October 12, 2004
New Mexico Public Education Department
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Jennifer Chavez
Public Information Officer
(505) 476-0393
jchavez@ped.state.nm.us

National Labs in New Mexico Benefits New Mexico's Kids

(Santa Fe) While many people recognize that having two National Labs: Sandia National Laboratory and Los Alamos National Laboratory located in our State benefits our economy it isn't often that we celebrate the important role these labs play in education also. However, recently two lab fellows Greg Swift and Bette Korber played an important role in the revising the New Mexico Science Standards. Bette Korber also was a key writer of the supporting letter that was written by Los Alamos fellows and was instrumental in getting the revised science standards passed. It is terrific when scientists participate in developing the science standards; it is particularly remarkable when those scientists have just won an extremely prestigious award.

Both Greg Swift and Bette Korber won the E.O. Lawrence Awards. The Award includes a $50,000 cash prize and a gold medal. Greg Swift won the environmental science award for inventing technologies that use sound as a means to separate particles. The science could lead to new, less expensive ways of refining oil, separating medical isotopes and recycling nuclear materials in work done at the national labs.

Bette Korber won the life sciences award for studies of genetic characteristics of the HIV virus and for developing the Los Alamos HIV database, a research backbone for scientists globally working on the HIV problem.

Dr. Kurt Steinhaus, Deputy Secretary for Learning & Accountability, remarked, “New Mexico’s children are lucky to have such distinguished scientists playing a role in their education. This is just one example of why we are proud to have National Labs based out of New Mexico and we look forward to more collaboration with the labs in the future.”