Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) handed out the 2017 Edward Teller science scholarship awards to two Livermore high school students last week as the city celebrated the fifth anniversary of Livermorium Day, recognizing the Lab’s contribution to the discovery of superheavy element 116.
Local dignitaries, Lab employees and community members gathered for the event at Livermorium Plaza in downtown Livermore to hear remarks from Livermore Mayor John Marchand and City Councilman Bob Carling, and watch award presentations from LLNL and the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District.
“Today we are celebrating an honor which has been bestowed on only five other cities in the world,” Marchand said. “Sir Isaac Newton said, ‘If I can see farther, it is because I stand on the shoulders of giants.’ It is my hope that we can continue to inspire new generations of giants to further our understanding of the world, the univers, and each other.”
Annie Kersting, LLNL’s director of University Relations and Science Education, presented this year’s Teller scholarships to Livermore High School senior Justin Allen and Allison Kifer of Granada High school. Both students will be attending UC San Diego in the fall. The city also unveiled three conceptual designs for a science-related public art sculpture, one of which will be selected to adorn the plaza.
Lab researchers, along with scientists at the Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions in Dubna, Moscow Oblast, Russia, collaborated on the synthesis of several superheavy elements, including element 116. The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) officially approved naming the element Livermorium in 2012 to recognize the Lab and the city’s contribution to the research.
The city of Livermore proclaimed May 30 as Livermorium Day, beginning in 2013. Livermore is one of only six cities around the world for which an element has been named.