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.

In 2018, more than 450 students participated in Desert Data Jam. Thanks to our generous volunteers, all 49 projects in the final competition were scored 5 times. We gave 12 honorable mentions and three top prizes.


1st Place 2018 - Shrub Shenanigans by Grace Longwell, Vista Middle School

Teacher Handbook

Middle School Division Judging Rubric

Presentation Board Requirements

Important Dates

TBA 2019 Ė Registration forms due (names of students and projects submitted by teachers).

TBA 2019 Ė 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).

TBA 2019 Ė 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 2018 - Summer: Dustís Time of Bummer by Jordan Gladstone and Clara Tomicek, Las Cruces Catholic School

3rd Place 2018 - Decomposing Matters by Gwynavere Griffith and Ethan Perez, Sierra Middle School

2018 Honorable Mentions:

Leaf It to the Rain by Emma Koenig and Colette Bailey, Sierra Middle School

I Canít Beleaf You by Emily Haines and Melissa Gonzales, Picacho Middle School

Caught in the Spotlight by Aubri Kehoe and Gianna Villegas, Zia Middle School

Who Has Allergies? by Alena Sheen, Sierra Middle School

Donít Be a Bummer Summer by Ezri Mijarez, Raeann Wilson, and Julia Zamora, Vista Middle School

Lessening of the Leaves by Erik Wiebe, Picacho Middle School

Say Cheese by Bobby Monsivaiz and Isaac Pineda, Sierra Middle School

Keep an Eye on Dust Pollution by Pierce Leachman, Zia Middle School

Soil Down Costa Rica by Lilly Li, Sierra Middle School

Dust Emissions by Aaron Lara and Faidh Naife, Camino Real Middle School

The Decomposers are Piste, Alaska by Larissa Zhou, Sierra Middle School

Litter-ally Decomposition by Anna Leadbetter and Anthony Carrasco, Aldo Leopold Charter School

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