Sandia Labs News Releases

Mentoring café a forum for Sandia researchers to spark girls’ interest in STEM careers

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque middle school and high school girls will receive speed mentoring from influential female leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at Sandia National Laboratories’ first STEM Mentoring Café on Saturday, March 12, at the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History.

Girls in STEM

A local student concentrates on a hands-on engineering project through a previous Sandia National Laboratories’ STEM outreach program. STEM Mentoring Café is Sandia’s newest outreach effort for middle school and high school girls. (Photo by Randy Montoya) Click on the thumbnail for a high-resolution image.

STEM Mentoring Café is a national, interagency effort designed by the departments of Energy and Education, the Association of Science-Technology Centers and the National Girls Collaborative Project.

During the hands-on program, which also recognizes both Women’s History Month and Museum Day Live!, students will take part in demonstrations and discussions led by women scientists and engineers from Sandia Labs. The goal of the workshop is to spark increased confidence for girls who are interested in STEM careers. The speed demonstrations will include a glow table, a fire exhibit and robotics.

Sandia President and Laboratories Director Jill Hruby will speak to the students about her journey — from being a girl with a passion for math and science to becoming the director of a national nuclear security laboratory. She will share some of the lessons she learned along the way.

“Women working in the fields of engineering and science change the world every day. I hope that my experiences will inspire these young women to gain the foundational education they will need to pursue STEM careers, despite any obstacles,” Hruby said.

Reporters are invited to attend STEM Mentoring Café at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 12. To attend, contact Rebecca Brock at (505) 219-7008 by noon Friday, March 11.
What: STEM Mentoring Café hosted by Sandia National Laboratories and the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History
Who: Sandia President and Labs Director Jill Hruby; LaDoris (Dot) Harris, director of the Department of Energy’s Office of Economic Impact and Diversity; Sandia engineers and scientists; and local middle school and high school students
When: 10-11:30 a.m., Saturday, March 12
Where: National Museum of Nuclear Science & History, 601 Eubank Blvd SE, Albuquerque

LaDoris (Dot) Harris, director of the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity at the Department of Energy, also will speak about exciting opportunities in STEM fields.

STEM Mentoring Café was created in 2014 to address the critical shortage of women in STEM careers. Only a quarter of the STEM workforce is female even though women comprise more than half of all U.S. workers.

speed mentoring

A scientist from Sandia National Laboratories works with students at a prior community outreach event. STEM Mentoring Café will offer speed mentoring sessions to engage girls in STEM careers. (Photo by Randy Montoya) Click on the thumbnail for a high-resolution image.

Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corp., 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: Rebecca Brock,, (505) 219-7008