UNM STEM-H Center for Outreach, Research & Education
Office of Research/Government Relations, University of New Mexico
Profile submitted by Karen Kinsman, MS
Vision and Goals
- We are a recognized leader in the STEM teaching & learning community in New Mexico and beyond.
- We serve as the coordinating body for University of New Mexico STEM education activities in order to support the University community in its efforts to collectively reach key system-wide STEM education goals including significantly increasing the recruitment, retention, and graduation of STEM majors.
- We provide a comprehensive center for STEM education resources, outreach programs, and support services.
- We are a hub for STEM teaching and learning best practices and innovation.
- We facilitate the cultivation and support of strategic STEM education focused collaborations/ partnerships.
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
- Location on campus.
- Administrative support for the expansion of our organization to become the STEM CORE.
- Funding to develop the statewide STEM Education website currently under development as part of a statewide workgroup.
- Long history and excellent reputation built from existing programs...especially the Research Challenge.
- Director's ability to develop strategic connections within and outside UNM to further the Center's mission.
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