LANL Grants for Students – KRTN Enchanted Air Radio

Jesse Gallegos

Public Relations Coordinator

Luna Community College

February 11, 2022

By Dave Kavanaugh

Luna Community College

Luna Community College and area students are set to benefit from two recent Los Alamos National Laboratory scholarships.

A space grant and technology upgrade are underway, said Francisco Apodaca, director of Luna’s STEM and humanities department. “These funds will go a long way in providing our students and the community at large with the opportunity to learn and explore what science and art have in common and what they have to offer society. “

Luna was successful in securing grants from LANL and the Triad Partnership, which operates the national lab. Luna Community College is grateful to LANL/Triad for funding both initiatives within its Department of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

Both grants were written by Apodaca. Over the past eight years, LANL and its partners have awarded more than $150,000 in small grants that have been used for computers, math bridge programs, and other initiatives that have had a significant impact on LCC and the Luna community at large.

The most recent grant will fund LCC’s planned Community Creation Space, a project that will expand hands-on learning and create opportunities for community members. The grant amount of $7,200 will help pay for a ceramic kiln, three-dimensional printer, potter’s wheel, CNC milling machine, and various materials including plastic, carbon fiber, steel, and aluminum. other metals.

The planned community creative space would be under the auspices of the STEM and Humanities departments.

A creative space is a place where community residents of different ages have the opportunity to explore their own interests, learn to use tools and materials – both physical and virtual – and develop creative projects. . Luna’s makerspace would feature 3D printers, CNC steel milling machines, kilns, and potter’s wheels, among other useful tools. “The maker space is not only for STEM studies, it allows students and community members to use and understand the connection between the arts and sciences. Sometimes we forget the fact that the arts and the sciences are intertwined, we just don’t think about the links,” Apodaca said.

A previous LANL grant awarded Luna $20,000 to add software and equipment to the STEM and Career & Technical Education department.

Specifically, the acquisitions include computer-aided design and modeling software for 2D and 3D applications, large format printers and plotters for reproducing technical drawings to scale, drafting tables, drafting chairs , drawing board covers, printer supplies.

The software and equipment allow Luna to add technical drawing to its pre-engineering curriculum, bolstering STEM and CTE programs and increasing student employability, potentially benefiting LANL and its workforce work.

Technical drawing is a fundamental course that is at the heart of engineering,” said Apodaca. “The LCC had offered it in the past, but the loss of a qualified instructor and the old equipment meant the loss of the important class for the students. This grant is very important, as it will provide the opportunity to train an instructor in the latest CAD technologies and systems and strengthen our pre-engineering degree offerings.

For more information on Luna’s programs, please visit


Students watch the progress of a 3D printer as it completes a chess piece. Below: One of the Luna 3D printers completes a snowflake ornament.

Luna Community College’s Director of STEM and Humanities Francisco Apodaca discusses the potential uses of 3D printing technology with a group of visiting high school students.

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