UNM’s Center for Water and the Environment recently hosted an awards ceremony for high school students on June 5. The students received awards from Brig. Gen. Mark Toy, commander of the South Pacific Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Toy applauded the outreach Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) outreach program at UNM. “UNM has worked hard to develop a pipeline of talent, and the outreach STEM program is unique,” he said.

UNM hosted the award ceremony as part of a partnering agreement between the university and the Corps of Engineers. The two entities work together on STEM education.

Toy spoke of the aging workforce in the U.S. Corps of Engineers and said they are actively recruiting graduates with paid internships that allow them to rotate through a variety of jobs.

About 450 students participated in the Central New Mexico Science and Engineering Research Challenge this year at UNM in March.

The winning entries include:

Senior Division – Engineering
First Place PN: 1

Alan J. Van Omen – Rio Grande Enrichment Studies
“Sodium Acetate Heat Capacitor”

Second Place PN: 2
Roshii K. Montano and Taelyn J. Reid – Amy Biehl Charter High School
“Utilization of Renewable Resources in Making Paper”

Third Place PN: 3
Nathan H. Cordick and Mason T. Kemnitz – The ASK Academy
“Pizio-Electric Keyboard”

Senior Division – Energy & Transportation
First place PN: 1
Demetrius A. Montoya and Joseph A. Coston – Albuquerque Institute of Math & Science
“Efficiency of Hydrogen Production through the Electrolysis of Water”

Second Place PN: 2
Clara Sims, Maria Troyer and Victoria M. Troyer – School of Dreams Academy
“Red Light Green Light”

Third Place PN: 3
Mark J. Perea – St. Pius X High School
“Mud power”

Senior Division – Environmental
First Place PN: 1
Jarek V. Kwiecinski – Albuquerque Institute of Math & Science
“Improving the Carbon Use Efficiency of Soil Microbial Communities: Field”

Second Place PN: 2
Kaylee A. Dunnigan – Rio Rancho High School
“Bio Filtration of Nitrogen Fertilizer”

Third Place PN: 3
Jasmyn F. Olivas and Hope E. Wiser – Rio Rancho High School
“Relationship of Bark Beetles on Trees’ Susceptibility to Forest Fires”