Desert Data Jam



The Desert Data Jam challenges middle school students to find interesting ways to present scientific data to non-scientist audiences. Students use ecological data collected in or near Las Cruces to create a project that presents a data trend in a non-traditional way. We encourage students to get creative and find inspiration in their own interests. We are incredibly proud of all the students who have participated in the Desert Data Jam since 2012. They have persevered through many months of wrestling with the data and finding a way, true to their interests, to retell the data creatively. The Desert Data Jam is the culmination of their hard work, and we are so grateful to everybody who supported them in this endeavor.  

Dr. Kris Havstad addresses students and parents at the Desert Data Jam open house and award ceremony.


Unfortunately, due to school closures, we were unable to host the final competition for the Desert Data Jam in spring 2020. However, Desert Data Jam returned in 2021 in a new, online format! 


Last year, 49 projects were in the final competition. Thanks to our generous volunteers, each project was scored 5 times. We gave 3 top prizes and 18 honorable mentions. Click the tabs above to see last year's winning projects. 


Asombro staff are thrilled to return to classrooms and work with students in-person in 2022. We look forward to hosting this year's competition in April and May!



To learn more about the Desert Data Jam and other Data Jams across the country, check out some of the publications on the topic:  


"Data Jams" on the LTER Network  


"DATA JAMS: Promoting Data Literacy and Science Engagement While Encouraging Creativity" in The Science Teacher


"Desert Data Jam" on our blog




First place project "Shrub Shenanigans", 2018



Contact us at or 575-524-3334 to learn more.





All documents for 2022 Desert Data Jam can be found at

Important Dates

Thanks to everyone that helped make our first online Desert Data Jam successful!  Click the "2021 Winners" and "2021 Honorable Mentions" tabs to see the winning projects. 
Final competition selections due to Asombro by Thursday April 14th, 2022
Judging will take place virtually the week of April 25th, 2022
Awards ceremony will be announced by Friday May 6th, 2022

2021 Winners


1st Place 2021: "LitDecomp Us" by Emma M., Jordynn H., Richard A. 




2nd Place 2021: "No Rain, Much Pain" by Ishan B.




3rd Place 2021: "Dust Debris Crayola-Melt" by Sophia T.




Top 6th Grade Project

"Roasted Birds"

by Sadie R. and Judy B.

"Another One Bites the Dust"

by Aubrie H. 

"Decomposition!! % Leaf Litter Remaining Over 4 Years"

by Betzaira P. 

"Drought in New Mexico is a Problem"

by Christopher M. 

"It's Not a Drought Out Here"

by Tai K. 

"Pasta Precipitation" by Karina C.

"Percentage of Drought in Florida and New Mexico in March"

by Jaidyn C. and Emma E.

"Rain Rain, Go Away, Where have you gone?"

by Alan O. 

"The Chihuahuan Desert Needs the Most Species Conservation Need of all the other Ecoregions in New Mexico"

by Joaquin L.

"The Ocean (NY) v.s. The Desert (NM)"

by Nevaeh O., Taylor R., and Jordyn Z.

"The Ultimate Guide to B.E.E.T.L.E.S."

by Ava C. 

"The Endless Drought"

by Araelia A., Ollie F., and Zahmaira S.

"Where is the Best Place to Live in New Mexico if you are an Animal? An Analysis based on Actual Data from New Mexico"

by Sebastian M. 

"Wow! Lots of dust and a big comparison on how much each school gets!"

by Priscilla T.