Science Cinema Draws Locals to the Bradbury

Charles Arnold and his sons, Judah, 4 and Samuel, 2, take part in Saturday’s Science Cinema at the Bradbury Science Museum. Photo by Kirsten Laskey/
Los Alamos Daily Post

The Bradbury Science Museum sees a lot of traffic throughout the year – about 80,000 people – a large chunk of whom are tourists. In an effort to attract more Los Alamos residents through its doors, the Bradbury recently began a series called Science Cinema.

The series is 10:30 a.m. every Saturday in the museum’s auditorium. A short film addressing a topic in science is featured. In the past, films have discussed brains, amphibians and architecture. Future films will cover the Valles Caldera and local aquifer systems. Although films are geared toward different ages, anyone can understand and enjoy them.

The video library has 80 movies, enough to show for the entire year without duplicating screenings.

Jessica Privette, the museum’s marketing and special projects coordinator, said she came up with the idea when she noticed the video library at the Bradbury.

“I just wanted to create a series that was beneficial to the community,” she said.

Privette read a study by educators Falk and Dierking that stated the average American spends only five percent of their life in the classroom. Furthermore, the study showed that free-choice learning is the greatest contributor to adult science learning. Science Cinema is a form of such free-choice learning. The film series keeps participants’ minds active and exposes them to knowledge they might not have known, Privette said.

The films may also spark a new interest in a particular topic and encourage the audience to learn more about it, she said.

Science Cinema does more than just exercise the mind. It also encourages people to explore the offerings of the downtown area and stop by the museum to see what’s new.

The films are kept intentionally short ─ just 30 minutes ─ so people will have enough time to explore the rest of the museum or check out a downtown store or restaurant, Privette said

To find out more about Science Cinema, visit