New campus STEMulates downtown

By Nick Stern, Senior Reporter | Photos courtesy of CNM.edu

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Administration has had an innovative and different way to address the intersection of entrepreneurship, education, and economic development in Albuquerque’s down¬town community, and the STEMulus Center was found to be the solution, which is planned to be accessible by the 2014 fall semester, Chief Community and Engagement Officer, Samantha Sengel said.
CNM is currently leasing space for the new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) center at the First Plaza Galleria building at 20 First Plaza Ctr. NW in downtown Albuquerque where it will complement the significant amount of energy being put into the revitalization of downtown Albuquerque and contribute to the constantly evolving workforce, Sengel said.
“The mayor and the leadership in our city have been very clear about the fact that downtown is going to become the hub of innovation, entrepreneur¬ship, and startup culture. We need to be responsive and proactive in bringing what we do best down¬town and making it avail¬able to the community that is there today and that will be growing in the near future,” she said.
The STEMulus center will have coding academies, cyber-security academies, accelerated learning pro-grams, boot camps, and even a prototyping lab, which will have the resources to move ideas from the sketchpad to the real world, she said.
The prototyping lab is intended to have a wood¬working station, a welding station, a machine tooling station, and even a 3D printing station, but most importantly will have technicians and courses that will help people acquire the skills needed to use each workshop, Sengel said.
“We will have the structure for credit classes, but we also have non-credit, that has to do with skill development and training. We do not just stick you in a welding station and say good luck. We are going to structure around the safety training, so that they can be at the welding station and work there and if there is one-on-one instruction that needs to occur then we are going to have that technician onsite to support them in that way,” she said.
There will probably also be practical application courses like weekend-long, non-credit, introductory welding classes where people can pay to spend the weekend learning and increasing their skills which really is what the center is meant to be all about, Sengel said.
CNM recognizes that it is still very important for more and more people to receive degrees in New Mexico, and the hope is that people will become interested in pursuing their education after learning related skills, Sengel said.
“With the introduction to something exciting and interesting we can hopefully hook them and get them interested in pursuing their education, because that is what’s good for New Mexico. More people with degrees are important in New Mexico and we want to increase degree attainment across our country, region, and state,” she said.
Sengel advises anyone who is interested in this future project to keep their ears tuned for announcements because CNM intends on doing its best to keep everybody informed as there are new developments, she said.
Anyone who is interested can also go to cnm. edu/stemulus and fill out a form with any questions or comments they might have about the STEMulus center, Sengal said.

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