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Local STEM Students Take Initiative on Balloon Fiesta Recycling

Information about partnership with Keep Albuquerque Beautiful and Albuquerque Institute for Mathematics and Science.

Today, Keep Albuquerque Beautiful (KAB) and the City Solid Waste Management Department (SWMD) announced an initiative to help empower science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) students during the International Balloon Fiesta. Each year, Keep Albuquerque Beautiful provides a four thousand dollar grant to students at the Albuquerque Institute for Mathematics and Science (AIMS) who help service Balloon Fiesta recycling bins.

As Balloon Fiesta attendees pass through concession row and the entire Balloon Fiesta grounds, Keep Albuquerque Beautiful and Cocoa-Cola branded recycle bottle bins will be available so that attendees can recycle their cans, bottles, plastic, and paper cups. Throughout the fiesta, AIMS students can be seen with a smile on their faces collecting the recycling and servicing the bins. The grant enables students to help the environment while supporting important school initiatives.

“This grant is a great opportunity to not only support STEM students but to help encourage our community to recycle during one of the biggest annual events in Albuquerque,” stated Matthew Whelan, Director of the Solid Waste Management Department. “We encourage attendees to recycle their cans, bottles, plastic, and paper cups as well as to give a warm greeting to the students who are servicing the bins during the fiesta.”

The KAB grant goes towards off-setting costs so that the students can attend two annual conferences: The New Mexico Model United Nations (UN) Conference and the YMCA New Mexico Youth and Government Conference (YAG).

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our students, not only for them to contribute to their community, but also to fund initiatives in alignment with the school’s mission,” stated Katharina Sandoval-Snider, Principal for the Albuquerque Institute for Mathematics and Science at UNM.

At the Model UN students learn debate, diplomacy, and negotiation skills as they offer potential solutions to address a variety of world issues. YAG is a mock New Mexico Legislative and Judicial session where students will learn about state government, the legislative process, election participation, and how to write and research bills. Students also learn to identify local and national issues and engage in research to find possible solutions to these problems.