The University of New Mexico Science Education Partnership (UNM SEPA) team collaborated with the Jemez Mountain School District during the district’s annual Culture Day on May 1 and annual Field Day on May 19. On Culture Day, the UNM SEPA program, “The Science Around Us,” emphasized the traditional foods of New Mexico and their health benefits. Students and their families tried samples of blue corn mush, prickly pear fruit jam, corn, beans, and squash. While they were eating, they could play a game that helped them learn about the origin and history of common foods. For example, many participants thought that tomatoes came from Italy and pineapples from Hawaii. However, both originated in the Americas! All of our foods have a unique history, and New Mexico has played an important role in the cultivation and transportation of many foods eaten around the world today.
On Field Day, the UNM SEPA team helped students to use pedometers to track their physical activity, make basic calculations, and create hypotheses. Students also learned a bit about the science and healthiness of drinking water by playing a Jeopardy-type game at the rest station on their activity course. The UNM SEPA team is happy to be part of these year-end traditions and wishes the students in the Jemez Mountain School District a wonderful summer!