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Follow the Trail of the Painted Planters to the Observatory (FTPPO)

FTPPO Overview

Through the generous support of an APS Education Foundation School-wide Impact Award, we are implementing a playground, STEMify, student-led project.

STEM Mural Begins!

Students Present at Foundation Meeting

We were treated to an amazingly delicious meal was catered by Highland High School's Culinary Arts students! Then, Cece, Heath, and Jack gave a 7-minute presentation on our grant's progress.

Mr. Leyba painting our designs on the STEM planters on the playground
students and staff getting ready to present at the APS Education Foundation board meeting
students presenting their grant update at an APS Education Foundation board meeting
Thank you for the $25,000 grant to help STEM-ify our campus

APS Education Foundation School-Wide Impact Award Student Presentation

Jose: Thank you for choosing us to present to you today.


Toula: We are so excited for this project! We love our school and all the STEM things we learn each day. We love our teachers and how they make learning fun and interesting. They make us think.

Ugly & Empty

Jose: As you can see from the photos, we have some ugly spaces at school, and we need your help. We are ready to learn and make our campus more STEM-y.

Student Committees

Touala: There are many committees for students K-5 to join, and everyone can participate because everyone belongs. Some committees are "doing" committees, like gardening; and some are "thinking" committees, like planning the learning center.


Jose: Toula and I were Proposal Idea Makers for a day. Our ideas are on the posters you see in the image above.


Toula: When a proposal comes in , the Proposal Approval Decider committee will use a rubric to rank the proposals. It's the same one given to the adoptee team when they tell us they want to submit a proposal.

Painting & Naturalists

Jose: Some kids, like Toula and me, really like art. We and our schoolmates could join an adoptee team and help paint a planter. Or maybe our schoolmates want to be Naturalists. They will shop for native wildflowers and then plant them in the planters. We could use some of our school's compost to help the plants grow.

Plaque Designer

Toula: We want to honor in a special way the people who help us learn. This committee will design a plaque. The plaque has the names of all who helped paint that planter, and it will have a logo on it, like our school's roadrunner. We will glue the plaque to the planter.


Jose: Okay, how cool is this! We'll have our own telescopes to see the space objects from our school! Some of our 4th and 5th graders have been working with to learn about celestial objects. This project extends our learning so we can share it with others.

Outdoor Learning Center & Roadrunner Star Parties

Toula: We're looking forward to both the Learning Center and our Roadrunner Star Parties! We'll figure out what outdoor furniture works best for us- picnic tables and a place to store clipboards. Our Star Parties will be fun for everyone we know! We will teach our families and community what we've learned and help them to see the planets with our observatory.

Thank You

Jose: I'm one of my school's Student Ambassadors, and I like it when visitor come to our school, so I can show them around. I'll tell them to Follow the Trail of the Painted Planters to the Observatory. I'll tell them how YOU made it possible. Thank you for listening.

Congratulatory Letter From Governor Lujan-Grisham

the front cover of a notecard from the NM governor
the address label on an envelope from the NM governor
the inside of the letter from the NM governor


  • Patricia Gallegos

    Phone: (505) 281-3931
  • Katherine Gillett
    SASM Redirector
  • Diana Pandolfo
    Educational Assistant-Special Education
  • Theresa Rodriguez
    Gifted Teacher

Explore STEM Careers & Join The Raffle

To support school-wide learning of STEM Careers, SASM is holding a STEM Career Raffle!

How to Enter

  • Pick up an entry form in the Office or in Mrs. Rodriguez's room 208.
  • Research your chosen STEM Career.
  • Fill in the Frayer Model using the example on the back as a guide.
  • Turn your excellent form into the Office or Room 208.


  • Every two weeks a form from grades K-2 and one from grades 3-5 will be drawn. Winning entries will receive a STEM prize.
  • Every entry will receive a ticket to pick a prize from the Office's Prize Box.

Drawing Dates

  1. F, April 14
  2. F, April 28
  3. F, May 12
  4. W, May 24

Enter as many times as you wish with a different career each time.

SY 2021-2022

Explore our students' work from last school year!

Adopt A Planter

** All planters have been adopted. Thank you for your interest and support of our project. **