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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Program helps increase participation of students with disabilities

Though progress has been made to attract people with disabilities to science, technology, engineering and mathematics, the number is still relatively low, said Ed Misquez, associate director of the RASEM Squared program at New Mexico State University.

mber of people with disabilities in those areas are so small they are almost statistically insignificant," Misquez said. "Yet, people with disabilities are always solving problems, always being innovative but there isn't much representation in those disciplines."

To help break educational barriers for students with disabilities, the program will have its second annual RASEM Squared Partner Retreat Oct. 17-18 at Corbett Center on campus.

About 300 teachers, parents and students from across New Mexico and West Texas will participate in workshops and presentations. The keynote speech by Donald Thompson, division director of Human Resource Development at the National Science Foundation (NSF), is scheduled for 9:15 a.m. Friday, Oct. 17, in the West Ballroom.

Students will build and program robots made out of Legos during the day Friday, Oct. 17, and ride a tethered hot air balloon at 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 18, at Aggie Memorial Stadium. Steve Kanim, a professor in the physics department at NMSU, will present "Physics and Toys" from 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Oct. 18, in Room 315 at Corbett Center.

"We want to inform people about what the program does," Misquez said. "We want parents, teachers, students and administrators to know what resources are available to help advance students with disabilities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics."

RASEM Squared, also known as the Regional Alliance for Science, Engineering and Mathematics-Squared for Students with Disabilities, is primarily funded by NSF and is composed of 61 partners. The program is administered from the NMSU College of Engineering.

For more information about RASEM Squared, contact Misquez at (505) 646-1395. A schedule of events is available at http://rasem.nmsu.edu. The retreat is free and space is limited but available.