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Governor’s STEM Showcase

Governor’s STEM Showcase 2022-01-06T13:46:58-07:00

2021 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 (PED) invite NM high school students and teachers to participate in the 2021 Governor’s STEM Showcase occurring virtually on December 4, 2021. 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 would you use science technology engineering and math (STEM) to make life better for your family, community, state, or country?

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 on incorporating 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. Each school team is 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 10, 2021.


  • October 21 – Virtual Employer Partner Info Session (Career Pathways and Opportunities)
  • October 29 – Teacher Sponsor Professional Development Canvas Course Completion Due
  • November 4 – Virtual “Engineering Degree Program Exploration” Session
  • November 9 – Industry Partner Prototype Input
  • November 24 – Written Proposals Due
  • December 11 – In Person Showcase Day

Materials Reimbursement Process:

Please use the following link to complete the stipend and materials reimbursement form. Please note there is a limit of one submission per school team. Submissions are requested by midnight on Sunday, January 9, 2022.

Materials Reimbursement Form

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.

Resources/Links on NMSU STEM Challenge Page
2021 NM Governor’s STEM Challenge Sponsor Teacher Course

Academy for Technology and the Classics, Santa Fe
Sponsor: Stantec

Axiom Christian Classical School, Albuquerque
Sponsor: PNM

Bernalillo High School, Bernalillo
Sponsor: N3B

Bloomfield High School, Bloomfield
Employer Partner Award

Capital High School, Santa Fe
Employer Partner Award

Centennial High School, Las Cruces
Sponsor: Boeing

Cloudcroft High School, Cloudcroft
Sponsor: Pattern Energy

Crownpoint High School, Crownpoint
Employer Partner Award

East Mountain High School, Sandia Park
Sponsor: ExxonMobil

Goddard High School, Roswell
Employer Partner Award

Jal High School, Jal
Sponsor: WSP—Golder

Mandela International Magnet School, Santa Fe
Sponsor: Sandia National Laboratories

Mark Armijo Academy, Albuquerque
Sponsor: Intel

Mayfield High School, Las Cruces
Sponsor: Freeport McMoran

Monte Del Sol Charter School, Santa Fe
Sponsor: Chevron

New Mexico Military Institute, Roswell
Sponsor: Presbyterian Health Care Services

Pecos Cyber Academy, Carlsbad
Sponsor: Facebook

Roswell High School, Roswell
Sponsor: Molina Health Care

San Jon High School, San Jon
Sponsor: Presbyterian Health Care Services

Sandia High School, Albuquerque
Sponsor: Air Force Research Laboratories

Santa Teresa High School, Santa Teresa
Employer Partner Award

Southwest Secondary Learning Center, Albuquerque
Employer Partner Award

Southwest Aeronautics, Mathematics and Science Academy, Albuquerque
Employer Partner Award

Taos Academy, Taos
Employer Partner Award

Taos High School, Taos
Sponsor: Los Alamos National Laboratory

Taos Integrated School of the Arts Charter, Taos
Sponsor: Lovelace

Technology Leadership High School, Albuquerque
Sponsor: URENCO

The ASK Academy, Rio Rancho
Sponsor: Deloitte

Tucumcari High School, Tucumcari
Sponsor: Virgin Galactic

V. Sue Cleveland High School, Rio Rancho
Sponsor: National Radio Astronomy Observatory

Academy for Technology & the Classics, Santa Fe
Sponsor: URENCO

Bernalillo High School, Bernalillo
Sponsor: URENCO

Capital High School, Santa Fe
Sponsor: PNM

Centennial High School, Las Cruces
Sponsor: Lovelace Medical Center

East Mountain High School, Sandia Park
Sponsor: Chevron

Mandela International Magnet School, Santa Fe
Sponsor: Presbyterian

Mayfield High School, Las Cruces
Sponsor: Virgin Galactic

Monte Del Sol Charter School, Santa Fe
Sponsor: Los Alamos National Laboratories

New Mexico Military Institute, Roswell
Sponsor: Facebook

Pecos Connections Academy, Carlsbad
Sponsor: FreePort MacMoran

Roswell High School, Roswell
Sponsor: Deloitte

Sandia High School, Albuquerque
Sponsor: Pattern Energy

San Jon Municipal Schools, San Jon
Sponsor: Boeing

Santa Teresa High School, Santa Teresa
Sponsor: El Paso Electric

Taos Academy State Charter School, Taos
Sponsor: N3B

Taos Integrated School of the Arts Charter, Taos
Sponsor: Molina Healthcare

Tohatchi High School, Tohatchi
Sponsor: Air Force Research Laboratories

V. Sue Cleveland High School, Rio Rancho
Sponsor: Intel

Academy for Technology & The Classics, Santa Fe
For: “The Big Blue Bag,” a modified backpack equipped with a water filter and 15-liter, clean-water storage capacity for use in natural disasters
Awarder: N3B

