The Center for Land Use Interpretation Newsletter

New Mexico Exhibit Unit Report


2848 View of the exhibit Testing, Testing, Testing: Experiments in a Post-Nuclear Age at Sandia National Laboratories. Louis Schalk photoSANDIA LABORATORY WAS the subject of an exhibit in the Center’s New Mexico Exhibit Unit, produced by students at Albuquerque Academy and their teacher Louis Schalk. The exhibit was open to the public over several weeks last spring and summer. It was also open during the ISEA Machine Wilderness conference held in Albuquerque in September, which brought a wide variety of creative researchers and artists from all over the world to the city.

Titled Testing, Testing, Testing: Experiments in a Post-Nuclear Age at Sandia National Laboratories, the exhibit focused on the activities at the lab’s Albuquerque location, located immediately behind the CLUI New Mexico Exhibit Unit. Sandia’s field test area there contains some of the most dramatic outdoor impact and effects test facilities in the world. Tech Area III, for example, includes dynamic shock test beds, centrifuges, and drop towers, for studying the effect of accidents, collisions, fires, and explosions on sensitive materials and objects, such as nuclear bombs. The largest of these is a 10,000 foot long sled track, capable of reaching speeds up to Mach 3 before slamming test objects into a concrete wall. Tech Areas IV and V are used for radiation effects research. 

The Albuquerque Academy students put together the Sandia Lab show after visiting the lab’s back-spaces and tech areas with Sandia representatives. This was the third exhibit produced by Schalk’s Albuquerque Academy class in conjunction with the CLUI over the past three years.