New Mexico 2021

nex+Gen Academy

Albuquerque, New Mexico

3rd Overall

Produce Organizing Device

PROJECT GOAL: Our project goal is to create an automated system that sorts large quantities of produce that is easy to use, efficient, inexpensive and adaptable to the user’s needs.

One in five New Mexicans as well as one in three New Mexico children suffer from a lack of access to nutritious and healthy food. Food banks provide food to families in need and have experienced a great increase in demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our primary user, RoadRunner Food Bank, which serves over thirty-three of New Mexico’s counties, has struggled with a way to effectively process and therefore distribute fresh produce to families in need due to restrictions on volunteer capacity and a lack of modernized technology. We’ve designed the Produce Organizing Device (POD) to automate the produce sorting process. The POD is easy to use, efficient, inexpensive, and adaptable and allows Roadrunner Food Bank and other food banks to process and distribute more nutritious food to families in need.

Ashton Brace, Luke Fletcher, and Luke O’Donnellpopup

TEAM MEMBERS: Ashton Brace, Luke Fletcher, and Luke O’Donnell

TEAM ADVISOR(S): Laura White


Chaparral Middle School

Chaparral, New Mexico

1st Overall

Designing an Equitable Traffic Signal

PROJECT GOAL: Our project goal is to make traffic signals equitable to all drivers, specifically those with color vision deficiency. With a simple LCD add-on and an arduino app, our product will announce either "stop, go, or slow down" to the user in both English and Spanish.

Our product Equitable Traffic Signal, ETS, is an add-on for traffic signals that will cost the city approximately $620 and be attached to any existing traffic signals, but it will be absolutely free for our client, Gabriel who has color vision deficiency. Our display monitor makes instructions easy to see and recognize. The LCD monitor will display the words “stop”, “slow down” or “go”. The user can also use the app that the 1sheeld connects to in order for their phone to verbally say the instructions. Both the display monitor and phone app use words to give instructions in English and Spanish.

Josue Salais, Maggie Lonsinger, Kara Rios Sifuentes, Cynthia Moralespopup

TEAM MEMBERS: Josue Salais, Maggie Lonsinger, Kara Rios Sifuentes, Cynthia Morales

TEAM ADVISOR(S): Rina Viramontes, Sammantha Portillo


Ling Faith-Heuertz, New Mexico 2021 MESA Director | Anita Gonzales, Rules Committee | State Website

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