Office of Legacy Management

Math and Science Night in Grand Junction, Colorado

April 3, 2019

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On March 7, a Math and Science Night for students and their families at Thunder Mountain Elementary School in Grand Junction, Colorado, drew more than 250 people to 15 interactive booths. LM Support (LMS) contractors presented three booths at the event with hands-on activities that allowed interaction between students and scientists.

“This was a wonderful opportunity for LM’s local ecologists to participate in STEM activities and introduce students to real-life applications of physical sciences,” said Joyce Chavez, LM Reuse Asset Manager and Sustainability Advocate for the Ecosystem Management Team.

Three LMS representatives presented environmental concepts to students. Environmental scientist Marilyn Kastens told students about “The Dirt on Dirt!” at her booth, which was filled with soil samples, rocks, and tools of her trade. Kastens encouraged kids to touch everything and really get their hands dirty. She helped students test rock and soil samples and answered questions from students and their parents.

Botanist David Holbrook had a booth overflowing with plant specimens and vegetation samples. Students learned to hold and read a hand scale while Holbrook explained the methods of measuring the amount of vegetation in a large area of land. Students learned that measuring annual production of plants is an important part of determining the amount of livestock that can sustainably graze in a given area.

Richie Ann Ashcraft and intern Ashton Peterhans, members of the LMS Public Affairs team, led a new STEM activity at the event.

Their booth “Energize the Yo-Yo, Yo!” explained the different types of energy used to make a yo-yo go. A display showed the math that converts yo-yo energy from joules to watts. Students learned how many hours it would take for that energy to power common modern devices (example: It would take 25 hours of yo-yoing to power an LED light bulb for one hour).

LMS gave more than 200 yo-yos to the children at the event, many who said they had never played with a yo-yo before.

“I’m sure that getting a yo-yo was a big part of what brought people to this event,” said Principal Diane Carver. “We want to thank your organization for coming and sharing this kind of STEM information in really fun ways.”

Environmental scientist Marilyn Kastens shares “Here’s the Dirt on Dirt!” poster with a student.
Environmental scientist Marilyn Kastens shares “Here’s the Dirt on Dirt!” poster with a student.
Botanist David Holbrook showed students the tools used to measure large spaces like pastures.
Botanist David Holbrook showed students the tools used to measure large spaces like pastures.