Quantum Workforce Development

November 2, 2023 

The Office of Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists (WDTS) awarded Berkeley and Sandia National Labs $573,000 to expand its summer program: Quantum Computing, Mathematics, and Physics summer camp (QCaMP). This will enable the Quantum Systems Accelerator workforce initiative funding to further develop the learning experience for high school students.

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K-12 Programs Receive DOE Grants

November 1, 2023 

The Department of Energy has awarded Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory with two Pathway Summer Schools awards: Interdisciplinary Pathways to Machine Learning and Data Science & QCaMP: Building New Pathways for a Quantum Ready Workforce. This is a pivotal moment in the advancement of raising up the next generation of STEM professionals, as the funding will allow Berkeley Lab's K-12 division to expose more high school students to science and career options. 

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Summer at Berkeley Lab

Experiences in Research

July 28, 2023

Berkeley Lab’s Experiences in Research (EinR) Program welcomed 53 students to work directly with STEM experts on cutting-edge projects. Students spent 6 weeks working on internship projects which, depending on the scope of work, were held hybrid and virtually. Internship projects ranged from data science, experimental research, and data collection to administration and communication. The interns concluded with presentations of their projects on Friday, July 28, 2023. 

Thanks to mentors at Berkeley Lab for working alongside the student interns, and sharing their expertise in STEM and STEM-adjacent fields! 

On August 14, 2023, researcher Yang Ha and 2022 Experiences in Research interns, Rachel and Helena, presented their research poster, "Evaluating the chain and ring effect of glymes and crown ethers as solvents for metal ions," at the fall 2023 American Chemical Society Conference.

Director's Apprenticeship Program

July 28, 2023 

This past June, 24 local high school students were welcomed to the fourth annual Berkeley Lab Director’s Apprenticeship Program (BLDAP). The 6-week program introduced students to a variety of Python and data science-integrated STEM projects, career talks, research facility tours, and an energy design challenge.

Throughout the 6 weeks, the apprentices were tasked with exploring how the addition of nitrogen (N) nutrients affects the growth of a grass plant (Brachypodium distachyon). Students maintained their Fabricated Ecosystems (EcoFABs) weekly by replacing the media with fresh corresponding media. They took measurements of the plant roots and leaves and recorded scientific observations of the impacts of the media on the development of their grass plants.

At the conclusion of the program, students showcased their hard work to staff and family with a poster presentation. Some students featured their night light project CAD models and Arduino circuits, energy design challenge houses, and a cell phone design challenge–where students used data science to explore various potential materials that would produce an efficient cell phone. 

Berkeley and Sandia Host QCaMP 

July 28, 2023

This June, Berkley and Sandia National Labs welcomed high school students and teachers from California and New Mexico for QCaMP. The week-long camp introduced students to a variety of approaches to solving computing problems, hands-on experience with quantum circuits, and access to resources and workforce opportunities. CA students were invited to present a poster on their program experience in July. 

Thanks to the numerous partners and sponsors in academia, national labs, and industry for supporting the success of educational pathways in quantum information science and technology. The program is a workforce development project with the Quantum Systems Accelerator led by Berkeley Lab. 

On July 28, 2023, QSA’s QCaMP alumni, Zena (speaker), completed a Berkeley Lab internship and group project in quantum information science. Zena's group project, "Simulating Small Molecules with Quantum Simulators," was featured as part of the 2023 Berkeley Lab High School Summer Graduation and Symposium for the Experiences in Research Summer Program. 

Berkeley Lab Hosts SAGE Summer Camp

June 17, 2023

Science Accelerating Girls Engagement in STEM (SAGE) summer camp is hosted by SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in collaboration with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. High school students from all across the bay participate in a week-long program designed to cultivate innovation and grow the STEM community by engaging intelligent, creative, and passionate young women in the life of scientists and engineers. This year was the program’s first time as a residential camp supporting over 30 young women with on-site professional development, job shadowing, career talks, and STEM projects.

