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Solar-Powered Village Stem Arts Workshop

In Questa, New Mexico, a tailings pond from the former molybdenum mine has been turned into a solar field that generates enough energy to meet 80 percent of the community’s power needs. The “Solar-Powered Village” workshop brought together Questa Junior-Senior High Students and UNM students to engage with local energy topics and community challenges. In a workshop in Questa led by Andrea Polli with support from the QEDF DOI/VISTA, and LEAP, students visited significant local sites (including the solar array), explored lecture topics, interviewed locals and used smartphone tools including “Data Gather”, an Android app developed by students in Polli’s lab to gather air quality data as a jumping off point to explore current community challenges and possible solutions. At The PASEO public art festival in Taos, students presented their findings along with playful and serious community proposals and invited visitors to explore and contribute ideas.

This project was jointly organized by LEAP, STEMarts, The Social Media Workgroup and with support from The PASEO, Questa Economic Development Fund, Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area Fund, Questa Mine Community Fund and was part of Questa’s 2015 “Luz es Vida” Event Series.