New Mexico Governor’s STEM Challenge Begins 2nd Year

STEM News:

ALBUQUERQUE – New Mexico high school students have the opportunity to use their problem-solving skills to compete in the second New Mexico Governor’s STEM Challenge program.

Ten-person student teams will work on a solution to the question “How Can You Combine New Mexico’s Natural Resources with Technology to Address Regional/Global Needs?”

New Mexico State University (NMSU) formulated the question and criteria for this year’s New Mexico Governor’s STEM Challenge. Winners will be determined by industry employers in the state.

The top teams will win up to $5,000. Student teams will present a prototype model at the statewide STEM Showcase at NMSU Dec. 5, 2020.

“Governor Lujan Grisham cares deeply and passionately that New Mexican students can compete and thrive in a 21st Century economy,” said Secretary Bill McCamley of the New Mexico Workforce Solutions Department. “The amazing contributions from statewide public and private sector partners shows widespread agreement with the Governor and we are excited to begin the second year of this program.”

NMSU, the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions, Los Alamos National Labs, and the New Mexico Public Education Department are coordinating the 2020 New Mexico Governor’s STEM Challenge.

“The New Mexico Governor’s STEM Challenge is a wonderful initiative that gives New Mexico high school students the chance to develop valuable skills in STEM fields,” NMSU Chancellor Dan Arvizu said. “We know giving students opportunities like this program not only help them prepare for college but also steer them toward STEM careers. We are very excited to host the statewide STEM showcase in December. I cannot wait to see the solutions that the talented students of New Mexico present.”

In the first year of the program, 65 New Mexico high schools and more than 600 students attempted the challenge. One of the program’s goals is to encourage the state’s students and teachers to integrate and use Next Generation Science Standards in daily classroom curriculum.

The challenge reinforces skills such as teamwork, problem solving, innovation, STEM development, breakthrough technologies and presentation skills. Student teams are allowed up to two teacher mentors and will receive support from subject matter expert mentors, who are coordinated through NMSU and Northern New Mexico College.

The New Mexico Public Education Department will provide professional development along with supplies and materials. Additionally, teacher mentors will receive a $500 stipend and weekly virtual support for the challenge. As the event gets closer and public health issues become clearer all the partners will look at options for a virtual event should safety of students, teachers, parents, and sponsors remain high.

Companies participating include Air Force Research Labs, Boeing, Chevron, Deloitte, Facebook, Intel, LANL, N3B, Pattern Energy, PNM, Presbyterian, Sandia National Laboratories, URENCO, Virgin Galactic, Lovelace, UNM Health Sciences Center and Molina Health Care. Additional Industry Partners may be added as the 2020 New Mexico Governor’s STEM Challenge evolves and progresses toward the STEM Showcase in December.

For specific information about the challenge including important dates visit: https://webnew.ped.state.nm.us/bureaus/math-science/governors-stem-showcase/. NMSU’s page for the event can be seen here: https://nmsu.edu/community/STEM-challenge.html.

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