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Teacher mentors sought for ‘STEM Challenge and Showcase’


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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.

The Governor’s 2019-20 STEM Challenge and Showcase is the result of collaboration between the PED, the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).

The challenge calls for students in high school STEM classes to imagine, design and develop a project model based on LANL’s theme, “Keeping the World Safer Using Technology.” It will recognize student achievement in STEM and help the local student population recognize the potential STEM jobs have to address local, state and global challenges.

Detailed information on the challenge is available on the program page located on the PED’s Math and Science Bureau’s website and through the LANL Community Partnerships Office’s website: webnew.ped.state.nm.us/bureaus/math-science/governors-stem-showcase/ and www.lanl.gov/community/education/stem-challenge/index.php .

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“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.”

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: surveymonkey.com/r/NMSTEMShowcase.

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.

Project model plans/prototypes must be submitted to the Statewide STEM Showcase Coordinator, Anjeli Doty (adoty@lanl.gov) by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 22 in order to be considered.

A group of STEM industry representatives will select projects to invite to the Showcase, to be held on Dec. 7 in Los Lunas. Participating local STEM employers will judge submissions based on the quality of the work and the degree to which the project uses skills required by those businesses.

The employers will provide an award of $5,000 to the winning team. 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.

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