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Toyota USA Foundation provides grant for SEMAA

New Mexico State University's Southern New Mexico Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Aerospace Academy will be able to expand its program thanks to a $157,600 grant from the Toyota USA Foundation.


The academy is one of 12 organizations around the country to receive part of Toyota's $3.3 million given to support K-12 math and science education.

"Right now our program serves first through ninth grade. This grant will give us the opportunity to serve more kindergarten through third grade and focus on early childhood education," said Susan Brown, director of SEMAA.

SEMAA, which has run for the past seven years, offers three after-school sessions during the academic year for area students and week-long summer programs for K-12 children. The program is designed to encourage normally underrepresented groups in the fields of science, engineering, mathematics and technology through hands-on, inquiry based science activities.

SEMAA works with 34 schools in the Gadsden and Las Cruces school districts. As a result of this grant, SEMAA will now be able to increase the kindergarten through third grade enrollment and expand the program.

"These grants are an investment in the future of our teachers and young people and will give them invaluable skills for the future," said Patricia Salas Pineda, group vice president with Toyota Motor North America.

The Toyota USA Foundation supports K-12 math and science education placing a high priority on diverse programs that are broad in scope, incorporate inter-disciplinary learning and use "real-world" classroom applications, as well as innovative and cost-effective programs which develop students' and teachers' abilities.