Increasing natural science literacy
through engaging,
place-based education
Asombro Institute for Science Education


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  Desert Data Jam

The Desert Data Jam challenges middle school students to find interesting ways to present scientific data to nonscientist audiences.

Students use ecological data collected in or near Las Cruces to create a project that presents one dataset in a non-traditional way. We encourage students to get creative and find inspiration in their own interests.

More than 400 students participated in Desert Data Jam this school year, and many began to hone their data skills and craft their creative projects as early as September. We are incredibly proud of all students that 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 competition was the culmination of their hard work, and we are so grateful to everybody that supported them in this endeavor.

This year, 59 projects were in the final competition. Thanks to our generous volunteers, all projects were scored 5 times. We gave 12 honorable mentions and three top prizes.

1st Place - Mesnado Alley by Nick Eres and Noah Gillihan, Zia Middle School

Teacher Handbook

Middle School Division Judging Rubric

Student Schedule

Presentation Board Requirements

Important Dates

Thurs. April 13, 2017 – Registration forms due (names of students and projects submitted by teachers).

Tues. April 25, 2017 3:00 – 7:00 pm – Projects and presentation boards are due by 7:00 pm. Bring them to Wooton Hall (corner of Knox St. and Frenger St. on the New Mexico State University campus).

Thurs. April 27, 2017 6:30 pm – Public reception and awards ceremony will be held in the NMSU Wooton Hall conference room. All projects must be picked up at the end of the ceremony.

2nd Place (tie) - Seasons of Dust by Mckynze Hamrick and Alyssa Montes, Camino Real Middle School

2nd Place (tie) - “Stitching” Up Some Dust Data by Ashlyn
Ray, Vista Middle School

Honorable Mentions:

Tumbling Dust by Jessi Joy Aragon, Picacho Middle School

Littering Broad Leaf Shrub Decomposition by Kiara Banka and Ashley McDonald, Camino Real Middle School

Break It Down for Me by Zachary Collier, Camino Real Middle School

Who Runs the Fastest? by Jade Collins, Mesa Middle School

Cow Manure Stinks by Marissa Montoya, Zia Middle School

Paradise Decomposition by Jada Gladem and Iliana Vigil, Vista Middle School

Mesa Middle School Dust Rates in the Season by Anisa Hyder, Sierra Middle School

Wat’er You Doing Grass? by Nishka Lahiri, Sierra Middle School

Effects of Rain on Restored Grass by Viviana Lopez, Picacho Middle School

Glitter Emission by Ashley Luna and Hillary Rojas, Camino Real Middle School

Kick the “Dust” Up by Alyssa Merrick, Picacho Middle School

Central Dust vs. Outskirt Dust by Alcy Talbot, Camino Real Middle School

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