Sandia Labs News Releases

Sandia employees reach out to Hispanic students with Manos

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Sandia National Laboratories is hosting its annual Manos program, which targets Hispanic middle school students and is designed to encourage interest in math, science and engineering.


Sandia National Laboratories' Manos program teaches Hispanic children about science, math and engineering. (Photo by Randy Montoya) Click on the thumbnail for a high-resolution image.

The program was launched 23 years ago by Sandia’s Hispanic Leadership Outreach Committee, today led by Sandia employees Pat Sena and Miquelita Carrion, and the Community Involvement department in partnership with Albuquerque Public Schools.

The monthlong program meets at Rio Grande High School twice a week for two hours after the school day ends. Students select one of seven workshops focused on physics, chemistry, electronics, computer design, robotics, finances and an introduction to engineering.

Activities include building and flying rockets, learning what causes fireworks to have different colors and what makes bread rise, circuitry and controlling the flow of electricity, building web pages, building and programming Lego robots, making money “grow” and building cars and bridges. All of the teachers are volunteers from Sandia Labs.

Media are invited to see the Manos program in action at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16. Contact Stephanie Hobby in advance at 505-280-3905.

“We really want to increase the pool of Hispanic students who pursue science, technology, engineering and math university degrees by showing students the possibilities and highlighting the accomplishments made by Hispanic professionals,” said Javier Ruiz, a Sandia volunteer who helps coordinate the Manos program. “One of our goals is to increase and promote academic excellence for students at the precollege level. We provide hands-on learning experiences to help inspire these young minds, and to see them succeed is very rewarding.”

This year, more than 140 students are enrolled in Manos. The four participating middle schools are Ernie Pyle, Polk, Harrison, Truman, John Adams and Jimmy Carter.

Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin company, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies and economic competitiveness.

Sandia news media contact: Stephanie Hobby,, (505) 280-3905