February 16, 2023

Explora Opens XStudio Teen Center

woman giving speech and toast at event

Kristin Leigh, Co-Executive Director of Explora giving a toast at XStudio VIP reception


By Brittney Van Der Werff

On February 11th, Explora opened X Studio, a teen center in Albuquerque that is sure to be a hit with youth. The new 8,000-square-foot facility features an exhibit co-developed with the NM SMART Grid Center that focuses on energy generation and distribution while showcasing grid resilience careers for teens to consider as they continue on to college or trades school. As with the other exhibits featured in the STEM in the Burque exhibition space, one goal of the NM SMART Grid exhibit is to inspire teens to pursue careers in STEM fields.

Local news station KRQE interviewed NM SMART Grid Center team member Amon Haruta, who explained that X Studio is "a place they can explore their career opportunities or possibilities for the future." What the interview didn't fully convey, however, is how fun the new space is. There are 14 brand-new exhibits with playful activities co-created with various partners in the community, including seven water-themed exhibits with Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority, a virtual STEAM uniform station with Sandia National Laboratories, and a hands-on game that gives people a chance to place magnetic antibodies on a massive virus model.

NM EPSCoR Associate Director Selena Connealy says, “We are thrilled to partner with Explora on this exhibit to share our NM SMART Grid Center research and to inspire the next generation of STEM professionals. Our partnership helps us to fulfill our mission to engage the general public around the critical issues of grid resilience and renewable energy."

If you missed the grand opening, X Studio is now officially open to the public. Visit the Explora website for the most up-to-date info and hours.