March 2012 Newsletter
We hope you are enjoying this beautiful spring weather. In addition to being the official month of National Pi Day, March was a busy month for the New Mexico STEM Network. When you get a spare moment, check out some of our latest updates.
NEW MEXICO COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS KICK-OFF
The New Mexico STEM Network joined Secretary Hanna Skandera and representatives from school districts across the state for the New Mexico Common Core State Standards Summit on March 2-3 in Albuquerque. The conference convened national and state education experts to discuss the New Mexico Common Core State Standards Implementation Plan and to provide resources to help districts with the transition to Common Core State Standards. For more information, check out the Public Education Department’s CCSS website HERE. For key points on Common Core math, click HERE.
NEWS FROM OUR POLICY TEAM
I was fortunate to pay a visit to Capitol Hill this month, where I met with our federal delegation. I was inspired by our Senators and Congressmen who are all committed to advancing STEM education in New Mexico. They understand that the development of a strong STEM workforce is an economic imperative for our state, and that we are in serious trouble if we cannot prepare our students to become part of the STEM industries New Mexico’s economy relies on. The New Mexico STEM Network also advocated for support for the STEM2 Act, introduced by Senator Tom Udall and by Congressman Luján in the House, and the STEM Education Innovation Act, introduced by Congressman Mike Honda from California. The STEM2 Act supports public-private partnerships and teacher training in STEM, and the STEM Eduation Innovation Act encourages the development of state-based STEM consortia. We look forward to continuing to work with our representatives in Washington DC to advance STEM policies.
SOUTHERN HUB UPDATES
Astronaut Charles Duke joined New Mexico State University and students from local Southern New Mexico schools to participate in a model rocket launch on March 9th. The launch commemorated the 40th Anniversary of Apollo 16, the tenth manned mission in the American Apollo space program. The students’ goal was to have an egg that was tucked into the rocket and launched several hundred feet into the sky float safely to the ground. Throughout the day, the 800 students were engaged in hands-on STEM activities that included the balance of a hand glider, moon walking, and identifying mammals of New Mexico. Mr. Duke also engaged students in discussions about rocket design and future careers in STEM fields. In preparation for the event, our partners at New Mexico State University worked with the schools on project-based STEM learning to support the rocket-building for the competition. NMSU also provided professional development for teachers to assist students in their rocket-building projects. Classes held their own competitions and the best design was selected to compete in the March 9th launch.
STEM SOLUTIONS 2012: JUNE 27-29 IN DALLAS, TEXAS
The New Mexico STEM Network and Innovate+Educate are partnering with U.S. News to host STEM Solutions 2012, a national leadership summit addressing challenges and solutions to the development of a strong STEM workforce. For the first time on a national stage, major corporations, leading educators, top policymakers, and education technology companies will come together to focus on the development of a STEM workforce. We are excited to announce that registration has officially opened for STEM Solutions 2012—you can early register HERE.
Please feel free to email me, call, or visit our office in Santa Fe any time. And, as always, thank you for all of your hard work.
Terri Nikole Baca