Serving the High Plains

Tucumcari STEM team wins another honor

The Tucumcari High School STEM team recently received another honor, this time during the New Mexico Governor's STEM Challenge.

The Tucumcari students developed an autonomous environmental monitoring robot.

"It is able to monitor air quality, temperature, and humidity," team mentor Tommy Evans said. "More specifically, it can alert individuals through email and/or text to changes and also alert to the presence of poison gases, natural gas, propane, etc. They used a microcontroller called Raspberry PI to control a Roomba and monitor the environment."

The team was sponsored by El Paso Electric. The nine team members each will receive $500.

Team members were MiKayla Klinger, Sariah Mardo, Rachel Mardo, Marcus Lopez, Nolan Ryen, Aaron Chand, Justin Keith, Baylee Jones Salvador and Shane Jaggers.

The competition was held earlier this month at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces.

More than 400 students in New Mexico responded to this challenge: "Imagine New Mexico as a state known for sustainable and green manufacturing. What innovations or developments could be produced to foster our schools, jobs and communities?"

Also, the team also was named one of 300 state semifinalists for the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest. Evans said the team received $2,500 "with the possibility of winning much more and moving on to the national level."

Tucumcari's team is developing a way to recycle wind turbine blades, with wind energy becoming a more popular renewable energy source in recent years. Most blades last 20 to 25 years, with a large number coming to the end of their lifespan in the next five years.

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