LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico students are proving their innovative ways. Two groups were awarded for their work in the 2022-2023 NMSU Innoventure Challenge.

The competition encourages students to “think like entrepreneurs” and design prototypes in a four-week challenge. It’s open to high and middle schoolers in parts of New Mexico and Texas.

There are three rounds for the event across the school year. Through all three rounds, a total of 385 New Mexico students participated. 

The final round featured the technical problem titled “Ocean Cleanup.” Meaning, students had to figure out ways to rid the ocean, or other types of water bodies, of trash. 

This round had 11 teams made up of 40 students. 

High schoolers Genevieve LaFont, Dessa LaFont, and Ethan Fetty of team Tech Gods from Hot Springs High School in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, took first place.

Tech Gods created a motorized net that connects to a boat and uses “underwater acoustic devices.” The net focuses on 120kHz and 130kHz frequencies to do its job. 

Ariana Romero, Jayla Lucero, Alayna Jaramillo, and Evaristo Tenorio of the team The 4.0’s from Anton Chico Middle School in La Loma, New Mexico, placed first for the middle school portion.

The 4.0’s created a hydro-powered machine that would collect trash around marine life, allowing the animals to be separated from the rubbish in the water. The machine is meant to be placed under a bridge.

I am continually impressed by the creativity and innovation displayed by the students who participate in this competition,” said Sandi Ringwood, Innoventure program manager.We look forward to seeing what next year’s challenge brings and are excited to continue to support and encourage young innovators in our region.”

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