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Home | Tag Archives: SISD (page 2)

Tag Archives: SISD

Socorro ISD celebrates dedication ceremony for Sgt. Jose F. Carrasco Elementary

The Socorro Independent School District had a dedication ceremony to honor the namesake of the district’s 48th school at Sgt. Jose F. Carrasco Elementary School.

The event in December honored Sgt. Jose F. Carrasco, the district’s first peace officer who served nearly 30 years in the district’s police department. He was SISD’s first and only sergeant for many years.

Carrasco’s family, including his wife, daughter and two sons, attended the ceremony, along with superintendent José Espinoza, Ed.D., SISD board trustees, law enforcement officers, and various other special guests from the community attended the ceremony.

“My father was very dedicated to what he did, and he was very committed to the students, as well as the staff,” said Erika Carrasco, daughter of Sgt. Carrasco. “I believe that’s what got him this great merit.”

Carrasco Elementary students performed a cheer routine to display their school spirit and pride, and a video was shown as a tribute to Sgt. Carrasco’s service and love of Team SSD. School principal Jesse Sepulveda and Carrasco students presented his family with a special plaque.

Sgt. Jose F. Carrasco started his career on Sept. 15, 1986 as a security guard in SISD. At the time the district had 12 schools and nearly 10,000 students.

He was fundamental in the development of the SISD police department, which was formally established in 2001 and was the district’s first officially sworn Texas peace officer and carried badge #001.

“The department today is a reflection of who he was,” said Jose Castorena, SISD chief of police. “Socorro ISD police is about bridging the gap with the community and providing services that are not traditional when it comes to law enforcement.”

Sgt. Carrasco was highly involved with the community and was well known throughout the City of Socorro for encouraging students to stay in school and away from drugs. He played an active role in gang prevention by volunteering to wipe out graffiti in the community, which resulted in reduced gang activity in the schools and increased school attendance.

Sgt. Jose F. Carrasco Elementary School dedication ceremony event photos

SISD middle school science, engineering fair inspires opportunities for future

More than 630 sixth- through eighth-grade students in the Socorro Independent School District participated in the 2019 Middle School Science and Engineering Fair at Pebble Hills High School, held last month.

This year’s theme was Apollo 11, which celebrated the 50th anniversary of the moon mission.

“The moon launch theme was our motivation to get the kids thinking about accomplishments they can achieve in a few years,” said Frank McDonald, SISD instructional officer for secondary science and one of the science fair coordinators.

With more than 21 overall categories including, physical science, life science, environmental science, engineering, and math, the science fair is preparing the students for education and career pathways in various scientific fields.

“With the different events, like the science fair, and activities provided by the district, they are getting me ready for college, which is my next big step in life,” said Diego Maldonado, a seventh grader from William D. Slider Middle School.

The middle school science fair drew 160 more entries this year over the previous year, inspiring young scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and technologists to participate in the research and experiments.

“Science is important because it helps you to know more about your environment and how to help take care of the planet,” said seventh-grade student Isabella Hebler from John O. Ensor Middle School. “There is so much I want to learn.”

To qualify for the district event, students were required to present their projects in class and at their campus fairs. First-place winners in each category at the campus level then advanced to the district science fair.

Science fair judges were SISD high school students, University of Texas at El Paso students, EPCC professors and students, and DSC staff.

First, second and third place winners were awarded in each category and grade level, with first-place winners moving on to the Sun Country Regional Science and Engineering Fair in March, which will be hosted again at Pebble Hills High School. In addition, nine sweepstakes winners were named for three categories in each grade level.

Last year, 75 SISD students advanced from the regional fair to state, McDonald said. This year’s goal is to take more students to the state competition at Texas A&M in College Station, Texas.

“These kids have put in a lot of time and effort into this,” McDonald said. “They are leading with their best foot forward.”

Award winners list   |   Middle school science, engineering event photos

Socorro ISD students will compete in 6th annual robotics competition

SISD elementary and middle school robotics teams will be competing for the prestigious ROBOCOM 6.0 title in the district’s sixth annual robotics competition January 10 and 11 at Pebble Hills High School.

