Taking place Oct. 20 at UNM-Taos, the first-ever LANL Day aimed to fill that information gap, providing students an insight into the Laboratory’s work and the wide range of jobs it offers.
Employees from across the Lab shared their career journeys with 85 students from Taos High School and Taos Charter School, who also learned about internship opportunities (including those that start in high school) and explored the hands-on STEM experiences of the Lab’s Challenge Tomorrow education trailers.
Taking part on the science side were bioscience and biomedical researchers, and Taos native David Chavez, who works in the Laboratory’s high explosives science and technology group. They were joined by colleagues from the Laboratory’s security force, skilled trades and from the finance, radiation protection, and communications and external affairs divisions.
“The most common reaction we got from the students was that they didn’t know that a particular career was an option at the Laboratory,” said Rebecca Estrada who helped organize the event. “For example, the communications folks were very busy, explaining that writing and graphic design were skills very much in demand at LANL. Other students were interested to learn that you could be a union electrician or pipefitter and have a career at LANL.”
The high schoolers also got to meet members of the Laboratory’s Hispanic employee resource group who discussed their experiences of working at LANL.
Back for more in 2024
“I believe that our community has been impacted in powerful ways from your collective time here,” says Mary Gutierrez, chancellor of UNM-Taos. The university also outlined its offerings to the students, including dual-credit courses and career services.
While the event was a pilot project, the intention is to hold two similar LANL Days in 2024.