STEMarts Apprenticeship

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The 2023 STEMarts Apprenticeship is a STEAM opportunity for girls ages 14-19 from Northern New Mexico

Deadline to apply: December 27, 2022
Notification of winners: January 5, 2022
1-year Apprenticeship begins: January 10, 2023

The new STEMarts Apprenticeship program designed for girls (14-19) is made possible through the LANL Foundation Education Enrichment grant. Apprentices discover and develop their creative interests and gain valuable work skills. They experience cutting edge science and technology as part of professional STEMarts events. Apprentices will become part of the international Space Messengers team and receive a $1000 stipend and customized training in STEAM areas including; programming, webdesign, XR/Metaverse design, projection mapping, data visualization, interactive design, and ArcGIS storymapping. Apprentices will develop leadership skills through opportunities for teaching, presenting and team collaborations. Women in STEM fields will provide mentorship and share valuable work experiences. Apprentices will develop science literacy in the fields of particle physics, astrophysics, environmental science and space science to become informed, creative and empowered global citizens.

2022 Apprentice Winners

Below are the five Apprentices that won and participated in the apprenticeship program in 2022. Congratulations again to Amelia, Dominique, Feliciana, Megan and Svetlana, and to Zelo-Jade Rael and Dania Loya (new media artist and STEMarts Alumni) who served as mentors.

Dominique Vigil

My name is Dominique Vigil and I grew up in Taos, New Mexico. As a student, I hold a state Speech and Debate championship title, participate in several extracurriculars, and represent the Native American student body as the IEC student representative. In addition, I have helped engineer various systems to help combat climate change, including an anaerobic digestive system that manages waste production and reduces hydrocarbon emissions. I enjoy participating in volunteer programs, developing my musical technique specific to the violin, and playing softball. My interests include astrophysics, neuroscience, oncology, regenerative medicine research, engineering, astronautics, mathematics, epidemiology, and computer science. I hope to build upon my moral excellence, academic maturity, and artistic talents.

Megan Odom

My name is Megan Odom and I am a freshman student at New Mexico School for the Arts. As a young female in STEM and a theater major, I have a strong passion for both the arts and sciences alike. Growing up in Santa Fe, the artistic community has been a constant influence in my life and has shaped my artistic personality and outlook. Another amazing thing Santa Fe has had to offer is a massive sky full of stars which sparked my love for astrophysics. This lead me down a discovery for passions within other fields of science. In my free time you'll often find me hanging out with friends, skiing, and stargazing. With a particularly strong interest in community building and upcoming advancements in technology I plan to work hard to achieve something great with this wonderful team and program.  Megan Odom website

Svetlana Backhaus

My name is Svetlana Backhaus and I am a high school sophomore from Hernandez, New Mexico with a deep interest in mathematics, particle and quantum physics, programming, and Flamenco. I currently work at Moving Arts Espanola in Ohkay Owingeh as a dance teaching assistant in both Folklorico and Flamenco, and tutor mathematics for students from Northern New Mexico College. I also take Dual Credit classes from Northern New Mexico College, studying higher level mathematics and programming.

Svetlana Backhaus website

Amelia Martinez

 My name is Amelia Martinez from Questa, New Mexico and I am a freshman attending Taos Academy. I thoroughly enjoy working with machines and learning how to code, and living in Taos means that I've also seen many great examples of art that have shown me how people can use science and art to create beautiful STEAM based projects. Other examples of STEAM I've done is working as a Space Messengers student ambassador in 2021, participating in Tech Trek New Mexico, and going to several science fairs. In my free time I like to play video games and draw.

Amelia Martinez website.

Feliciana Mitchell-Gonzales

My name is Feliciana Mitchell-Gonzales (she/they). I am a Hispanic/Latina that lives in Peñasco, NM and go to Peñasco schools. I enjoy doing activities outside, such as biking, hiking, skiing, climbing trees, roller skating and swimming in the river. I like playing video games, reading graphic novels and manga, theater/acting, drawing, and baking. I plays the vihuela, run cross country, make murals, do aerial fabric, stilts, trapeze and the lira. I am interested in coding, VR, chemistry, and digital art. I am an activist for gender, race and climate change.

