National Nuclear Security Administration

A domino effect of STEM enrichment

June 15, 2018

You are here

Undergraduate students set up a fuel cell car activity at UNM
Undergraduate students set up a fuel cell car activity at UNM

Energy Day at the University of New Mexico (UNM) was a chance for students to help other students learn about science in a fun way – while also laying the groundwork for a successful energy future for our nation.

An undergraduate student shows high schoolers how to program their robotic rover system using an open-source platform called Arduino
An undergraduate student shows high schoolers how to program their robotic rover system using an open-source platform called Arduino

The UNM School of Engineering hosted more than 145 middle school and high school students from across New Mexico for the free workshop. The students participated in hands-on, energy-related engineering activities led by undergraduates from the Consortium for Integrating Energy Systems in Engineering and Science Education (CIESESE).  

Middle schoolers get down to business during a Build Your Village activity
Middle schoolers get down to business during a Build Your Village activity

CIESESE unites like-minded college students, preparing them for careers as scientists or engineers. It is one of six consortiums of participating schools within NNSA’s Minority Serving Institution Partnership Program – the goal of which is to establish a skilled, motivated, and diverse workforce in key scientific fields. CIESESE is a three-year, $5.72 million grant that began in October of 2016.

For Energy Day, students were placed in six different teams, named for various energy-related terms: Engine, Voltage, Generator, Gravity, Heat, and Turbine. Each team rotated through assorted activities: Build Your Village, Lego® Solar Racers, Solar Fountains, a nuclear and liquid nitrogen activity, robotic Arduino rover, and fuel cell cars.

Middle school students learn about solar power out in the sunshine on Energy Day
Middle school students learn about solar power out in the sunshine on Energy Day
High school students learn about the properties of liquid nitrogen at Energy Day
High school students learn about the properties of liquid nitrogen at Energy Day