Argonne hosts science day for Hispanic students

October 9, 2009 Argonne hosted the science and engineering education day for middle school children of Hispanic descent to introduce them to science and technology careers.

"Our mission is to inform Hispanic children that there are opportunities in science as a career," said scientist Michael Kaminski.

The morning for the Mannheim Middle School students was filled with hands-on demonstrations of science experiments. The 40 students learned how energy works, and what it takes to power an entire home or use a simple hair dryer.

"I sometimes blow-dry my hair and it uses a lot of energy. I didn't think it used that much energy," Angelina Herrera said.

The students were taught how to create make-believe fuel pallets used for a nuclear reactor.

"We got to do a lot of hands-on experience," Eddy Valenzula said.

Chemicals and DNA were the subject of another class.

"Science is a good subject to learn about, and it's a good career to have a job, be a teacher and have fun with it," Brenda Orozco said.

That afternoon, the students were divided into smaller groups and presented their projects to all the groups. Many of them said that being there opened up a new world for them.

"I like that they tell us that you can do anything in life," Julius Figueroa said.

"This has maybe inspired them to think about going to school and getting an education and being somebody,"said Mannheim teacher Leyva Trotta.

"We think because of their background and different ways of approaching things that we can benefit from the innovation they have inside of them," Kazinski said.

The students were also treated to the sounds of a young jazz group called Calje.

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