Feliciana's website

Zelo-Jade Rael

APPRENTICE MENTOR: My name is Zelo-Jade Rael and I am a tribal member of Picuris Pueblo and a high school graduate from the Santa Fe Indian School located in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Now attending UCLA, the University of California - Los Angeles, I am majoring in Human Biology & Society. I strive to educate others on the connections between mental wellness and creative expression with the intentions of enabling struggling youth to take control of their initiatives. Sponsored by Taos Pueblo Education and Training Division.

Zelo-Jade Rael website

Program Agenda 2023


STEMarts Lab Orientation

In this workshop you will meet the international team behind the Space Messengers project. You will see how we work together virtually and how each creative member has their unique role and contribution. You will learn about the technologies and software that we use with the opportunity to learn more in the areas that peak your interest. We will take you through the history of the project and fill you in on the timeline for the upcoming events and countries, where we will be presenting the Space Messengers installation, and what your role will be in each phase of the project.

Create your own website/portfolio

This workshop will guide you through the steps of building your own website using Weebly. We will help you make the decision of what to include in your site to represent your interests and strengths, and we will share tips on how to update your site as you grow and develop new skills and interests. Your new website will be linked to the STEMarts Lab GIS Storymap as a STEMarts Apprentice.

ArcGIS Storymapping

This workshop led by John DiRuggierro, Community Learning Network, will teach you how to create interactive data driven maps using the ArcGIS software. You will then apply this skill to work with the new Space Messengers Storymap which will track all the people, places, stories and events of the Space Messengers project as it travels around the world. Upon successful completion of this workshop you will be eligible for ArcGIS internships and job placement.


Space Messengers International Workshop

During this time, we will be leading the 7-week virtual STEMarts International Space Messenger Workshop that will connect middle/high school students from classrooms. You will receive training to participate as a workshop facilitator, working with the interdisciplinary team to implement this exciting international workshop.


XR/Metaverse Design

This workshop will introduce you to the STEMarts Metaverse, Oculus VR software and VR platforms which we will use for the VR station for the Space Messengers Global VR event. You will learn how to set up and maintain The STEMarts VR station for our public events and how to moderate Space Messenger events as an Avatar. In this workshop you will also learn to use software such as Real Player Me to design your own custom Avatars and VR objects for the Space Messengers, and then teach younger students how to do it, how to join the VR platform and how to interact with the live audience at the Festivals.


Space Field trip

We will take an exciting full day field trip to visit the Q Station, a space tech incubator in Nob Hill, Albuquerque. We will get a private tour led by Director, Randy Trask to learn about career pathways in the space industry. Afterwards, we head to the Frontier restaurant around the corner for breakfast together, and then drive out to the Very Large Array in Socorro. There we will receive a private tour led by Summer Ash, Astrophysicist and STEAM Coordinator who will also lead a STEAM activity. We have a snack before heading back home! On the journey, all apprentices and chapearones will be together in a private shuttle so we can share experiences and journal.

STEMarts Bootcamp@The HIVE

The STEMarts Bootcamp is a full day hands-on workshop with in-person and virtual guest instructors to be held at The HIVE. Digital Ant Media will lead an VR/XR/Metaverse demo and training to prepare you to be Experience Guides at the Space Messengers events. Dania Loya, new media artist/STEMarts Ambassador and intern, will lead a projection mapping demo.  Dr. Nicole Lloyd-Ronning, LANL Astrophysicst will lead a hands on demo and presentation on multimessenger astronomy. + virtual surprise guests.


Space Messengers: Design and Build

During this time the STEMarts creative team will be working on finalizing the design for the Space Messengers installation which will be presented at events in Guadalajara Mexico, Santa Fe, New Mexico and Taos, New Mexico. We will assign you to training and tasks based on your developing skills to deepen your knowledge in these areas.


Space Messengers Install@Festivals

In these months we are planning and coordinating with the festival/museum directors to bring the Space Messengers installation to the venues. You will be working in the focus area you have chosen i.e. VR station, Space Messages/Silhouette creation, social media/web development, interactive art, etc. During the festival event, you will serve as "experience guides' if in person at the projection site, at one of the VR Stations, or virtually as Avatar moderators if the festival or VR Hub is outside of your city.


Reflect on what's next

The final month of your apprenticeship will focus on one-on-one meetings that guide you through the process of reflecting on your experiences and exploring what you would like to do next. We present opportunities for continued internships and/or job-placement that focus on your areas of interest. You are also eligible to continue with STEMarts Lab team in year two and as a mentor to the new apprentices.