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New Mexico Governor’s STEM Challenge goes virtual, registration extended to Sept. 24

Due to COVID-19 safety precautions, the 2020 New Mexico Governor’s STEM Challenge has transitioned to an all virtual event including the statewide STEM Showcase to be hosted by New Mexico State University Dec. 5, and the registration deadline has been extended to 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24.


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The 2020 New Mexico Governor’s STEM Challenge program will be an all virtual event this year due to COVID-19 safety precautions. The program gives New Mexico high school students an opportunity to use their problem-solving skills. (Courtesy photo)

The NM Governor’s STEM Challenge partners including NMSU, the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions, Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation and the New Mexico Public Education Department will be joined by industry partners from across the state.

Registration is available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NBNYGBY. All information including important updates and deadlines will be accessible via Canvas.

“The New Mexico Governor’s STEM Challenge presents an opportunity for students to be creative and to collaborate on STEM solutions to issues we face in the state and across the globe,” said NMSU President John Floros. “While there is great value to in-person peer-to-peer learning, our students are also developing important skills in learning and collaborating with peers in the virtual world. Going virtual with this challenge will make it accessible to additional students and better serve them and their families.”

In its second year, the NM Governor’s STEM Challenge is an opportunity for New Mexico high school students to use their problem-solving skills. The 10-person student teams will compete to find a solution to the question “how can you combine New Mexico’s natural resources with technology to address regional/global needs?” Winners will be determined by industry employers in the state. The top teams will win up to $5,000.

“I am proud of our students’ tenacity, and I know New Mexico’s diverse student population recognizes the potential that STEM jobs have to address local, state and global challenges,” said New Mexico Public Education Secretary Ryan Stewart. “The NM Governor’s STEM Challenge is the ideal venue for students to practice their collaborative problem-solving and presentation skills, while utilizing engineering design, science and engineering practices to construct project models that could become the innovations of tomorrow.”

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 Governor’s STEM Challenge is all about using science and technology to solve problems” said Bill McCamley, Secretary of the NM Department of Workforce Solutions. “Giving students a successful experience while keeping them, their teachers and our sponsors safe will be us putting this idea in to practice.”

The challenge reinforces skills such as teamwork, problem solving, innovation, STEM development, breakthrough technologies and presentation skills.

“The NM Governor’s STEM Challenge offers New Mexico’s youth an opportunity to shine and have their ingenuity recognized. It is a chance for youth and their mentors to work and grow together to creatively solve real world problems,” said Kersti Tyson, LANL Foundation’s Director of Evaluation and Learning.

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

For specific information about the challenge visit https://nmsu.edu/community/STEM-challenge.html.