National Nuclear Security Administration

Could they be the future workforce of NNSA?

May 23, 2019

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NNSA Administrator Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty answering question from a group of children at DOE’s annual Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day.
NNSA Administrator Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty answering question from a group of children at DOE’s annual Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day.
Children create lava lamps with oil, water, food coloring and sodium bicarbonate
Children create lava lamps with oil, water, food coloring and sodium bicarbonate

Last month, children of all ages descended on NNSA and the Department of Energy (DOE) for the annual Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day. As part in a fun-filled day, they took part in educational activities as they discovered what their parents do.

The morning started with a presentation by NNSA Administrator Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty, who described NNSA’s important and crucial missions.

Children watch as a fuel cell turns hydrogen into energy.
Children watch as a fuel cell turns hydrogen into energy.

“We work hard to keep you, your families, and the rest of the world safe, building a bright future for the next generation – your generation,” she said.

The Administrator described how DOE has the world’s fastest computers with Sierra and Summit, the world’s biggest laser at the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and how NNSA is helping NASA develop the Kilopower technology that could enable astronauts to stay for longer missions on the Moon or Mars.

The Administrator even took some hard-hitting questions such as: “How did the President give you your job?”

Children ranging from grade schoolers to high schoolers, had the opportunity to participate in age-appropriate sessions on STEM-related topics.

Children watch as water is produced by a hydrogen fuel cell car.
Children watch as water is produced by a hydrogen fuel cell car.

The younger kids got to see a demonstration of how hydrogen fuel cells work.

Older kids attended a speed-mentoring program where they were able to hear from experts in multiple fields. For 16-year-old Lourdes, this was her favorite part of the day, “I got to meet and hear from three completely different professionals in the cybersecurity, criminology, and employment law fields.”

Children also were able to participate in activities ranging from a scavenger hunt to a workshop on building their own lava lamps.

At the end of the day the children had a better understanding of NNSA’s work and 12-year-old Veronica explained she “learned how important my mom’s job at the NNSA is to keeping us safe.”