We’re all looking for ways to improve educational opportunities for our students. One very popular, successful way of doing so involves the creation of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Centers. At STEM Centers, students learn to experiment with robots, 3D printers, snap circuits and other fun, educational tools. These labs encourage critical thinking and creativity, and they are certainly important in areas with a high need for engineers and scientists, such as here.
A group of companies – Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Devon, Edgewater, Flogistix, Nuclear Waste Partnership and XTO Energy are all part of an initiative that is adding seven STEM Centers to Carlsbad. This will include five at local elementary schools, one at the Early Childhood Education Center and one at the library in Carlsbad. These companies worked with the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation to bring these STEM labs to Carlsbad. Many of these labs will be unveiled to students in May. Cottonwood Elementary already has a STEM lab – meaning all Carlsbad elementary schools will now have one.
Additionally, the Permian Strategic Partnership is also working with the Cal Ripken Foundation and Centennial Resource Development to add STEM labs to schools across the entire Permian Basin. This is a $7.5 million investment on the part of PSP. Over the next five years, the Foundation will provide training to teachers and educational program material. There are discussions of adding STEM labs to local middle schools as well.
Thank you to everyone who has been working on increasing STEM opportunities to Carlsbad and New Mexico. Special thanks to Devon Energy’s Shannon Johnson, who has been our area’s biggest STEM advocate for a long time.
There’s a new Artist-in-Residence at Guadalupe Mountains National Park. According to a press release, Harlan Butt uses an enameling process to melt glass onto copper cut in the shape of feathers. These feathers replicate three birds native to our area – Red-tailed Hawk, Steller’s Jay, and the Mexican Spotted Owl.
Harlan is Professor Emeritus at the University of North Texas where he taught from 1976 to 2017. Visitors will have a chance to meet the artist at 11 a.m. May 7 at the park visitor’s center. Guadalupe Mountains National Park has had an Artist-in-Residence Program for ten years and has featured twenty-four artists in that time.
The State of New Mexico has activated a number of fire restrictions on non-municipal, nonfederal and non-tribal lands. These restrictions are related to smoking, fireworks, campfires and open burning. Most of these restrictions have exceptions or are applied in certain circumstances.
For more information on fire restrictions, please visit https://nmfireinfo.com/2022/04/22/state-forester-implements-fire-restrictions-in-new-mexico-effective-april-22-2022/