This year’s ROBOCOM theme is “City Shaper,” which challenges students to provide a solution on how to improve city infrastructure in their community. Students may choose how they define community, for example, their school, neighborhood or state.

ROBOCOM 6.0 participants will present their work to judges on the first day and compete in an interactive robotics competition on the second.

The second day is open to parents, families and community members to watch the robot challenges.

Twenty-four teams will advance to the regional competition, West Texas El Paso FLL Championship, organized by UTEP on January 25. These teams then have the opportunity to advance to a higher level of competition outside of the El Paso region.

Round 1 Competition – 9:00 a.m.

Round 2 Competition- 11:00 a.m.

Round 3 Competition – 1:00 p.m.

Round 4 Competition – 3:00 p.m.

ROBO Roll Call – 6:10 p.m.

Awards Ceremony – 6:30 p.m.

What:             SISD ROBOCOM 6.0

Who:               Elementary and middle school students, high school volunteers, faculty and staff

Where:           Pebble Hills High School  14400 Pebble Hills Blvd. 

When:             Friday, Jan. 10, 2020  |  5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

                          Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020

                        9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. competition

                        6:10 p.m. roll call

                        6:30 p.m. awards ceremony

Cactus Trails wellness walk, family project encourages kindness in the community

Cactus Trails Elementary families enjoyed the school’s first-ever wellness walking community event late last semester at the campus.

The Cactus Trails physical education department and school counselors invited students, parents and families to engage in the healthy walk and participate in the family kindness stone project.

“One of the initiatives that we always try to teach our kids is that being kind can change the world,” said Erica Armijo, physical education teacher at Cactus Trails. “We need to teach kids everywhere that kindness is a part of life.”

Families decorated stones with kind messages and pictures, which were used to adorn the school’s walking path for the community to enjoy.

“It’s a good thing to teach kids about kindness while they are young, so they know to respect and be nice to others,” said Cactus Trails parent Mike Peoples.

Close to a thousand stones now form the pathway and the school hopes to continue the family kindness stone project as a regular tradition, Armijo said.

The first family walk and kindness stone event, which was conducted during PE class times, resonated with students who enjoyed spreading the kindness message.

“It’s important to be kind to people because if you are kind to them, they will learn about being kind too,” said fourth grader Audrey Guereque.

Cactus Trails wellness walk event photos

Students peer into professional futures via SISD Advanced Academic Academies nights

With Socorro Independent School District’s advanced academic academies in high schools across the district, recent ‘SISD Advanced Academy Nights’ showed students what’s possible for their educational future.

The SISD Advanced Academy Nights, which occur each fall at the district’s high schools, allow students preparing for the transition from middle school to high school the opportunity to learn about the different academies and programs available to them upon entering high school.

The individual academies give students opportunities to get ahead with college credits, take part in engaging internships, and gain real-world training with specialized instruction in various fields of study.

“I think it’s great that the district provided this event because it really does prepare us for the future,” said Daniel Garcia, an eighth-grade student at Paso Del Norte School. “I think this can help set us up in the right mindset by giving us the tools we need in college and in a career.”

Last fall, incoming SISD freshmen and their parents received a preview to the advanced academic academies as they were preparing to select their endorsement for the course of study they will pursue in high school.

“Having these different programs available at all the high schools makes them accessible to all students rather than a select few. I think that puts our district and our students a step ahead,” said Marvin Hanley, the audio and video production teacher at Montwood High School.

Students at elementary grade levels and their parents can start looking into SISD’s advanced academic academies now so that they can be ready to apply in their eighth-grade year.

Interested students can talk to their teachers or school counselors or visit the advanced academics web page on the district website.

The SISD academies are:

  • Health Professions Academy (HPA) at Socorro High School,
  • Synergi4 TSTEM Academy at Montwood High School,
  • Libertas Academy for Law, Government and Public Administration at Americas High School,
  • Aztec Architecture Academy (AAA) at El Dorado High School,
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) at El Dorado High School,
  • School for Advanced Technical Applications TSTEM (SATA) at Eastlake High School,
  • Sparta Business Academy (SBA) at Pebble Hills High School,
  • Fire Science Academy at Socorro High School.

