U.S. Department of Energy Office of Legacy Management staff attended the 2023 American Indian Science and Engineering Society National Conference, Oct. 18-21 in Spokane, Washington.
The AISES National Conference is the leading conference for Indigenous students and STEM professionals from throughout the United States and Canada. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics are highlights of the conference, which includes a variety of exhibitors with representatives from tribal nations, tribal enterprises, Indigenous-owned businesses, government agencies, nonprofits, and educational institutions.
The three-day event, with special activities before and after the main conference, had more than 3,500 attendees this year, at least 180 exhibits, and more than 100 sessions.
Legacy Management Site Managers Ken Kreie, Joni Tallbull, Mary Young, LM Public Affairs Specialist Gwen Smalls and LM Strategic Partners participated in this year’s conference, which included a STEM Activity Day and college and career fair.
The interactive STEM event included hands-on activities with a scientific and/or mathematical focus that challenged students. The STEM Activity Day, sponsored by the Boeing Company, featured a marketplace for students to learn more about AISES opportunities and gain professional skills such as résumé building and college application tips — around 200 middle and high school students attended the event.
“AISES is a great opportunity for LM to help Indigenous students across the United States,” Kreie said. “It’s exciting to be able to see students interact with each other at our booth and be able to enjoy learning and growing in their STEM education.”
During this year’s STEM Activity Day, LM hosted an “Acids and Bases” booth to teach students how to use a pH scale to determine if everyday liquids are acids or bases. Throughout the day, about 100 students and educators participated in the interactive learning experience and fun STEM photo booth.
“We had a lot of activity at the booth this year and it was amazing to see students and educators alike so interested in the STEM with LM program,” Kreie added. “We hope we can continue to attend in the future and continue to help students navigate their future careers.”
The conference closed with an awards banquet to recognize sponsors and included live entertainment and the traditional AISES Powwow. The 2024 AISES National Conference will take place in San Antonio, Texas.