Santa Fe schools on winter breakSanta Fe Public Schools are closed for winter break. District and school staff will return Jan. 2 and students return to class Jan. 6.

SFCC still open this weekSanta Fe Community College and the Santa Fe Higher Education Center will close for winter break from Dec. 23 through Jan. 5.

No classes or activities will be held and no student services will be available. Snow removal and grounds maintenance will not be operational.

The college’s early childhood development center, Kids Campus, and the William C. Witter Fitness Education Center will also be closed. Both campuses will reopen Jan. 6, 2020.

New Mexico Governor’s STEM ChallengeRoughly 600 people convened at Los Lunas High School earlier this month for the first New Mexico Governor’s STEM Challenge, a competition testing students’ ability to use science, technology, engineering and math to solve real-world problems.

Led by New Mexico’s Office of the Governor, the challenge was a collaboration between the Department of Public Education, the Department of Workforce Solutions, Los Alamos National Laboratory and 18 other STEM employers in the state.

Teams from public, private and charter high schools across the state participated, along with judges from 19 New Mexico STEM employers, plus educators, volunteers and government officials. Each team was composed of up to 10 students who have made a computer simulation or prototype answering the question posed by Los Alamos National Laboratory, “How can you use science and technology to make the world safer?”

Each student on a winning team took home $500.

Area winners:

u Academy for Technology & the Classics, a Santa Fe Public Schools charter school, for a modified backpack equipped with a water filter and 15-liter, clean-water storage capacity for use in natural disasters.

u Mandela International Magnet School from Santa Fe Public Schools for a device alerting first responders to a person trapped in an arroyo during a flash flood.

u Monte Del Sol Charter School, a state charter school in Santa Fe, for growing safe, sustainable lettuce for the school kitchen using a combination of hydroponics and aquaponics and less water than conventional means.

u Santa Fe High School for biodegradable plastic made from cornstarch.

u Taos Academy, a state charter school in Taos, for a drone designed to fly over wildfires and shift the air currents around them, reducing the possibility of conflagration.

u Taos High School for a solar powered computer lab.

The New Mexican

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