Office of Legacy Management

Diné College—2017 Fall STEM Festival

November 3, 2017

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Students prepare to launch rockets they created during the festival.
Students prepare to launch rockets they created during the festival.

In an ongoing effort to engage Navajo students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Legacy Management (LM) participated in the 2017 Fall STEM Festival, hosted by the Center for Diné Teacher Education. The event was held October 23 and 24 at Diné College in Tsaile, Arizona. This effort aligns with LM’s mission to partner with people and governments of tribal nations.

The two-day event was attended by 300 students from seven schools across the Navajo Nation. Numerous teachers, guidance counselors, public figures, and college volunteers contributed to the event.

In addition to teambuilding and hands-on activities in applied science fields, students participated in physics-related projects such as archery, rocketry, catapult, kite-making, egg drop, robotics, and more. LM, along with its contractor, Navarro Research and Engineering Inc., used visual models to demonstrate basic groundwater concepts such as the water cycle, aquifers, recharge, flow, water wells and contaminant plumes. LM also engaged students while explaining the fundamentals of nuclear science and the basic concepts of radiation by using hand-held detectors to demonstrate the radioactivity of everyday household objects.

STEM activities were hosted in the Diné College gymnasium.
STEM activities were hosted in the Diné College gymnasium.
Launching rockets was a fair highlight for many students.
Launching rockets was a fair highlight for many students.
Students survey everyday objects to determine if they are radioactive.
Students survey everyday objects to determine if they are radioactive.
Students survey everyday objects to determine if they are radioactive.
A 3-D model is used to demonstrate groundwater concepts to students.
Students learn groundwater concepts with a 3-D model.
A 3-D model is used to demonstrate groundwater concepts to festival participants.
Teaching students about groundwater flow using the 3-D model.
Students learn about groundwater flow through use of a 3-D model.
Curious minds attending the event.
Young minds curious to learn about STEM.