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MathMovesU event encourages youth to pursue technical careers

September 24, 2014 - By Kim Delker

The University of New Mexico School of Engineering will be the host to more than 120 area middle school and high school students on Sept. 27 for MathMovesU, an event to promote the STEM disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and math.

The event, sponsored by Raytheon, is one of many such events that the company holds around the country. It is the first such event to be held in New Mexico. It will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Centennial Engineering Center.

"Raytheon believes that tomorrow's engineers and technologists need to be excited by and interested in math today," said Steve Bennett, president of Raytheon's Ktech facility in Albuquerque. "MathMovesU connects with students from elementary school through college in order to address the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education crisis."

Students will spend the day on various hands-on activities led by four engineering student groups: American Society of Chemical Engineers, Society of Women Engineers, Hispanics in Engineering and Sciences Organization, and the National Society of Black Engineers, as well as UNM's Engineering Student Services. Two of the four National Science Foundation Engineering Research Centers in the School of Engineering will also participate.

Activities will include a space simulation project, making water rockets with recycled materials, making balloon cars, making LED artwork, an activity with nanomaterials, and building, testing and flying gliders.

"This event will engage middle and high school students in exciting hands-on STEM projects and will also allow students to see how their involvement in STEM now will lead to college and real careers down the road," said Stefi Weisburd, outreach and education manager for the School of Engineering. "It's also gratifying for UNM students to show the next generation of engineers and scientists how fun and fascinating science and engineering can be."

New Mexico Mesa, a statewide program that prepares middle and high school students throughout the state for college STEM careers, is also a partner in the event.