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Governor’s STEM Showcase

Governor’s STEM Showcase 2020-09-22T23:19:38-06:00

2020 New Mexico Governor’s STEM Challenge & Showcase

New Mexico State University (NMSU), New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions (NM DWS), and New Mexico Public Education Department (NM PED)invite NM high school students and teachers to participate in the 2020 Governor’s STEM Showcase occurring virtually on December 5, 2020. Students in New Mexico high school STEM classes statewide are invited to imagine, design, and develop a project model to address the following question formulated by New Mexico State University: How can you combine New Mexico’s natural resources with technology to address regional/global needs?

Schools accepting the Challenge will utilize NMSU’s question as a co-curricular learning toll and case study in their STEM class curricula; though all STEM classrooms may participate, schools will choose one team of up to ten students working with up to two mentor teachers to submit a proposed solution. Schools may register their team without identifying and naming all 10 student team members. The Challenge will recognize student achievement in STEM and help NM’s diverse student population recognize the potential that STEM jobs have to address local, state, and global challenges. Students will practice their collaborative problem solving and presentation skills while learning how to use engineering design and the science and engineering practices to construct project models to present information and evaluate solutions.

Mentor teachers will incorporate the project into their classrooms and work with a team of up to ten students on the project.
Mentor teacher will receive support in the form of a Canvas course, about the STEM Showcase criteria and how to incorporate the required NM STEM Ready! Science Standards. Technical mentors through a partnership between New Mexico State University and Northern New Mexico College will be available for student teams.

Mentor teachers, who work in K–12 public schools, local-chartered, or state-chartered charter schools will receive a stipend of $500 and are eligible for materials reimbursement of up to $500. New Mexico Public Education Department funding can only go to support K–12 public school teachers.

Participating NM industry employers will judge team’s project models based on quality and degree to which the answer reflect skills required for careers with NM STEM businesses, and award winning teams up to $5000 ($500/student). All participating teams will present at the Virtual Statewide STEM Showcase held on December 5, 2020.

NM STEM Challenge Professional Learning Course for Sponsor Teachers

We are excited to roll out a self-paced professional learning course for the sponsor teachers! This is a self-paced course that will provide you with strategies to support your team working on the Challenge question.

Self-paced learning is a fantastic way for you to study the content on your own pace.  This course will provide you with information on how to:

  • To experience and evaluate student-level science learning that incorporates multiple dimensions of the New Mexico STEM Ready! Science Standards.
  • To learn what research says about best approaches to supporting science and engineering at the secondary level.
  • To understand the criteria and expectations of the NM Governor’s STEM Challenge.

This course is estimated to take 6-8 hours to complete. You do not need to complete the course in one sitting. The course will save your place as you progress. This course will be open for two weeks and closes midnight on October 7, 2020.

Completion of the course is part of the requirements for K–12 public school, local-chartered, or state-chartered charter school sponsor teachers in order to receive their stipend.


Important Dates:
  • Complete the self-paced professional learning course by Wednesday, October 7, 2020.
  • Prototypes/plans must be submitted to the Statewide STEM Showcase Coordinator, Madison Burns by 11:59 pm on Friday, November 13, 2020. A group of industry representatives will select projects to invite to the showcase in December.
  • School teams will present projects at the Virtual Statewide STEM Showcase on Saturday, December 5, 2020.


Plan and Model Specifications:

The student Showcase team will prepare and submit to the Statewide STEM Showcase Coordinator a one-page executive summary, a written plan (not to exceed 10 pages) and a slide deck-pitch stack presentation. In addition, the Showcase team must prepare an elevator pitch that is less than 5 minutes.

The model and plan should identify the problem; communicate the collaborative problem solving process; include a computational model, a computer simulation, or a physical prototype; and share the strengths and weakness, modification, test results, and effectiveness of the model.

