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The Desert Data Jam is a unique competition that challenges students to make creative projects (such as songs, physical models, children’s stories, infographics, and games) that convey complex ecological data to nonscientists. In this sixth year of the Desert Data Jam, more than 400 students participated. The top five projects from each participating class were entered into the final competition held at New Mexico State University from April 25-27. Forty-four community judges, including many LTER scientists, carefully evaluated the projects, and the top 15 projects were honored.

First place was awarded to Nick Eres and Noah Gillihan from Zia Middle School for their project “Mesnado Alley” which used scaled models of four middle schools to represent the amount of dust in dust collectors placed in the schoolyards. Nick and Noah shared a $300 cash prize and each received a medal and certificate. There was a tie for second place this year, so second place $200 cash awards and medals went to Mckynze Hamrick and Alyssa Montes from Camino Real Middle School as well as Ashlyn Ray from Vista Middle School.
Desert Data Jam winners Nick Eres and Noah Gillihan.More information on the Desert Data Jam: