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NM Public Education Dept. Seeks Teacher Mentors For Governor’s 2019-20 STEM Challenge & Showcase

on August 5, 2019 - 3:23pm


SANTA FE – As New Mexico schools are preparing for the 2019-20 academic year, the New Mexico Public Education Department (PED) is reaching out to high school science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) educators to encourage participation in the first-ever Governor’s STEM Challenge and Showcase.

Over the course of the 2019 summer break, the PED contacted principals and superintendents in all 89 school districts and charter school directors across the state to share information about this exciting opportunity for New Mexico’s students.

Schools wishing to register a student team for the Governor’s 2019-20 STEM Challenge and Showcase must do so before the Aug. 30 deadline. Registration is available through at:

Teachers mentoring student teams will receive a stipend of $500. Mentor teachers will receive support in the form of a two-day weekend workshop in September about the STEM Showcase criteria and how to incorporate the required NM STEM Ready! Science Standards into their classroom work. Weekly online support for teacher mentors will also be available, in addition to reimbursement for materials. Through a partnership between New Mexico State University and Northern New Mexico College, technical mentors will be available for student teams.

Detailed information on the Challenge is available on the program page located on the NM PED’s Math and Science Bureau’s website and through the LANL Community Partnerships Office’s website:,

“We want New Mexico’s students to be future leaders, problem solvers, and innovators,” said Gwen Warniment, PED deputy secretary of Teaching, Learning and Assessment.  “Our state’s unique role in the STEM industry provides us an opportunity to set students on the right path early on towards career success in STEM fields. This is why it is essential that teachers involve their students in the Challenge.”

The Governor’s 2019-20 STEM Challenge and Showcase is the result of collaboration between the New Mexico Public Education Department, the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). The Challenge will recognize student achievement in STEM and help NM’s diverse student population recognize the potential that STEM jobs have to address local, state, and global challenges. 

The Challenge calls for students in NM high school STEM classes to imagine, design, and develop a project model to address the following Challenge theme formulated by LANL: Keeping the World Safer Using Technology.

Project model plans/prototypes must be submitted to the Statewide STEM Showcase Coordinator, Anjeli Doty (, by 11:59 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, in order to be considered for the Showcase.

A group of STEM industry representatives will select projects to invite to the Showcase, to be held Dec. 7, 2019 in Los Lunas. Participating New Mexico STEM employers will judge submissions based on the quality of the work and the degree to which the project uses skills required by New Mexico STEM businesses. The employers will provide an award of $5,000 to the winning team ($500 per student). All student participants in the Challenge will receive a New Mexico Activities Association varsity letter – the same award student athletes receive when they participate on a varsity sports team.

Schools accepting the Challenge will utilize LANL’s theme as a co-curricular learning tool and case study in their STEM class curricula. Though all STEM classrooms may participate, schools will choose a team of up to ten students working with up to two mentor teachers to submit a proposed solution. Students will practice their collaborative problem solving and presentation skills while learning how to use science and engineering practices to construct project models to present information and evaluate solutions.