Alta Vista Early College High School, Anthony
For: “Hybrid Concrete–Using Recycled Materials to Build Homes for the Homeless,” tested and produced hybrid concrete structures using recycled styrofoam, newspaper, and plastic
Awarder: El Paso Electric

The ASK Academy, Rio Rancho
For: “Accounted4,” a tracking device for locating all students and staff in the event of a school shooting or other evacuation
Awarder: RS21

Belen High School, Belen
For: “Roads to a Safer Environment,” a porous road-surface material made from repurposed waste asphalt and plastic that prevents flash flooding and allows for water catchment
Awarder: Facebook

Bernalillo High School, Bernalillo
For: “Insecticidal Effect of Capsicum annum Extract to Manduca quinquemaculata.” Recognizing the needs of nearby Pueblo farmers, students developed an organic insecticide from chile peppers that effectively killed destructive hornworms
Awarder: Pattern Energy

East Mountain High School, Albuquerque
For: “Food of the Future: Algae,” demonstrating how spirulina can be an affordable, widely available dietary supplement in food-scarce areas
Awarder: Presbyterian

Mandela International Magnet School, Santa Fe

For: “Using Object Detection to Make New Mexico’s Arroyos Safe,” a device alerting first responders to a person trapped in an arroyo during a flash-flood
Awarder: Boeing

Monte Del Sol Charter School, Santa Fe

For: “Water Sustainable Agriculture Technology in our School Community,” growing safe, sustainable lettuce for the school kitchen using a combination of hydroponics and aquaponics—and less water—than conventional means
Awarder: Decartes Labs

New Mexico Military Institute, Roswell
For: “Biometric Triage Drone,” which scans a disaster area for injured individuals and performs triage on them, allowing search-and-rescue teams to respond with maximum efficiency
Awarder: Freeport McMoRan, Inc.

Pecos Connections Academy, Carlsbad
For: “HawkEye: An Aid in Parenting and Healthcare,” a tracking device for caregivers of young children or adults with mental disabilities
Awarder: Meow Wolf

Raton High School, Raton
For: “A.C.T.S: Automated Climate Temperature Sensor,” device to monitor conditions inside a greenhouse for efficient food production
Awarder: URENCO

Sandia High School, Albuquerque
For: “Give the Green Light to Traffic Sensing,” a traffic-light system decreasing gridlock by sensing the flow of traffic
Awarder: Sandia National Laboratories

San Jon Municipal School, San Jon
For: “SCHWAP: Spilling Hose Water Accident Preventer,” a waste-preventing automatic shut-off device for garden hoses
Awarder: Deloitte

Santa Fe High School, Santa Fe
For: “Plastic Waste, Replaced,” biodegradable plastic made from cornstarch
Awarder: Chevron

Southwest Aeronautics, Mathematics, and Science (SAMS) Academy, Albuquerque
For: “3D Prosthetic Hand,” wrist-powered prosthetic designed using 3D printing
Awarder: Virgin Galactic

Southwest Secondary, Albuquerque

For: “Sol Wind,” a wind turbine that stores energy in solar panels
Awarder: PNM

Taos Academy State Charter School, Taos
For: “UCRD, Ultrasonic Conflagration Reduction Device,” a drone designed to fly over wildfires and shift the air currents around them, reducing the possibility of conflagration
Awarder: Air Force Research Laboratory

Taos High School, Taos
For: “Solar Powered Computer Lab for Taos High School,” using data collection and photovoltaics to monitor and optimize computer lab power usage
Awarder: Los Alamos National Laboratory

Tohatchi High School, Tohatchi
For: “At-Home Cell Phone Tower: The Key to Better Emergency Communication in Tohatchi, New Mexico,” using recycled materials to build a working home cell tower, boosting cell signal and allowing residents of rural communities access to 911
Awarder: Intel

V. Sue Cleveland, Rio Rancho
For: “Combating Teen Vaping Through Propylene Glycol Detection,” an affordable, effective vaping-safety detector
Awarder: Los Alamos National Laboratory

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

  • Due November 24
  • 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 November 24
  • 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 2021 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 24, 2021 and 2) completion of the self-paced professional learning course through Canvas by October 29, 2021.

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

Page last updated January 6, 2022