Students began each morning with a themed professional growth workshop aimed to provide tools fostering self-awareness, pushing the learning boundary, and time to reflect on their capabilities as leaders. Each day, students had the opportunity to tour Berkeley Lab’s facilities inlcuding: the Advanced Light Source (ALS), FLEXLAB, Molecular Foundry, and National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), allowing them to gain insight into the range of research happening at the Lab. Following each tour, SAGE students joined job shadow hosts at their workstations (right). Afternoon session began with career talks, where women at the Lab shared their experiences navigating their profession, and personal insights on career growth in STEM. Students spent every afternoon working on projects, ranging from the exploration of biological samples using foldscopes and microscopes (left) to the construction of circuits using a solar panel to light up LEDs, and coded traffic light circuits (middle).

SAGE camp concluded with volunteers and families viewing presentations of the variety of projects, highlights, and takeaways. Many students highlighted the importance of diversifying ideas and approaches in STEM when researchers and scientists work as a team. 

Thanks to our wonderful volunteers for sharing their valuable experience, and making this a successful program!

Special thanks to staff photographers: Thor Swift, Paul Mueller, and Shannon Kelli and Lab volunteer, Jeremy Snyder, for the SAGE foldscope image. 

Berkeley Lab Hosts the Second Year of Science en Acción (SeA) 

April 8, 2023 

This April, the Berkeley Lab K-12 team hosted its second Science en Acción program for Bay Area high school students. The Spanish-English STEM camp is a four day exploration of careers, research, and hands-on learning at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley. Students were selected from an application process in early 2023 and spent three days on site during their April spring break. Students took part in coding and physics workshops, career panels, and tours of Berkeley Lab user facilities. 

UC Regent Jose Hernandez hands shakes hands with a SeA participant during the closing ceremony. In a separate hand, they are giving the student their certificate of completion.

Closing Ceremony with Dr. Jose Hernandez

Students listen attentively to a UC Berkeley researcher in a chemistry lab. The student stands in front of a wet lab bench while explaining their research.

A tour of a UC Berkeley Chemistry laboratory

A student looks in awe at a physics experiment during the SeA physics workshop. They are interacting with a Van de Graaff Generator that is set on a table.

Physics workshop at UC Berkeley 

A student in a SeA shirt shows off their nightlight which says SeA on the front. Students worked over two days to construct circuits and build code that responded to light detection.

Engineering and coding project at Berkeley Lab 

(sensor responsive night light) 

The program was co-hosted with the Latin American and Native American (LANA) Employee Resource group. Many staff members from across the Lab supported application reading, logistics, translating materials, leading tours and preparing content and materials for the program's engineering project. 

The program concluded with a poster presentation by students and closing keynote speakers. Director Mike Witherell welcomed students and their families to the closing ceremony and encouraged students to continue their journey in STEM through additional Lab programs. UC Regent Jose Hernandez shared his experiences growing up in Stockton, California, becoming a scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Lab, and his road to becoming a NASA Astronaut. Both parents and students took part in a Q&A session following the keynote address. 

In media, Program Coordinator, Elina Rios, and a SeA participant were interviewed for local channel Telemundo 48. The story aired on Friday, April 7, 2023. Thanks to Marilyn Sargent for capturing the essence of the program in the video above! 

Berkeley Lab Kicks Off Partnership with McClymonds High School 

March 3, 2023 

Each year the Berkeley Lab  Government and Community Relations Office selects a community partner to give its annual "Community Partnership" donation. The effort supports the work of community organizations that share Berkeley Lab’s values including education and youth development. The 2022 donation went to the Oakland Public Education Fund which will allow Berkeley Lab to be a lead supporter of McClymonds High School for the FY23 school year. 

To kick-off the year-long partnership, a wide-range of Berkeley Lab staff visited McClymonds earlier this month to take part in a STEM career day. Berkeley Lab employees including scientists, engineers, administrators, and information technologists took part in a career panel discussion with McClymonds students. >>MORE