Montwood High School Advanced Academy Night event photos  |   El Dorado High School Advanced Academy Night event photos

Socorro ISD students win EPCC K-12 Salute to the Arts awards

Socorro Independent School District students won top honors at the El Paso Community College K-12th annual Salute to the Arts art exhibit.

The students competed among numerous entries submitted from across the city. Thirty participants won awards at the event, which included five SISD winners and six who earned honorable mentions.

Here are the honorees:

Ximena Varela, El Dorado High School, first place for “Tranquility”

Marisa McLean, Spc. Rafael Hernando III Middle, second place for “Flamingo”

Gustavo Gone, El Dorado High School, third place for “Distorted Desires”

Joey Franco, John Drugan School, President’s Award for “Spotted Jaguar”

Joshua Valenzuela, Americas High School, El Paso Strong Award for “22 Strong”

Robert Favela, Spc. Rafael Hernando III Middle, honorable mention for “Abel”

Ashley Acosta, Eastlake High School, honorable mention for “January 10, 2002”

Vivian Murrell, Eastlake High School, honorable mention for “Everyone’s Dragon is Different”

Helena Rubio, El Dorado High School, honorable mention for “The Center”

Karen Hernandez, Pebble Hills High School, honorable mention for “Acne”

Illiana Nevarez, Desert Wind School, honorable mention for “Retro”

Socorro ISD schools honor veterans with parade, breakfasts

Students and staff across the Socorro Independent School District honored those who have fought for our freedom and safety with numerous special tributes and events for Veterans Day.

Socorro High School’s Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps had a special Veterans Day ceremony in the school’s band room.

All veterans and active military from El Paso County and the surrounding area were welcomed to the event and enjoyed a musical performance by Socorro High School mariachi group Los Gavilanes and breakfast prepared by culinary arts students.

“I appreciate what Socorro High School has put together for us today,” said retired Marine Ismael Samaniego Jr. “I am honored to be here.”

Taps was played to honor the lost and a lone table was left aside in memory of those fallen and prisoners of war. A row of American flags adorned the front of the school in tribute to the veterans.

Benito Martinez Elementary School also had its Veterans Day celebration for veterans and active military. The celebration included breakfast for the special guests and a parade, which included the entire community.

Various school organizations, as well as neighboring schools participated in the parade, with students walking side-by-side with the veterans and military servicemen and women or riding along in Army vehicles.

“This says a lot about the El Paso community because they are showing support, which is definitely something that the military needs,” said Staff Sgt. Robert Sosa.

School personnel recognized veterans and active military close to the Benito Martinez community, delivered words in honor of all those serving and held a moment of silence for those who’ve passed or been lost.

“It’s important because the veterans have sacrificed their lives on the line so that we can have freedom,” said Alexis Salazar, fifth-grade cheer captain at Benito Martinez Elementary. “I think it’s really important to celebrate and honor them.”

Socorro High School’s Veterans Day ceremony event photos  |  Benito Martinez’s Veterans Day ceremony event photos

Socorro ISD board trustee surprises Carrasco students at holiday reading

Students at Carrasco Elementary received a special surprise from Socorro Independent School District board trustee Paul Garcia, when he brought a special guest to a holiday reading of Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

As Garcia read the holiday classic, the students screamed with delight when the Grinch peeked out from backstage. Garcia enlisted the students’ help to interact with the Grinch and talk about the importance of reading and being kind to one another.

“I’m here today because I wanted to put out a message about how it’s okay to be different,” Garcia said. “The Grinch looks different, but it’s so important that we treat each other kindly regardless, and I think the kids got that message.”

The Grinch told the students his disdain for Christmas but listened to Garcia’s and the Carrasco students’ suggestions about why it is important to be nice, to love one another and to have a big heart. Garcia also pointed out that even though everyone is different, like the green, furry Grinch, we should offer friendship to everyone to create a better world.

The trustee also had to do a few push-ups and sing some songs with the students before the Grinch began to laugh and feel the love prompting him to be kind in return.

