Tech Trekker

Nevada National Security Site donates more than $200,000 to educational and social causes

Tech Trekker
The NNSS-sponsored Tech Trekker (pictured here with MSTS President Mark Martinez, second from right) will continue to supply STEM opportunities for Southern Nevada students with help from a $52,000 donation to the UNLV College of Engineering.

Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) management and operating contractor Mission Support and Test Services (MSTS) is proud to make a $202,000 donation across several community causes.

“During this unprecedented year, we’re grateful we’re able to provide much-needed support to local and national pillars of our community,” said MSTS President Mark Martinez. “As organizations continue to respond to the challenges brought forth in 2020, we’re pleased to be able to help.”


A total of $57,000 will support the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) College of Engineering. In partnership with the university, the NNSS is a sponsor of the Tech Trekker, a mobile science lab that brings STEM opportunities directly to students. The platform will be adapted to provide supplies to schools who have students attending class on premise. The NNSS also backs UNLV’s SISTEM, a program where high school students are introduced to STEM careers through hands-on activities and guest speakers, which is being adapted for remote presentations until students return to a normal on-campus setting. Two $2,500 scholarships will be committed to the College of Engineering for students whose research aligns with the NNSS’ areas of need.

An additional $22,000 will benefit the UNLV College of Sciences, with $7,000 allotted for fifth grade science camps at Title I schools. $5,000 will go toward the 2021 GeoSymposium, a forum for graduate and undergraduate students to present their research and receive feedback from industry professionals. Another $5,000 will be used to support students’ capstone physics and astronomy projects that parallel NNSS mission work. The chair of the chemistry department will be given $5,000 to further chemistry research initiatives that involve high school students and teachers.

$10,000 will be donated to Spread the Word Nevada, an organization that promotes literacy by providing approximately 60,000 books per month to Title I schools. As corporate sponsorships and school book drives have been impacted by COVID-19, the donation will ensure books reach the hands of children in need.

“We are beyond grateful for the support provided by the NNSS,” said Spread the Word Nevada Co-Founder and Executive Director Lisa Habighorst. “This gift helps to ensure that at-risk students have the tools to create a lifelong love of reading that will brighten their futures. Thousands of students and their families will benefit from this generous donation.”

As students continue distance learning, oftentimes with multiple family members working within a common area, the NNSS is providing $1,500 to the Clark County School District to cover the cost of ear bud headphones for approximately 500 students.

The NNSS is a Diamond partner to the Nevada Test Site Historical Foundation, which is the recipient of $25,000 for the continuation of educational and scientific programs regarding the Site’s legacy at the National Atomic Testing Museum.

The NNSS is a continued supporter of the DISCOVERY Children’s Museum. $25,000 will go toward sponsorship of STEM programming, which includes educational activities hosted at the facility’s NNSS science bench.

The Southern Nevada chapter of The MATHCOUNTS Foundation, which works to build middle school students’ problem-solving skills and positive attitudes about mathematics, will get $1,500 to support its competitions.

A favorite among Nevada high school students, the annual Nevada Science Bowl competition will have a new look and feel in 2021 as the competition goes virtual. The NNSS is supplying $20,000 to continue to make the competition possible for the hundreds of students who compete to be regional champions and advance to the Department of Energy National Science Bowl.

Also going virtual next year is the Nevada Future City Competition. The NNSS is a longstanding sponsor of the annual event, in which students design a city model that rises to the engineering challenges of the future. $5,000 will support students with the tools they need to compete.


The NNSS regularly volunteers with Three Square Food Bank, Southern Nevada’s largest hunger-relief organization. $15,000 will be used for food supply, as the organization expects a 59 percent increase in demand for food through the remainder of 2020 and into 2021 as a result of this year’s socio-economic impacts.

“The need for food in our community has been amplified,” said President and CEO of Three Square Food Bank Brian Burton. “More than 447,000 people, including over 171,000 children, don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Though we are facing a food-insecurity crisis unlike anything we have seen before, we are reassured by incredible partners like the Nevada National Security Site, whose generosity will provide 45,000 meals for families and individuals in need.”

The Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance will receive $5,000 as the NNSS continues its Stakeholder Investor membership to promote economic and community development throughout Southern Nevada.

volunteers at Three Square Food Bank
As volunteers of Three Square Food Bank (pictured here in February 2020), the NNSS is proud to make a $15,000 to the nonprofit organization.

Finally, in the wake of devastation caused by record wildfires and hurricanes during the last several weeks, the NNSS is proud to make a contribution of $15,000 to the American Red Cross as the organization continues its humanitarian response.

“We would like to extend our warmest thanks to the Nevada National Security Site for making a $15,000 contribution to the disaster relief activities carried out by the American Red Cross across the country,” said American Red Cross of Southern Nevada Executive Director Alan Diskin. “With so many concurrent emergencies happening right now, every dollar means comfort and care that we can give to people on some of the worst days of their lives.”

For more information about the NNSS’ year-round support to Nevada, see