Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

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Winners announced for Second Annual STEM Challenge

Students looked into the future
April 1, 2014
Poster entry from Taos High School's Team 2.

Poster entry from Taos High School's Team 2.


  • Community Programs Office Director
  • Kurt Steinhaus
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For seven Northern New Mexico schools the waiting is over. Teams from Tony E. Quintana Elementary School and McCurdy Charter School in Española, Taos High School, and West Las Vegas High School have won the Second Annual Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Challenge and will receive $300 per school to be used for their science and math classrooms.

The winning entries follow:

Middle School

Best Middle School Video: Tony E. Quintana Elementary School, Española (single team)

High School

Best High School Poster: Team 2, Taos High School, Taos

Best High School App Design: Team 1, McCurdy Charter School, Española

Best High School Essay: Team 1, West Las Vegas High School, Las Vegas

Team 2 from Taos High School, consisting of Natasha Vasquez, Makayla Romansky, Samantha Valdez, and Zoe Hutson, won the best poster entry for their proposal to save the world “one pod at a time.” The team envisioned futuristic bio pods that produce biodiesel with the help of algae and integrated solar panels into their design to generate solar energy for back-up power. “Bags that grow algae will be at the surface of the water and legs on the pod will take the algae,” the team suggested. “Then a process called ultrasonic method will make bubbles that break down cell walls to make oil.”

The winners’ prizes were donated by Los Alamos National Laboratory’s management company, Los Alamos National Security, LLC. A small woman-owned Taos business, Sube, Inc., partnered with the Lab in creating and managing the STEM Challenge website and database.