Science en Acción at Berkeley Lab
This April, local students were welcomed to the Berkeley Lab site for Science en Acción (SeA) at Berkeley Lab. The three day Spanish/English STEM camp was developed for Native Spanish speakers and included career talks, tours, STEM workshops and an energy design challenge. Eighteen students from the Bay Area took part in the program with many visiting Berkeley Lab for the first time. The program was organized and hosted in collaboration with the Latin American and Native American employee resource group (LANA).
The program began virtually on Thursday night with opening remarks from Senator Alex Padilla and Alameda County Office of Education Superintendent L. Karen Monroe. Both speakers encouraged students in their pursuit of STEM careers and shared personal experiences. Ilce Perez, a former Berkeley Lab K-12 student intern and current first year at the University of San Francisco shared how her experiences at Berkeley Lab were influential during her last two years of high school.
The program continued in person on Friday with a shuttle ride from downtown Berkeley to the Lab. Students were quickly introduced through ice breakers before heading to their first tour at the FlexLab. Armando Cassillas gave an overview of work in Energy Technologies, answered questions, and shared his own career trajectory and interest in STEM.
Students stayed busy in the afternoon with a lively career panel featuring Catalina Vega Hurtado, Carlos Serrano, Javier Ceja Navarro and Jose Sierra. The panel was moderated by SeA Coordinator, Elina Dluger Rios. Deputy Director Carol Burns also stopped by to welcome students and answer a few questions. The day concluded with the beginning of an energy design challenge facilitated by K-12 Content Instruction Coordinator, Alisa Bettale. The challenge was supported by many researchers and staff from across the laboratory.
Our third and final day took place on UC Berkeley's campus. SeA participants were able to engage with college students who were also part of the Hispanic Engineers & Scientist (HES) UC Berkeley SHPE Chapter. After morning greetings and breakfast, Roberto Barrueto-Cabello from UCB's physics department introduced the group to physics demos covering optics, mechanics, fluids, and electricity and electromagnetism. Students were then challenged to use fundamentals of mechanics to build a Rube Goldberg machine.
SeA concluded with student presentations covering the highlights of the camp and prototypes student groups designed based on Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) criteria. Additional volunteers online and in-person helped students complete their building and prepare for presentations. Supportive teachers and families arrived towards the end of the day to listen to students presentations. Director Mike Witherell presented students with a certificate of completion to conclude the program.
Thanks to our amazing volunteers for making this such a successful experience!
Patricia Valdespino Castillo Joselyn Delgado Blanca Bocobo Javier Ceja Navarro Jose Sierra
Azriel Goldschmidt Scott Young Bashir Mohammed Aparajitha Srinivasan Hannah Ross
Catalina Vega Hurtado Dula Parkinson Sydney Forrester Alex Delgado Ana Comesana
Aleja Jurado Londoño Carols Serrano Miguel Cervantes Angel Jurado Lino Sanchez
Sandra Atehortua Bueno Joanna Martinez Weishuang Xu Kenneth Higa
High School Interns Attend America Competes Briefing
On February 25, 2022, Berkeley Lab hosted Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Barbara Lee, Rep. Doris Matsui, UC President Michael Drake, and Intel CEO Patrick Gelsinger for a tour of the Advanced Light Source, highlighting how the ALS and science collaboration propels research in the fields of clean energy, microelectronics, quantum materials, and more. At the conclusion of the ALS tour, Speaker Pelosi met with current and former students participating in Berkeley Lab's K-12 STEM programs. The students were inlcuded in a short discussion highlighting the workforce development activities that support K through career advancement at Berkeley Lab. During the press briefing Postdoctorol researcher, Jonelle Basso shared her experiences working with K-12 outreach and the importance of the America Competes Act in the support of a more diverse workforce. Students were also acknowledged by many of the speakers throughout the event.