“The Grinch didn’t like Christmas, but we learned we just needed to be kind because all he needed was a friend,” said Delilah Fuerte, a second-grade student.

The Grinch, along with school mascot, Big Red, helped Garcia award two Carrasco scholars with gifts and distributed candy canes to the entire second-grade class.

“It’s okay to be different because even if you are different, you are perfect,” second grader Angelize Naylor.

Garcia said he had a great time promoting literacy and hoped it would inspire the students to appreciate the knowledge and enjoyment that one can gain from books.

“I want to start reading a lot,” said Carrasco Elementary student Gustavo Gutierrez. “Seeing Mr. Garcia reading here at our school makes me want to see what else I can learn from reading.”

Click here to view the gallery of Carrasco students at holiday reading event

Socorro ISD announces winners in ‘Show Holiday Spirit’ 2019 winter art contest

Socorro Independent School District students showed their creativity and talent in the 2019 Winter Holiday Art Contest.

More than 175 students districtwide entered this year’s contest.  The artwork featured colorful scenes of the holiday season with a tribute to SISD’s endless opportunities.

Four winners were featured in the Superintendent’s Holiday Open House invitation, social media sites, and will be recognized at the December board meeting.

Winning entries also will be professionally framed and made into a holiday postcard. All participants will receive a certificate of participation.

Congratulations to the winners and thanks to all the participants for sharing their artistic and holiday spirit!

K-2nd grade: Lauren Oaxaca, kindergarten student from Jane A. Hambric School
3rd-5th grade: Leila Vasquez, fifth-grader from Lujan-Chavez Elementary
6th-8th grade: Kristina Pan, eighth grader from John Drugan School
9th-12th grade: Bella Barraza, 11th-grader from Socorro High School

Socorro ISD provides unique, hands-on preparation for careers in animal care

Students at Pebble Hills, El Dorado and Eastlake high schools are taking advantage of the SISD veterinary technology program to get a full understanding of a career in animal care services.

“I know a lot of kids say they want to be a vet, but this actually gives them the experience to decide if this is really what they want to do,” said Reanna Rodecap, an agriculture science teacher at Pebble Hills High School. “They may decide they don’t want to be a vet though they still want to work with animals, so I think this opportunity gives them the chance to explore all of the different avenues.”

The Career and Technical Education program gives students hands-on experience and the opportunity to earn a level-one veterinary assistant certification by graduation.

Freshmen begin by taking a basic introduction course on plants and animals, and later, as they progress through the program, they learn how to care for dogs, cats, and other traditional house pets.

During their junior year, students gain knowledge and skills in caring for livestock, such as goats, sheep, and pigs.

With that experience and coursework, the students can then pursue their veterinary assistant certification in their senior year. In preparation for the certification, the students learn the basic skills needed to work in a veterinary clinic.

“This year we are proud to have more than 300 students enrolled in the program, at Pebble Hills alone,” Rodecap said.

Students must serve 300 clinical hours at local veterinary clinics. Once they earn the hours, they can take the certification test. With the level-one veterinary assistant certification, students can be hired at a clinic right out of high school.

SISD partners with El Paso Animal Services and other veterinary clinics throughout the city to ensure students are getting real-life practice. Daily work in these facilities allows students to learn basic handling of the animals, observing surgeries and, at times, helping with administering anesthesia.

“We are an open enrollment shelter, so with in-take, more help, more care, more assistance is needed,” said Rose Janice, volunteer coordinator at El Paso Animal Services. “We are excited to see these students through their journey and are hopeful that we will see them graduate as vet assistants.”

Currently, 17 SISD students are working at El Paso Animal Services and collectively have earned almost 500 volunteer hours at the shelter. They have learned how to care, shelter and socialize the animals, about animal behavior management, and applying medical services.

The students also have been helping treat cats for ringworm, spaying/neutering, and giving other forms of treatment to help prevent the spread of illness.

“This helps me gain experience as I work alongside other vets and vet assistants who help me learn and grow,” said Maria Martinez, a senior at Pebble Hills High School. “Being able to start early is really great and I’m super happy to be a part of this program.”