The Governor’s STEM Challenge & Showcase project must address the HS-ETS1-1 Engineering Design and HS-SS-2 Science and Society science standards and at least one of these suggested high school NM STEM READY! Science Standards:

HS-ESS3-3 Earth and Human Activity (Biology, Integrated Science I)

HS-ESS2-5 Earth’s Systems (Chemistry, Integrated Science I)

HS-LS2-1 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics (Biology, Integrated Science I)

HS-LS2-7 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics (Biology, Integrated Science I)

HS-PS3-3 Energy (Physics, Chemistry, Integrated Science I)

HS-PS4-2 Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer (Physics, Integrated Science II)

HS-PS4-5Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer (Physics, Integrated Science II)

HS-PS1-8 Matter and Its Interactions (Chemistry, Integrated Science II)

  • Encourage students and teachers to incorporate and utilize NM STEM Ready! Science Standards in classrooms
  • Recognize students in STEM statewide and emphasize local job potential
  • Encourage diverse participants from underrepresented populations in STEM
    including minorities and girls

  • All students grades 9-12 from NM high schools including public, charter, and private; home educators may participate by joining a public school team
  • Though all students in STEM high school classrooms may participate, schools will select 1 team of up to 10 students and teacher mentors to represent the school and submit a proposed solution in the form of a written plan (10 pg. max) and 10-minute presentation of proposed solution

To participate in the STEM Challenge, each team will develop  1)  a prototype/rough model of their solution, and  2)  a proposal packet that outlines their prototype and presents a compelling plan for its usage.

1. The Prototype

  • Technological simulation, physical prototype, computational model
  • Must be transportable to the Statewide Showcase
  • Option to use recycled or reused items
  • Option to construct in a makerspace
  • Not required to be functional
  • If prototype is not functional team members but explain within proposal packet how it would work under ideal conditions

2. The Proposal

  • Due by November 13
  • Submit online to Statewide Showcase coordinator, Madi Burns (
  • Proposal packets must include:
    • Executive Summary (1 page max)
    • Written proposal outlining the prototype design, development Process and usage plan
  • The Proposal should:
    • Identify the problem
    • Illustrate the problem-solving process
    • Identify the strengths and weaknesses of the proposal
    • Provide suggestions for modifications to the proposal
    • Test results
    • Effectiveness

  • Winning teams receive $5,000 ($500/student) education award sponsored by NM STEM employers, and invitation to present at Statewide STEM Showcase before all companies, alliance participants, and other school teams
  • Students will use and learn: teamwork, problem-solving, innovation, breakthrough technologies, STEM development, and presentation skills

Q: Can my school have more than one team?

A: Each New Mexico high school is eligible to register one (1) team for the STEM Challenge.

Q: How many students can participate on a team?

A: All STEM students may participate, but teachers will choose 10 students from their classes that show interest and ability over the semester to comprise the official team and submit the final project proposal for a chance receive award funds and present at the Statewide STEM Showcase.

Q: Do schools need to provide budget statements?

A: There will be no budget statement requirement for the 2020 year. The STEM Challenge rules dictate a monetary cap of <$500 spent on prototypes, and the judging panel is aware of all spending guidelines and rules.

Q: What is the maximum length of the project proposal’s written portion?

A: The written piece should be 10 pages maximum, although citations and acknowledgements may be included on an additional page(s).

Q: Do the students on our team need to be all the same grade?

A: No, we encourage teachers to build teams with diverse ages and abilities.

Q: When will mentor teachers receive the stipends?

A: Only K–12 public school, local-chartered, or state-chartered charter school sponsor teachers will receive the $500 stipend. Sponsor teachers will receive after: 1) their teams’ project proposal is submitted on November 13, 2020 and 2) completion of the self-paced professional learning course through Canvas.


If you have further questions regarding the Governor’s STEM Challenge & Showcase, please contact Madison Burns, STEM Challenge Coordinator or Shafiq Chaudhary at the New Mexico Public Education Department, Math and Science Bureau.

Page last updated September 22, 2020