September 7, 2023
Contact: Maddy Mahony, email@example.com
Española, NM – Today, the national STEMx network announced funding for four states to launch science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education advocacy programs. In New Mexico, LANL Foundation has been awarded a STEMx Challenge Grant which will help support the Northern New Mexico STEAM Coalition to create a statewide plan for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) advocacy and education, as well as support students from rural and Tribal areas to participate in the 2024 STEAM Day at the Legislature, an annual event held at the Roundhouse during the legislative session.
“Advocacy begins at the local level,” said Heather Sherman, Director of the STEMx network. “These programs build on a multi-year effort within the network, beginning with our 2022 STEMx on the Hill event, to elevate the voices of states in advocating for high-quality STEM education for all students.” The 2023 STEMx Challenge Grants fund projects in Arkansas, Maryland, Minnesota, and New Mexico.
In New Mexico, the STEMx grant will support the work of the Northern New Mexico STEAM Coalition, whose aim is to ensure every student has access to meaningful culturally and linguistically sustaining inquiry STEAM learning every day, kindergarten through 12th grade. The coalition, co-led by LANL Foundation and the LANL Community Partnerships Office, is also developing legislation to support the creation of a centralized STEM Education Innovation Network in New Mexico.
“We need a cohesive vision for STEAM education so we can deepen learning opportunities throughout New Mexico,” said Kersti Tyson, co-chair of the Northern New Mexico STEAM Coalition and Director of Research & Evaluation at LANL Foundation. “We are so grateful to the STEMx network and Battelle for supporting our work to bring high quality STEAM learning opportunities to all of our students.”
Funding from the $13,000 STEMx Grant will support students from rural and Tribal areas to participate in the annual STEAM Day at the Legislature. The event amplifies the need for a statewide STEM network and elevates the role of STEAM as a crucial component of economic development to legislators and the broader community.
“In order to center student voices at advocacy events like these, we need to actually have students at the Roundhouse,” said Jenny Parks, President & CEO of LANL Foundation. “But a trip to Santa Fe during the legislative session is expensive and this grant will help us bring students from up to 15 rural and Tribal schools to the state capitol so they can make their voices heard on this critical issue.”
The grant will support student groups and teacher sponsors from up to fifteen rural and Tribal schools to participate in STEAM Day at the Legislature by paying for their gas, lodging, and food. The date is yet to be determined but it will be held during the 2024 Legislative session which begins January 16th and ends February 15th, 2024.
Battelle manages the STEMx network and funded these grants as part of the institution’s commitment to inspiring the next generation of innovators.
“The opportunities funded today will help mobilize support for STEM as a priority in each of these states while offering students a window into the legislative process,” said Wes Hall, Vice-President of Education and Philanthropy at Battelle.
Every day, the people of Battelle apply science and technology to solving what matters most. At major technology centers and national laboratories around the world, Battelle conducts research and development, designs and manufactures products, and delivers critical services for government and commercial customers. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio since its founding in 1929, Battelle serves the national security, health and life sciences, and energy and environmental industries. For more information, visit www.battelle.org.
Since 1997, the LANL Foundation has been investing in education, learning, and human potential in Northern New Mexico. Through diverse programming and collaboration with key partners, the LANL Foundation works to ensure that all New Mexicans have the skills and confidence they need to be self-sufficient lifelong learners who are engaged in their communities. LANL Foundation is dedicated to the enhancement of students’ access to academic and technical opportunities, leading to quality jobs by supporting college and career readiness in schools, districts, communities, Pueblos, Tribes, and Nations. For more information visit: www.lanlfoundation.org.