Socorro ISD Veterinary Technology Program photos

SISD Elementary students excel with research, experiments in district science fair

The Socorro Independent School District 2019 Elementary Science Fair was an opportunity for hundreds of elementary students to show off their innovative science projects and the hours of research, experimenting and critical thinking they put into the projects.

More than 450 third- through fifth-grade students presented their projects at Pebble Hills High School showcasing research on physical science, life science, earth and environmental science, behavioral science, engineering and math.

First, second and third place winners were awarded per category and grade level.

“I’m excited because this is my third and final year coming here and I’m also very proud of myself,” said Ian Flores, a fifth-grade student from Myrtle Cooper Elementary, who placed first in his category for his research on whether soil type affects building stability during an earthquake.

Sweepstake winners, one per grade level, also were named. The sweepstakes winners were Jade Gordy, third grader at John Drugan School, Natalia Armendariz fourth grader from John Drugan and Christian Feely, fifth grader at Loma Verde Elementary. The campus sweepstakes winner was John Drugan School.

This year’s science fair had an Apollo 11 theme to honor the 50th anniversary of the moon mission and inspire the next generation of scientists. Students started the scientific journey by presenting their projects to their class and at the campus science fairs. First place winners in each individual category at the school level then advanced to the district science fair.

“The district science fair prepares these students for the world of science,” said Latreye Waters, a SCEI coach at Sierra Vista Elementary. “The science fair itself makes them go through the whole scientific process.”

The event is a great community event, involving educators at all grade levels and subject areas at the schools and includes SISD high school students and University of Texas at El Paso alumni as judges.

Socorro Girón, a fifth-grade bilingual teacher at Escontrias Elementary, said she is proud of all students who participated in the science fair because she knows they worked hard and they deserve recognition for the effort they dedicated in order to make it to the district science fair. Their participation at this level will benefit them in the long run, she said.

“We like to see students succeed and practice makes them better,” said Socorro Girón a fifth-grade bilingual teacher at Escontrias Elementary.

The competition was held in Early November.

2019 Science Fair Elementary School Winners / Elementary science fair event photos

Butler, Carrasco elementary schools receive $20k from Socorro AFT for books

James P. Butler and Sgt. Jose F. Carrasco elementary schools received $20,000 from the Socorro American Federation of Teachers for books for students at all grade levels.

The generous donation is part of Socorro AFT’s “Today a Reader, Tomorrow a Leader” book program, which focuses on improving literacy and love for reading by giving students more access to books.

“Reading is extremely important because it opens the pathway to everything in our world, whether it is through technology or on the job or careers,” said fifth-grade teacher Magdalena Marquez. “Everything that you do involves being able to read and comprehend what you are reading.”

The donation will allow both students and teachers to gain new, high-quality, contemporary books.

“College and career readiness are part of our district’s focus, which, coupled with this awesome book donation here today, gives our children a high success possibility,” said Rosa Chavez-Avedician, principal of Butler Elementary School principal.

Socorro AFT partners with First Book, a non-profit that provides new books and educational resources to schools and programs. First Book gave the $20,000 to Socorro AFT, the only organization in the El Paso region to earn the award, to provide books to students in the area.

“Reading is important because it helps us in the future and the real world, and to get more books is going to encourage us to read more,” said fifth-grader Alexander Robles.

Butler Elementary School parent Maribel Latin and her children were among those who benefited from the book donation. Latin and her children were at the Cielo Vista Walmart on Aug. 3, the day of the shooting at the store.

The donation from Socorro AFT was presented in their honor and to all the victims of the shooting. Latin said she hopes others will look to reading as a way of coping with the tragedy and that it will bring healing to move forward as a community.

“Reading is a gateway, an opening for them to heal, and a lot of time at school is an outlet, like therapy,” Latin said. “Here at school they get to read a couple of books and for a moment their imagination takes them to another place where they don’t have to think about what happened.”

The check was presented Oct. 18 at a special ceremony at James P. Butler Elementary.

