10 highlights from 2023

Oppenheimer! STEM galore! Party time!

January 2, 2024

Students at Public Forum Wall
Students at the Bradbury's public forum wall. Los Alamos National Laboratory

From big crowds to new installations, 2023 was a phenomenal year at the Bradbury Science Museum. Here’s a look at 10 highlights from last year.

1.       Oppenheimer drew crowds. The release of the blockbuster movie generated heightened interest in the Manhattan Project and the Laboratory’s first director, prompting 60,000 people to visit the Bradbury Science Museum in 2023. “J. Robert Oppenheimer: The Exhibit” was a big hit among guests who wanted to get a glimpse of Oppie’s personal relics. Our visitors included his grandson, who stopped by the museum this summer.

2.       Students enjoyed hands-on science. Through the Science on Wheels program and school field trips, in 2023 the Bradbury’s education team served about 3,000 throughout Northern New Mexico.

3.       Visitors had their say. The museum opened its new public forum wall, an installation that encourages visitors to share their thoughts, answer prompts and exchange opinions with other guests. 

4.       The Periodic Table gained a following. The museum’s regular program, the Periodic Table, welcomed a dedicated and growing audience to projectY cowork each month. The convivial group shared smart discussions with guest Labbies on everything from supercomputing to plant science

5.       Adults enjoyed ScienceFest as much as the kids did. Last year’s ScienceFest featured an adult-focused “Play Crawl,” giving grown-ups a chance to try hands-on STEM activities — and have a blast while doing it. The crowd enjoyed the Manhattan Project-themed codebreaking activity with our education team.

6.       Challenge Tomorrow took STEM on the road. The Bradbury’s traveling STEM program, Challenge Tomorrow, held 10 events in our region, providing hands-on learning for more than 3,100 students and teachers.

7.       NASA nerd got us excited about the eclipse. Our friends at the Bradbury Science Museum Association welcomed NASA’s Chuck Tatro for a special Night with a Nerd program about the ring of fire annular eclipse. The audience got the lowdown on the science of the eclipse and took home nifty NASA-branded safety glasses.

8.       High-Tech Halloween brought chills and thrills. Over 2,000 revelers of all ages stopped by the museum’s High-Tech Halloween as part of the Los Almos Trick-or-Treat on MainStreet celebration. With real bones, spooky sounds, glowing germs, black lights and black cats, HTH was a spirited delight. 

9.       New timeline of Lab’s history installed. The Bradbury and the Lab’s National Security Research Center partnered on a new timeline installation. It lets visitors look through the Lab’s past decades and learn about major world events that occurred as Labbies and leaders achieved major scientific milestones.

10.   Bradbury celebrated its 60th anniversary. The Bradbury celebrated 60 years as Los Alamos National Laboratory’s public museum. We marked the occasion with special tours, a lecture about our namesake and the Lab’s longest-serving director, Norris E. Bradbury, and sharing cake with our well-wishers and visitors. We look forward to our next 60 years of sharing science with you!