Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

07/19/2013

Rothrock assisted Nick Williams, tour guide and science presenter, in performing a chemistry experiment called "Elephant's Toothpaste," which is a popular demonstration in the LLNL Fun with Science Program.

Lab fulfills wish of local senior

Carenda L Martin, LLNL, (925) 424-4175, martin59@llnl.gov

From left to right, Phyllis Rothrock, Rhoda Jackson, and Corey Bauer listen as Principal Deputy Principal Associate Director of NIF & Photon Science, Jeff Wisoff gives an overview of the National Ignition Facility before their tour.

Phyllis Rothrock, a 93-year-old resident of the Livermore retirement community Heritage Estates, toured the Laboratory last week fulfilling a long time wish.

Leisure Care, the company that manages Heritage Estates along with other communities,  instituted a program called "Wish Makers," where they compete to see which community can grant the most wishes of its residents.

The senior residents are encouraged to make a list of wishes. However, Rothrock had only one, to tour the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. When asked why she wanted to tour the Laboratory, she simply stated, "to see the atom splitter and the Lab that makes the new elements."

Rothrock is no stranger to science. She attended Purdue University, graduating with a bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1942 and continued her education at the University of Southern California receiving her master's degree in education on the Ford Fellowship in 1967. 

Rothrock was accompanied on the tour by her friend Rhoda Jackson, and Heritage Estates Activities Director Corey Bauer. When asked at the end of the day her thoughts on the tour, she said it was "more than awesome."

Nick Williams and Carrie Martin of the Lab's Public Affairs Office escorted the group. Tour stops included the Discovery Center, the National Ignition Facility and the Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry.


Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory provides solutions to our nation's most important national security challenges through innovative science, engineering and technology. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.