For the second year in a row, the QESST team at UNM talked up photovoltaics to the entire 6th grade class at South Valley Academy on October 22, 2014. South Valley is a Title 1 school that serves a heavily Hispanic community. Most students from South Valley will be the first in their families to attend college.
The outreach event used solar car kits to build and race vehicles to get students excited about solar energy as one part of the UNM outreach team’s long-standing engagement with South Valley.
QESST Outreach Coordinator, Stefi Weisburd, is one of South Valley’s mentors in the Big Brother Big Sister Mentor 2.0 program. This program has “adopted” the entire ninth grade class from last year with a 4-year commitment to mentor them all the way into college. UNM also puts on a Family Engineering Night at South Valley Academy every spring in collaboration with their head science teacher, as well as hosting South Valley Academy teachers in RET programs, one of whom is working with QESST faculty on solar energy. There also are currently six South Valley high school students enrolled in UNM research internship program and camps.