In an ongoing effort to engage Navajo students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Legacy Management (LM) participated in the 2017 Fall STEM Festival, hosted by the Center for Diné Teacher Education. The event was held October 23 and 24 at Diné College in Tsaile, Arizona. This effort aligns with LM’s mission to partner with people and governments of tribal nations.
The two-day event was attended by 300 students from seven schools across the Navajo Nation. Numerous teachers, guidance counselors, public figures, and college volunteers contributed to the event.
In addition to teambuilding and hands-on activities in applied science fields, students participated in physics-related projects such as archery, rocketry, catapult, kite-making, egg drop, robotics, and more. LM, along with its contractor, Navarro Research and Engineering Inc., used visual models to demonstrate basic groundwater concepts such as the water cycle, aquifers, recharge, flow, water wells and contaminant plumes. LM also engaged students while explaining the fundamentals of nuclear science and the basic concepts of radiation by using hand-held detectors to demonstrate the radioactivity of everyday household objects.