Our middle & high school programs supplement students’ STEM education with in-school, hands-on STEM & STEAM projects designed to engage & teach 21st century skills in small group settings with trained college students & STEM professional mentors. Our main goals are to increase students’ interest & curiosity in STEM courses or careers, build communication, teamwork, & problem solving skills, and for our high school students, increase enrollment in STEM college courses while in high school and/or beyond.
In collaboration with Northern New Mexico College, Santa Fe Community College, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Santa Fe Public Schools, this program provides college student mentors to guide high school students through STEM projects that are culturally and locally relevant. Currently at Capital HS, Española Valley HS and others.
Each project involves working in teams of 3-5 students and tackles learning about circuitry, mechanics, and coding an Arduino board. In addition, STEM skills of teamwork, problem solving, resiliency and creativity are pretty much practiced all the time along with a mentor.
We have 5 projects designed to be implemented to each class of 25-30 students over 8 weeks with 1.5 hours weekly instruction. Each project is accompanying by a field trip that is pertinent to the project the students are building.
The sun tracker project is composed of a solar panel that tilts so that it always receives direct rays. We accomplish this by coupling light sensors to motors via Arduino boards on a custom-built 3-D printed frame.
The Laser Harp project is a replica of a popular laser harp at Meow Wolf. This project is a table-top instrument that has only three lasers with an Arduino board that will play a tone when a beam is interrupted.
The Smart Greenhouse project is a tabletop greenhouse intended to automatically water its self-wicking planter, automatically ventilate itself if too hot or humid, and record its key measurements for offline analysis.
The One-Lane Bridge project has motion sensors that sense the world and respond with light and motion when traffic is coming from the east & west sides of the bridge. The bridge detects high water, and displays a screen that posts the bridge status.
The Hand-Heart-Drum project is an in-development project with Native American students in mind. This project will consist of building a platform on the bill of a cap with Pulse Sensor (attached via ear cuff) and a second Arduino and a radio transmitter that sends heartbeat timing to the drum. The project’s goal involves one’s heart pulse to play the drum of one’s own making, leaving the hands free to play a second drum or another instrument.