SFCC to begin building auto tech center

Santa Fe Community College will host a groundbreaking celebration for its Automotive Technology Center at 2 p.m. Wednesday on campus, 6401 Richards Avenue. Parking will be available at the Witter Fitness Education Center.

The college received funding for the auto tech center through a $17 million bond that voters passed in February 2018.

New principal at Chaparral

Santa Fe Public Schools Superintendent Veronica García named Erica Martinez-Maestas as the new principal at Chaparral Elementary School. Martinez-Maestas was previously an assistant principal at El Camino Real Academy.

“Principal Martinez-Maestas is deeply vested in the success of Chaparral and the Santa Fe Public Schools,” García said. “She attended the Santa Fe Public Schools and lives in the Chaparral neighborhood.”

Martinez-Maestas said in a news release that she was born and raised in Santa Fe and attended Piñon Elementary, what was then De Vargas Junior High and Santa Fe High.

She also taught first grade at Amy Biehl Community School and was an instructional coach at Kearny Elementary.

Santa Fe students win science prize

Santa Fe High School’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites team, led by coach Derek Buschman, won first place for a high school team in the national 2019 GOES Virtual Science Fair earlier this month. GOES is a program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA.

The Santa Fe High team’s winning project developed a correlation between yearly solar flare X-ray irradiation and worldwide yearly tropical cyclone activity in an effort to estimate future tropical cyclone activity, according to a news release.

“Taking first place in this unique competition is such an honor for the Santa Fe High School team,” Superintendent Veronica García said in a news release. “To be at the forefront of predicting future tropical cyclone activity has the potential to save lives and impact communities for the better. This is truly exciting work.”

The virtual science fair was administered in the spring of 2019 by the Space Science & Engineering Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, NOAA Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies and GOES-R Education Proving Ground.

For the online competition, students used next-generation satellite data to investigate a weather scenario.