Albuquerque middle schoolers getting national recognition for creating sustainable moon city

Space News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – How can we make the world a better place? A group of Albuquerque middle schoolers said they have the answer: A completely sustainable city for the future that is bringing them national praise.

A communal atrium, hydroponic growth chambers, and a ski slope are just a few features of Callisto, a sustainable city on the moon 100 years in the future. Five seventh-graders from Annunciation Catholic School created it over eight months.

They took a trip to the local recycling plant for old tubes, toys, pill bottles, and more. “At first, I thought it was too much work,” student James Martinez said. “I didn’t know if I wanted to keep going. When I kept getting into it, I liked it more and more work turns into less because you learn more.”

The students usually spend their free time playing sports like basketball or football which was stripped away most of the year thanks to COVID. The project gave them something to look forward to. “It’s really meant a lot to me because we haven’t had sports or extra activities out of school,” Martinez said. “This made me feel involved with our friends.”

Their project has won the regional awards in the Future City Competition, beating out more than 30 other New Mexico teams. Now, they are national finalists. Team mentor Marina Marsh said the project has made the students realize they can achieve more. “I know a lot of people feel that it was a lost year, but I think these guys found confidence in academics, and for that, I would not change anything.”

To vote for Team Callisto, visit

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