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New Mexico Governor’s STEM Challenge begins second year, NMSU to host showcase event with COVID-19 safety precautions

Release Date: 23 Jun 2020
New Mexico Governor’s STEM Challenge begins second year, NMSU to host showcase event with COVID-19 safety precautions

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 formulated the question and criteria for this year’s NM 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.

Maintaining COVID-19 safety precautions as outlined by the governor, NMSU, the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions, Los Alamos National Labs and the New Mexico Public Education Department are coordinating the 2020 NM Governor’s STEM Challenge. Based on daily COVID-19 updates, the STEM Challenge Showcase team intends to host an in-person Showcase event in December. If safety guidelines prevent a formal Showcase from occurring, a virtual Showcase will be held as a contingency plan for all participants.

“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 President John Floros 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.”

“New Mexicans who pursue a career in STEM will not only be contributing to our state’s economy and earn a great salary, but will directly improve the lives of our families and communities,” said Bill McCamley, Secretary of the NM Department of Workforce Solutions. “We are so proud of all the partners in the process, including the Public Education Department, NMSU, Los Alamos National Labs and our wonderful employer sponsors in making sure that our students have the best chance learn and grow.”

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 NM STEM Ready! Science Standards in daily classroom curriculum.

The challenge reinforces skills such as teamwork, problem solving, innovation, STEM development, breakthrough technologies and presentation skills. NMSU will work with higher education institutions across the state to identify subject matter expert mentors to support the student teams.

Companies participating include Air Force Research Labs, Boeing, Chevron, Deloitte, El Paso Electric, Facebook, LANL/Triad,N3B, Pattern Energy, PNM, Presbyterian, Sandia National Laboratories, Lovelace, Health Sciences Center, Molina Health Care and URENCO.

For specific information about the challenge including important dates visit

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