Socorro AFT for book event photos

SISD’s Career Awareness Showcase prepares 4th-8th grade students for future

Hundreds of fourth through eighth grade students attended the Socorro Independent School District’s annual Career Awareness Showcase at Pebble Hills High School to learn about college and career opportunities available to them at SISD high schools, in higher education and in businesses, industries, and agencies.

High school students in Team SISD and employees in the El Paso community gave interactive and engaging presentations for the young students and their parents to show them what fields of study and employment are available in the area.

“It’s a nice event because you can learn a lot and it takes students one step closer to their dreams,” said Col. John O. Ensor Middle School sixth grader Belen Martinez-Vega.

The fifth annual CAS event was an opportunity for the students from elementary and middle schools across the district to get a fun and unique real-world view of what the future holds for them.

“I’m excited for today because I think it’s a real good idea for us to get a chance to picture what we want to do with our lives,” said Emily Castaneda, a sixth grader at Ernesto Serna School.

The day’s activities started with breakfast prepared and served by Pebble Hills High School culinary arts students and a comprehensive presentation on the endorsements, advanced academic academies, early college high schools, and other specialty programs available for students in Team SISD.

“These endless opportunities we have at SISD make our students well rounded,” said Brenda Gonzalez, SISD Career and Technical Education business and industry coordinator. “Not only are they getting college and career ready, but they are literally walking out with skills in hand from a field they’ve expressed interest in.”

SISD provides dual credit courses for students at all high schools in the district as part of advanced academic academies, early college high school programs and other curriculum. The district also provides a highly innovated Career and Technical Education program with 16 career clusters and 42 specialized tracks in which students can earn industry-recognized certifications to immediately join the workforce.

Incoming freshmen students must select an area of study or endorsement to pursue while in high school. The CAS event gives students as young as 10 years old the opportunity to begin thinking about what they want to study in the future.

SSG. Manuel R. Puentes Middle School teacher Lorena Dorantes attended CAS with her eighth-grade students to help them in their pathway decisions.

“At this point, they are trying to figure out as eighth graders what endorsements they are going to go into, which will hopefully lead to them knowing what they are going to pursue in college,” Dorantes said.

She said the CAS event allows students to explore their interests and the opportunities Team SISD provides gives them a head start to a productive future.

“This is a great event showcasing these great opportunities,” she said. “I really believe in these (SISD) programs a great deal.”

Parents agreed the career showcase was a great event for them, too, as it showed them the current education and programs their children can participate in, in order to succeed in the future jobs and careers they are interested in. They also learned about expectations and requirements in the specific programs, such as the CTE courses and advanced academic academies.

“This is something I hope SISD will continue to do because it’s a big help not only for the kids, but for us as parents,” said Maggie Padilla, parent of a Capt. Walter E. Clarke Middle eighth grader.

In addition, CAS gives students and parents insight to the SISD high school programs that can give students financial freedom in the future. Many students who earn the certifications in the CTE programs are ready to join the workforce right after high school in various fields, such as medical/healthcare, welding, electrical maintenance and repair, culinary arts, computer maintenance, and cosmetology.

“By the time the students graduate, they’re already certified and with that certification they can work, sometimes before they even have their high school diploma,” said Lydia Carrasco, cosmetology instructor at Montwood High School.

The showcase was held on October 26th.

Career Awareness Showcase event photos

Americas High School students earn $10,000 Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam grant

Americas High School recently earned a prestigious $10,000 Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam Grant, which was presented to the school in a special ceremony.

The Americas InvenTeam, which includes students involved in technology, engineering and robotics courses and programs at the school, is one of only 14 teams in the nation selected to receive the grant that will enable them to execute an innovative environmental project.

The team dedicated many hours of researching, planning and preparing for the proposal they developed to apply for the grant. They were tasked with building a technological invention to solve a problem of their choosing

“This team is highly motivated,” said Francisco Nolasco, a career and technology teacher at Americas High School. “They did everything they could to make this happen, it couldn’t have been achieved by one person alone.”

The Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam Grant was awarded to high school teams across the country in four categories: Health and Community, Environmental and Sustainability, and Food and Agriculture. The Americas team created their project for the Environmental and Sustainability category.

