Engineering the Future

September 15, 2022

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School Updates

Mission Avenue STEM Elementary: One amazing tradition found ONLY in New Mexico is the burning of Zozobra. Each year (since 1924) on the Friday before Labor Day, merrymakers gather in Santa Fe to celebrate this creative symbol of letting go of all the worries and frustrations of the year. The amazing staff at Mission, Jeremiah Avila, Alysia Lozoya, and Cheryl Padilla-Maldonado, had students participate in their own Zozobra celebration. The students read about the history of Zozobra, and write about the cultural relevance for New Mexicans. They also wrote down their glooms. The fifth graders then studied the design and functionality of Zozobra. They came to the conclusion that Zozobra is a huge puppet, so they designed and constructed miniature marionettes out of cardboard, popsicle sticks, and string. Ms. Cheryl taught the kids how to make paper mache and they designed and constructed a student sized Zozobra. On Friday, most of the school met and watched as their glooms burned away. Watch Old man and Old Woman Gloom burn and take away the worries for the year here. Zozobra Video

Garfield STEM Middle School: The Greywolves continue to bring Garfield sports and activities to the community through online broadcasts! Students are covering volleyball games this fall and broadcasting the games live on the school YouTube channel. Tune in and see Coach Steinmetz, Coach Varela, and Coach Taylor leading the Greywolves to victory. These incredible scholars run the entire production using technology purchased with the MSAP 2017 Grant. Tune in next Wednesday as they cover the Garfield PBL STEM Egg Drop Challenge, or watch any of the events that are archived online.

Valley High School: Valley High school has been busy planning and implementing Project Based Learning in every classroom. The vision is for all students, to engage in high quality Project Based Learning to deepen their learning and achieve success in college, career, and life. Valley has spectacular teachers like Mary Sellers and Sharmila Goradia, who are beginning the PBL Works Coaching Professional Development this month to help support this dream!

Valley, with amazing support from Eastern New Mexico University, also took time to recognize standout students who exhibit the Engineering Habits of Mind. Marcos Gonzales and Analisa Pena were awarded Certificates of Achievement and a Family 4 pack of Isotopes tickets! Thank you to Eastern New Mexico University for helping inspire and recognize great Viking students!

Grant Opportunities!

The Aerospace Corporation Grant

Any K-12 educator working at a Title 1 school can submit a STEM related Lesson Plan for a chance to get a $500 Grant. You can also see/download lesson plans that were selected from last year’s submissions. Submissions are due September 27th.

Fall 2022 Grant Award Opportunities

The APS Education Foundation partners with the community to invest in innovative and enhanced learning opportunities to help APS students reach their full potential.

We are now accepting applications for the awards listed below.
The deadline to apply is Wednesday, October 5, 2022, at 5:00 pm (MST). Please share with all APS employees who have an innovative approach to improve outcomes for students, staff and families!

Schoolwide Impact
Funding supports enrichment programs benefitting students in multiple grade-levels and/or the entire student body. The maximum grant award is $25,000.

Guhl Early Literacy
Made possible by the Guhl Trust, this funding specifically supports elementary literacy programs with the the potential to have a high impact on many students. The maximum grant award is $35,000.

Student Clubs & Activities
Funding supports school clubs and organizations that provide out-of-school time (before and after school) programs. Schools may receive up to $10,000.
Classroom & Grade-Level Learning
Funding supports STEM, fine arts and literacy projects during the school day. Schools may apply for up to $1,500 (single classroom) or up to $5,000 (multiple classrooms).

The Transformative Idea Grant (the TIG)
Made possible by Technology Integration Group, this funding supports programs that enhance school climate and promote social-emotional learning. Schools may receive up to $5,000.
The Pepsi Award
Made possible by Pepsi Beverages Company, this grant award supports student groups needing help with unplanned expenses as part of participating in an international, national, regional and/or state competition. The maximum award amount is $5,000.


Cornell University Science Kits

Welcome to the Home page of the Educational Outreach Program (EOP) of the Cornell Center for Materials Science Research (CCMR). On this site you will find information on the wide range of educational programs presented by our scientists and engineers to K-12 teachers, students, and the community at large. Here you can find any STEM lesson for any K-12 grade. See our Lending Library of Experiments, activity videos, activity lessons, and lesson plans designed by classroom teachers.

Apple Expeditions Pro

Expeditions Pro provides Free VR Tours and Expeditions in fully immersive Virtual Reality. The same great features you are used to – Classroom content, working offline, instant annotation and simple touch interface that worked so well.

Professional Development Opportunities

Explora PD

Discover the fun behind 3D printers and pens! You’ll explore the unconventional possibilities of filaments using simple tools and software, and learn how to incorporate them into everyday activities. Leave with a classroom set of materials and the opportunity for a free classroom visit for your students! Participants will be eligible to receive a free, one-hour classroom visit from

Explora utilizing the activities from the workshop. These workshops are provided at no cost because of generous support from AFRL.

Sunday October 2nd

10 am - 12 pm

Register Here Or call 505.600.6734

NM Digital Learning Conference

Interested in learning new ways to leverage technology to solve problems and gain inspiration from other educators? Join us at the NM Digital Learning Conference on Saturday, October 15th from 9am-3pm! You can choose from a large variety of sessions to attend, enjoy free breakfast & lunch, as well as chances to get tons of swag & win prizes, PLUS it’s totally free for APS educators!

Visit the NMDLC Website ( here to check it out & register today!

Register Now

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Opportunties for Students

Minecraft Online Learning Event

Learn how to customize your own character to make your Minecraft game even more fun. Join along as we reveal in simple steps how to make a Minecraft skin. From picking your colors to customizing your character's head and clothes, enjoy live step-by-step guidance from an expert. You can make a glowing skeleton, Chewbacca, a frog, Shrek or anything you can imagine! Plus learn how to save your work and upload it to Minecraft. Free! Enroll here!
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UNM Engineering Day

For the first time since 2019, the UNM School of Engineering will host a fully in-person Open House event for prospective students and their families.

The event will be held 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 1. It will be based at Centennial Engineering Center’s Stamm Commons and Larrañaga Auditorium, with frequent tours and interactive events nearby. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

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