‘UNM-LA on Display’ Gives Glimpse Into Student Projects

UNM-LA Advance Robotics II student Josh Bristol-Cossey works on a robot he built in class. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon

By Bonnie J. Gordon

During UNM-LA on Display: Spotlighting Student Projects, more than 20 students from the visual arts, humanities, business, science and technology, presented projects on what they learned in their classes this semester.

Jackie La New, Accelerate Career Technical Advisor at UNM-LA and Dr. Irina Alvestad, chair of the Applied Sciences Department organized the event.

“We wanted to share what our students are learning with the community,” La New said.

Community members view student exhibits during ‘UNM-LA on Display’ at the college. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon

Alvestad worked with Department Chairs and Faculty to recruit students to create the presentations.

Business Administration major David Trimmer modeled a personal investment strategy. Using an imaginary $250,000, he was able to rack up $27,000 in profit in one month.  

“I learned that each stock has a pattern,” Trimmer said. “For example, one of my stocks seemed to go up around 10 a.m. Stocks are also strongly affected by news that comes out about the company. Monitoring the financial news is crucial.”

Using a mobile photovoltaic system they built in Photovoltaics I class, Rene Holaday and Doug Hefele ran a power drill with energy stored in the solar array.

Holaday and Hefelework together at Los Alamos National Laboratory and share a passionate interest in alternative energy. Hefele is currently working on a system for his house.  

“Our instructor, Don Davis, is teaching us to do it all in a professional way,” Hefele said. “Everything is very hands-on.”

Holaday and Hefele said that they are looking forward to taking Solar Thermal Technology next semester. “We’ll be learning to engineer a system to make heat—hot water and hot air,” Holaday said.

Sioux Lemler and Kayla Wellard, students in Elements of General Chemistry, created “American Punch,” an experiment in finding different densities of certain drinks to make a layered “red, white and blue” punch.

Using a formula of mass divided by volume, the students calculated the densities. They showed off the distinct layers in their punch, and offered visitors samples.

Patricia Madrid, Cindy Waisner, Ashley Serrano and Savannah Trujillo also used food in their project for Accounting II.

The students demonstrated accounting for manufacturing costs by developing a job order costing model for pasta salad.

They calculated the cost of raw materials, labor, and overhead and created ledger entries for each cost and thereby deducing how much the salad cost to produce.

Students Michael Elliot, Josh Bristol-Cossey and Scott Newman from Advance Robotics II demonstrated the robots they built in class.

The class is part of a new robotics degree program to be offered at UNM-LA in fall 2013. Bristol-Cossey first became fascinated by robots on a visit to Disneyland as child.

He plans to pursue a career in robotics engineering. His robot is designed to go over any terrain.

“I enjoy being at a small campus. You get a lot of individual attention from the instructors,” Bristol-Cossey said.

Students Doug Hefele and Rene Holaday with their photovoltaics system. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon

Students in the Greek Mythology class created exhibits exploring ideas in ancient Greek mythology and culture and their influence on modern values and views.

Artists from Drawing I, Ceramics, Raku and Advanced Photoshop exhibited their work and were on hand to answer questions.

This is only a sample of the many interesting projects students exhibited at UNM-LA on Display. The enthusiasm of the students was infectious.

Visitors actively engaged with the exhibitors and came away with an expanded view of what students at UNM-LA are learning.




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