New Mexico Governor’s STEM Challenge Confirms 600+ Participants 

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE                                                                                                                         
September 4, 2019                                                                                                                                       

New Mexico Governor’s STEM Challenge Confirms 600+ Participants  

(Albuquerque, NM) –Sixty-five New Mexico (NM) high schools have created student teams to imagine, design, and develop a technological solution for the 2019-20 New Mexico Governor’s STEM Challenge. These 600+ students capture a geographic diversity that reaches all corners of NM. Over 30 school districts are represented, both urban and rural, including Albuquerque, Belen, Capitan, Chama, Deming, Eunice, Farmington, Gadsden, Grady, Las Cruces, Los Lunas, Raton, Roswell, Santa Fe, San Jon, Silver City, and Gallup-McKinley.

The STEM Challenge structure is simple: over the course of the semester, these ten-person student teams will create a prototype/model that solves a real-world problem in response to the Challenge theme, Keeping the World Safer Using Technology. Partnered NM industry employers will evaluate the proposed solutions based on quality and demonstration of skills required for STEM careers in NM. The top teams will receive $5000 and present at the Statewide Showcase held December 7, 2019 at Los Lunas High School.

“We are thrilled to see schools participating from around the state, giving the STEM Challenge a diversity that is absolutely necessary to accomplish our mission of showing students that if they study hard in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, they can get great jobs right here in New Mexico,” said Secretary Bill McCamley from the NM Department of Workforce Solutions.

Teachers championing the teams will integrate the Challenge theme with the NM STEM Ready! Science Standards as a co-curricular learning tool for everyday classroom activities. These mentor teachers will also receive funds for materials, a stipend, and professional learning through the NM Public Education Department. Each participating student is eligible to receive an NMAA Varsity letter, the same award given to student athletes on a varsity sports team.

“Los Alamos National Laboratory is excited to support the STEM Challenge. The competition is a win-win that both encourages New Mexican students in STEM fields, and will help meet future workforce needs of the Laboratory and the state,” said LANL Director Thom Mason. 

New Mexico State University has coordinated undergraduate mentors from its institution as well as Northern New Mexico College and the University of New Mexico to advise and support student teams.  

“STEM education is so meaningful for our students, not only because it provides a high skill set, the ability to think critically and work collaboratively in teams, and engage in relevant work, but because of its bond with workforce and economic development,” said Deputy Secretary Gwen Perea Warniment from the NM Public Education Department. “I am thrilled by the numbers of schools and districts participating. Students and educators across New Mexico have answered the call for purposeful, engaging, and challenging learning that is called for by the Next Generation Science Standards.”

The 2019-20 NM Governor’s STEM Challenge is coordinated by the NM Department of Workforce Solutions, the NM Public Education Department, and Los Alamos National Laboratory.  

Sponsoring companies partnered with the STEM Challenge include:

Decartes Labs
El Paso Electric 
Freeport McMoRan
Meow Wolf
Pattern Energy
RS 21
Virgin Galactic
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Sandia National Laboratories
Air Force Research Labs