• Elementary


    Hands-on physics with young scientists.

  • Mid and High School


    Involving students in real astrophysics research problems.

  • Wider Community


    Engaging the community in the wonders of astrophysics.

  • Summer Schools


    Computational science summer schools.


We are a team of astrophysicists and computational scientists dedicated to making science fun and accessible to everyone.


Scientists within the Los Alamos Center for Theoretical Astrophysics and CCS-2 participate in a variety of public outreach activities, with the goal of bringing science to a wide range of individuals and communities.

Our outreach efforts are centered on the core belief that science progresses optimally when people from a wide range of backgrounds participate and a variety of perspectives are included.

In addtion to participating in one-time public events such as Hour of Code, Expanding Your Horizons, UNM's BEST Academy, local star parties, and more, we have a number of ongoing programs. Click on the links under "Projects" below to learn more.


CTA scientists are engaged in a wide variety of projects. Here is a selection of a few things we are currently pursuing (click on each tab for more information).

  • "Physics is Fun" for Young Scientists

  • We make a series of visits to elementary school classrooms (of all grades!) to do hands-on physics experiments with the students. Topics covered include electric and magnetic forces, gravity and black holes, the electromagnetic spectrum, sound, the solar system and exoplanets, and much more! This program began in 2013 through an LAPS foundation grant, titled "Making Physics Fun."

  • Community Education - Modern Astrophysics for Everyone

  • We offer a class through UNM-LA's Community Education program introducing students to modern topics in astrophysics, with an emphasis on current unsolved problems in the field. Students are invited to participate in exploring real, unsolved research problem mentored by a team of astrophysicists from the lab. This class is open to anyone and everyone, regardless of science and math background - all you need is an interest in space!

  • "Explore Your Universe" and ATLAS for Middle Schoolers and High Schoolers

  • We have developed the curriculum and help run a class for middle school students in which students are introduced to the latest research topics in modern astrophysics through a series of short lectures and hands-on experiments. Topics include stellar deaths, black holes, dark matter, dark energy, cosmology, and more. In some classes, students work in teams to explore their own interests in astrophysics and, at the conclusion of the program, give a presentation (in a format of their choosing) to the class. We have incorporated a mentoring program into this, “Always Think Like a Scientist” (ATLAS), in which high school students work with middle-schoolers on an astronomy or physics-related problem.

  • STEM days

  • We host various school groups from surrounding communities for a day of hands-on STEM fun in Los Alamos, in conjunction with the Bradbury, LANL, UNM-LA and the PEEC. Some of our regular visitors include students from Santa Clara Pueblo, and the BEST Academy from UNM, Albuquerque.

  • Paseo Project - Indigenous Cosmologiess

  • With Agnes Chavez, STEAM artist in Taos, NM, we collaborate on a number of projects related to communicating science through different media and cultural contexts. Recently, we collaborated with the Taos Youth ballet on their performance of “Emergence and Chaos Theory” at the Paseo Festival, 2018.

  • PEEC Planetarium Shows

  • Members of the CTA Outreach team regularly participate in giving planetarium shows at the Pajarito Environmental Education Center, covering topics from the sun, stellar evolution, black holes, exploding stars, and the multiverse!

  • Scientist Ambassadors Academy'

  • This program, run through the Bradbury Science museum, trains scientists to communicate their research and other scientific topics to the general public. Scientist Ambassadors participate in a number of public events throughout the year, giving short interactive hands-on demonstrations related to their field of reasearch.

  • Resources for an Inclusive Work Environment

  • We are committed to finding ways to provide a harrassment-free and maximally inclusive work environment. The LIGO-Virgo collaboration has developed a list of recommendations and best practices in this vein, and provides resources for dealing with real-world scenarios of harrasment and bullying. Check out the link above to learn more (thank you to the LIGO-Virgo Collaboration and Jess McIver!).


In addition to developing our own programs, CTA scientists participate in and have been supported by a number of established programs.


Our team consists of a wide variety of scientists from different groups at Los Alamos National Lab, but we all share a common interest - to show everyone how fun and accessible science can be!


For more information on any of our activities or to inquire about opportunities to work with our team, please use the contact information below.

  • Nicole Lloyd-Ronning
  •  lloyd-ronning@@lanl.gov
  •  CTA_recruitment@lanl.gov
  •  +1 (505) 665-5421
  • PO Box 1663
  • MS B265
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • Los Alamos, NM 87545