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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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New Mexico State University program receives funding from Toyota

The Southern New Mexico Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Aerospace Academy (SNM SEMAA) at New Mexico State University received a $100,000 award from the Toyota U.S.A. Foundation.

AA will use the award to expand its services to all high schools and 20 new elementary schools in Las Cruces.

"We are excited and thrilled to receive this award," said Susan Brown, project coordinator.

SNM SEMAA is designed to provide historically under-represented students in grades K-12 with academic enrichment and career awareness programs with an emphasis on science, mathematics, engineering and technology (SMET) fields. The program also works to help ease the transition from high school into post-secondary programs in SMET disciplines.

The program uses a combination of school-based curriculum enhancements, university-organized enrichment activities and parent outreach to provide students with research opportunities, hands-on learning, use of advanced technology, peer support groups and mentoring relationships with SMET professionals.

The program, which began in January 2002, has served more than 1,000 students in grades 6-8. The Aerospace Education Laboratory on campus, which was built by NASA in December 2001, has had more than 2,100 visitors since it was opened.

SNM SEMAA is a collaboration of NASA, New Mexico State's education and engineering colleges, the Gadsden Independent School District, Las Cruces Public Schools, parents and volunteers. The program has received funds from the RGK Foundation and the American Honda Foundation. NASA, the major funding source of all SEMAA sites in their first three years, also provided funds to hire teachers and purchase supplies for enrichment classes.