STEM Ed Centers: A National Conversation > Center Profiles > UNM STEM Center for Outreach, Research & Education, University of New Mexico
Author Profile

UNM STEM-H Center for Outreach, Research & Education

The UNM STEM-CORE advances STEM teaching and learning through outreach, research and education activities.

Office of Research/Government Relations, University of New Mexico
Established: 1959

Profile submitted by Karen Kinsman, MS

Vision and Goals

Center/Program Structure

The UNM STEM Center for Outreach, Research & Education (STEM-CORE...may be adding "H" for Health soon) is an independent unit operating currently under the UNM Office of Research, but will soon be shifted under UNM Government Relations. Internal and external collaboration and partnership is expected on an ongoing basis as is the cultivation of strategic STEM collaborations/partnerships internally & externally outside the Center. STEM-CORE is run by administrators/staff though a faculty advisory body is in the development stages currently and an external Advisory Board has existed for many years (key stakeholders as members). Currently, we operate with a full time Director, a full time Program Specialist, a part-time Administrative Assistant 3, on-call events staff, and have temporary funding for a specific statewide project requiring a work-study Program Assistant part-time and a part-time Programmer/Analyst.

Description of Programming

Our largest outreach programs which have been in existence longest are the Central NM Science & Engineering Research Challenge which is an Intel ISEF Affiliated Fair and the Central NM Science Olympiad. Central NM SERC is the largest middle/high school "science fair" in New Mexico hosting 500-700 students annually. Central NM Science Olympiad draws 400-500 students on 25-30 school teams.

We also offer a strong STEM Educator Professional Development Series in the fall which currently focuses on implementation of inquiry-based student research projects into the classroom/school and includes Project Management for STEM Educators and a series on Ethics & Safety. We are in the process of expanding the STEM Educator PD to become a year-round effort of both content and pedagogical offerings.

We work predominantly with the K-12 education community reaching many thousands of students, teachers, and family members throughout the year. Our main audience tends to be middle/high school right now. We are also working with UNM STEM faculty as requested to assist in the development of the outreach components of their research grant applications to ensure the broadest impacts and meaningful, data-driven implementation.

Successes and Impacts

The Central NM Science & Engineering Research Challenge which has been in place since 1959 has served tens of thousands of students, teachers, and families over the years. Our student participants have done exceptionally well at state and international competitions and our program has garnered a fantastic reputation in the community. Though we have probably not documented our successes as effectively as we could have, we do have annual reports, participation data, and now publish results on our website annually. We are working to determine how best to track our participants in the future, though this is an ongoing challenge.

Elements Contributing to Success

Supplemental Materials

NM STEM Central Website

NOTE: Planned launch in late October 2013; currently this link goes to old database we are absorbing/enhancing on new site.

UNM STEM-H Center for Outreach, Research & Education Website

NOTE: Planned launch inlate Fall 2013; our current website address will become the URL specifically for our Outreach efforts

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