A $1.3-million grant from the National Science Foundation is allowing New Mexico Alliance for Minority Participation (AMP) to continue its important mission to increase the enrollment, quality of education, and graduation rate of historically underrepresented minority students (URM) in STEM fields. According to Dr. Ricardo Jacquez, Dean of the College of Engineering and the project director of the New Mexico AMP since the inception of the program in 1993, the number of baccalaureate degrees in STEM areas has more than doubled, from 253 in 1992-1993 to 665 in 2012-2013, with a total of 9,388 STEM degrees awarded over the life of the program. The program also provides direct student support to enable students to attend academic year and summer enrichment activities without unnecessary loss of income. The recent funding will enable the program to continue its goal of increasing URM STEM graduates, including a contribution of 10% or higher from transfer students. In addition, the program aims to increase the progression of undergraduate students to graduate school entry and continue to build meaningful partnerships with New Mexico’s educational institutions, government agencies, national laboratories and centers, industry, private foundations, and STEM professional organizations to support student development and success across New Mexico.
Karin Wiburg, Distinguished Professor of Learning Design and Technologies in the College of Education, received $669,820 from NSF for the Math Snacks project. Initiated in 2009, the Math Snacks project conducts research on ways that innovative media can be used to fill gaps in existing math education efforts in the State of New Mexico. Informed by research results, the project participants develop educational media, including games, video, and print material to aid middle school students in understanding mathematics concepts identified as difficult to learn. The Math Snack co-investigators include Professor Barbara Chamberlin, the director of NMSU’s Learning Games Lab, and Theodore Stanford, associate professor of mathematical sciences. In addition to leading the Math Snacks project, Professor Wiburg is one of the founders of NMSU’s Institute for Equity in Mathematics and Science Education and collaborates with the Bridge of Southern New Mexico, a non-profit organization that supports educational excellence in Doña Ana County.
The Mathematically Connected Communities project (MC2) received a new grant in the amount of $1,169,441 from the New Mexico Public Education Department. Begun in 2006, MC2 has improved student achievement and the teaching and learning of K-12 mathematics by building a statewide learning community of mathematics educators, mathematicians, and public school leaders. This state-wide project offers professional learning opportunities for teachers of mathematics as well as district leadership and assists districts with implementing new standards-based curricula and assessment tools. This project is the result of the collaboration between NMSU’s College of Education and the Department of Mathematical Sciences, New Mexico Public Education Department, University of New Mexico, Western New Mexico University, and school districts across the state. Wanda Maria Bulger-Tamez, College of Education, directs the project as the principal investigator, in collaboration with Patrick Morandi, Department of Mathematical Sciences, as the co PI. The MC2 is part of the Institute for Equity in Math and Science Education within the College of Education.
Susan Brown, Research Associate Professor in NMSU’s Institute for Equity in Math and Science Education, has garnered over $1.3 million in external funding for her efforts in K-20 STEM education at NMSU and across the State of New Mexico. As the principal investigator of the Scientifically Connected Communities (SC2), Dr. Brown collaborates with scientists and educators in southern New Mexico to provide excellent professional development opportunities to K-12 teachers, equipping them with strategies to improve scientific literacy of their students. She also leads the 21st Century Community Learning Centers effort that aims to increase student appreciation of and participation in STEM disciplines. This outreach project provides services to Gadsden and Las Cruces school districts by offering hands-on training in science, rocketry, and digital media among others.