The students created a project to recycle polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles, which are made of a type of polyester, into a refined or shredded form to be used as clothing fabric. Their project then involves getting the shredded plastic to companies, which can recycle them into polyester fabric to create clothes to be distributed to the city’s homeless population.

“There is a lot of talented people on this team and we all have great ideas, but usually those great ideas don’t get to be developed because of lack of funding,” said Americas senior Gustavo Ramirez. “Thanks to this grant we’ll be able to push forward our ideas, which we are all very excited about.”

The students said the idea for this project originated from their awareness of climate change and their thought that as Earth’s inhabitants, people should work to find solutions to help the planet.

“This team being selected shows that they are passionate and that they have big hearts, which we always say inventors need to have big hearts,” said Tony Perry, Invention Education Coordinator with the Lemelson-MIT program. “Inventions won’t start cause you want to build a cool thing, but rather when you ask yourself how you can make a difference.”

Next, the students will be fundraising to showcase their project at EurekaFest, an invention celebration, in June at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. The event will allow the Americas students to showcase their final prototype and get feedback from inventors and professors and the broader science community.

“This is truly an amazing opportunity and we are all very excited,” Ramirez said. “Hopefully, we are able to make a positive contribution to society and the world.”

Click here to view photos of the Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam Grant event, held October 24th.

Team SISD gathers for the first-ever pop art contest

Students, faculty and staff showed up for the first-ever pop art contest at the Socorro Independent School District Service Center.

More than 480 art pieces were displayed along the walls of the DSC with visuals of artists from Michael Jackson to Billie Eilish, and cartoons from Mickey Mouse to Dragon Ball Z.

“We decided on pop art because it’s a teaching moment as it pushes them to learn a little bit about the form, popular culture and how to incorporate that into their own work,” said SISD visual arts specialist Macka Jones, who created and coordinated the showcase.

The contest was celebrated with awards, which were given out in four categories: high school, middle school, elementary, and employee.

“This was cool because I wanted to try a new style of art,” said Pebble Hills High Schools senior Samantha Debe, who placed third in her division. “I am very by the book and I don’t often try new things, so when I heard about the pop art competition, I thought that was a good opportunity for me to get out of my comfort zone.”

Pop art is a form of art that reflects or depicts popular and mass culture, such as celebrities or characters in advertising or comics. It has been depicted by many artists, most famously by artist Andy Warhol.

“You have some of the quietest students who’ll make a piece, show you and you’re amazed because you wouldn’t believe that it came from that student,” Jones said.

Jones says this is one of many outlets for students to showcase their creativity and it represents one of the endless opportunities provided in SISD for students to succeed.

“I think the district should be commended for supporting all these kids whether it’s athletics, academics or extracurricular activities, like art,” said parent Edmundo Gamboa. His daughter, Emma Gamboa, an eighth grader at William D. Slider Middle School, received a ribbon for honorable mention in the pop art contest.

The contest was held October 23rd.

SISD Pop Art contest winners and honorable mentions:

Student Division-Elementary
1st Place: Lourdes Guerrero from Dr. Sue A. Shook
2nd Place: Devorah Rodriguez from Mission Ridge
3rd Place: Elian Rocha from Hueco
Honorable Mention: Andrew Azcarate from John Drugan

Student Division-Middle
1st Place: Emily McCullough from Col. John O. Ensor
2nd Place: Kristina Pan from John Drugan
3rd Place: Isaac Parra from John Drugan
Honorable Mention: Emma Gamboa from William D. Slider

Student Division-High
1st Place: Azeneth Guerrero from KEYS Academy
2nd Place: Jeremiah Landeros from Pebble Hills
3rd Place: Samantha Debe from Pebble Hills
Honorable Mention: Tania Casas from El Dorado

Employee Division
1st Place: Claudia Cardenas from Fine Arts Department
2nd Place: Claudia Castaneda from Fine Arts Department
3rd Place: Alejandra Gallardo from Fine Arts Department
Honorable Mention: Stephanie Romero from Fine Arts Department

To view all the Pop art contest event photos, click here.

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