LANL: Seven Los Alamos Students Complete Fourth Annual, Virtual Summer Physics Camp For Young Women

Seven Los Alamos students complete virtual Summer Physics Camp for Young Women Rachel Butler, Kaisa Drew, Jalyn Gould, Madison Morris, Nina Johnson, Sofia Parra, and Rebeca Rocha excel at two-week intensive By attending on-line presentations and doing hands-on experiments at home, 25 students completed the first virtual Summer Physics Camp for Young Women. Courtesy/LANL

LANL News:

Seven Los Alamos students just completed the fourth-annual, two-week intensive, Los Alamos National Laboratory Summer Physics Camp for Young Women, June 8-19.

Rachel Butler, Kaisa Drew, Jalyn Gould, Nina Johnson, and Rebeca Rocha are students at Los Alamos High School. Sofia Parra is a student at Los Alamos Middle School. Madison Morris is homeschooled and attends classes at University of New Mexico.

“It is my honor to congratulate the dedicated young women who blazed the way for a virtual session of this two-week physics camp,” LANL Director Thom Mason said. “I also want to thank the employees of Los Alamos National Laboratory who gave their time and expertise to help inspire the next generation of STEM experts.”

Held virtually for the first time, participants watched live video lectures on topics such as crystal structures, electricity and magnetism, optics, machine learning, chaos theory, biophysics, the Mars rover, and spectroscopy. Students also received materials for conducting associated hands-on experiments and coding activities at home.

Participation in the camp is free, and students receive a certificate and stipend. The camp also covers resumes and interviews, college opportunities in New Mexico, the importance of professional societies, and internships and careers at the Laboratory.

The camp is the vision of Anna Llobet, a physicist in the neutron science and technology group at the Laboratory, who won the 2018 LANL Distinguished Performance Award for organizing the camp. The event involves volunteer presentations from roughly 80 Laboratory scientists, engineers, and other professionals, 77 percent of whom are female.

Guest presenters included Emily Calandrelli, TV host of Xploration Outerspace; Heather Bottom, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory systems engineer; Thomas Proffen and Catherine Schuman, data analytics experts from Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Dr. Pascale Creek Pinner, Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow and 2008 Hawaii Teacher of the Year; and Hawi Stecher, STARBASE Hawaii instructor.

The 2020 group represents the New Mexico communities of Acalde, Chimayó, Española, Los Alamos, Santa Cruz, Santa Fe, and White Rock. For the first time this year, four students attended from Hilo, Hawaii through a partnership with the Thirty Meter Telescope International Observatory in Maunakea, HI and the Hawaii Science and Technology Museum in Hilo, HI.

The camp is supported by the Laboratory, the New Mexico Consortium, the LANL Foundation, Athena Scholars, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and Los Alamos and Pojoaque Valley schools. Sixty percent of camp participants are minorities, who have been historically underrepresented in STEM fields.

About Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory, a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security, is managed by Triad, a public service oriented, national security science organization equally owned by its three founding members: Battelle Memorial Institute (Battelle), the Texas A&M University System (TAMUS), and the Regents of the University of California (UC) for the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. Los Alamos enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health, and global security concerns.

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