Science en Acción at Berkeley Lab

The 2022 Cohort of students from the Science en Accion Program. Students are sitting on stairs for a picture on UC Berkeley's campus.
April 9, 2022

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).

Students asks career panelists questions during Science en Accion.
Deputy Director Carol Burns address students during Friday's career panel.

Screen shot of Senator Alex Padilla welcoming students to the Science en Accion program.

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.

Berkeley Lab Director Witherell hands a certificate of completion to a student participant during the closing program for Science en Accion.
Students gluing together their prototype for SeA energy design project.
Students take a tour of the advanced light source.
One student is working on a Rube Goldberg machine during the physics workshop at SeA.
Two students work on an icebreaker puzzle during the first in person day of science en accion

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.

A parent records a student presentation on their phone during the closing session of Science En Accion.
Students use a whiteboard to draw their designs before moving to Tinkercad on the computer for the energy design challenge.
A cardboard prototype of the designed building for the energy design challenge.
The four panelist for the career talk are shown. Jose Sierra is answering a question as panelist observe.
A student puts together the laser cut items from the energy design challenge. A computer is shown with the image of the design.
Three students work on the rube Goldberg challenge during the physics workshop.
A student stands in front of the large presentation screen giving an overview of the camp and their group's design.

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

Photos taken by Thor Swift and Jeremy Snyder

High School Interns Attend America Competes Briefing

February 25, 2022

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.