biosciences, and Engineering Divisions as well as NERSC and Cyclotron Road during rapid fire talks. Speakers joined students for a brown bag lunch after their talks to continue and informal Q&A session.

On Thursday, representatives from Engineering, Climate and Ecocsytems Sciences, Energy Geosciences, and Cyclotron Road participated in a speed networking lunch with students. The students from Lead PS Charter School in Hayward visited the Lab as a part of their "Week Without Walls" which allowed them to explore STEM careers and opportunities. On both days, scientists, engineers, technicians, and staff shared their reasons for majoring and/or pursuing a STEM career. They encouraged students to be resilient and curious while sharing their own unique stories in STEM. Thanks to all of our volunteers!

A special thank you to our speakers and guides: Kevan Anderson (ALS), Dan Cheng (Engineering), Laurie Chong (Molecular Foundry), Willy Evans (Engineering), Brian Friesen (NERSC), Tim Kneafsey (EESA), Richard Kraft (Engineering), Cindy Lee (ALS), Tom Lipton (Engineering), Robin Lopez (EESA), Fadji Maina (EESA), Jess Morrison (Cyclotron Road), Jack Norbeck (Cyclotron Road), Travis O'Brien (EESA), Katherine Ray (Engineering), Ina Reichel (ALS), Doug Taube (ALS), Valentine Trotter (Biosciences), Maria Zurek (NSD)

Outreach with Oakland Public Schools

May 10, 2019

Berkeley Lab scientists and staff celebrated science at two separate science-themed events this month. Students learned more about chemical reactions during the sesquicentennial celebration of Prescott Elementary in West Oakland on Saturday, May 4, 2019. The school celebrated 150 years of educating Oakland Residents with science and nature activities in their new nature garden. On Wednesday, May 8, 2019, students and parents learned about the electromagnetic spectrum and explored physical and chemical reactions during the Oakland Unified School District's Science Fair.

Thanks to our wonderful volunteers: Arianna Formenti, Juan Manfredi, Ina Reichel, Matthijs van Spronsen, and Maria Zurek!

25 Years of Daughters and Sons to Work Day

April 25, 2019

The Lab celebrated 25 years of Daughters and Sons to Work Day, with 124 children, ages 9 to 16, taking part in numerous activities, including tours, hands-on demonstrations, and a science festival. They also got to hear some inspirational words from Lab Director Mike Witherell. Thanks to the numerous volunteers who help make this event possible year after year. The event is hosted by the Lab's Government & Community Relations Office.

New Manager of Lab’s K-12 Education Programs

February 19, 2019

Faith Dukes is combining her Ph.D. in chemistry with her passion for education as the new manager of the K-12 Education programs, part of the Lab’s Government and Community Relations department. The K-12 program moved to Government and Community Relations in October to better align the program with the Lab’s community relations activities and to foster outreach to disadvantaged communities.

A native of Augusta Ga., Faith honed her skills as a scientist and educator while working as an instructor for non-profit Science from Scientists and completing her Ph.D. thesis on waste remediation using photocatalytic semiconductors. She went on to develop educational programs as the Education Coordinator at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Museum. Before coming to the Lab, she was an American Association for the Advancement of Science, Science Technology Policy Fellow, serving at the National Science Foundation in the Education and Human Resources Directorate.

Get To Know Faith

1. How does your work contribute to the Lab's mission?

I love making connections and creating spaces where people feel welcome to learn and explore. It’s my goal to help communicate the great discoveries that are being made at the Lab to students and to the community.

2. What is your biggest science challenge?

Often, many interpret gates, white coats, and scientific terminology as signs that say “keep out”. My challenge is to help the Lab create better bridges between STEM research fields and the general public so that everyone feels that they are welcome in the scientific community.

3. Who has been the biggest professional influence on you?

My mother and her sisters all majored in STEM and passed on the love of exploration and discovery to me. My mother taught math for over 20 years. It never occurred to me that girls couldn’t and shouldn’t be good at math or science. STEM subjects were always parts of my world from a very early age.