APS program offers STEM learning experiences for grades K-12

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque Public Schools landed a $7.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, for the development of a K-12 STEM magnet school pathway in the North Valley. The money is being used to convert Mission Avenue Elementary School, Garfield Middle School, and Valley High School into Engineering for the Future Schools where students engage in hands-on, STEM learning experiences.

Senior Director of Innovation at APS Francesa Verploegh talks more about the program and what it means for students. Verploeph says the program is open to all APS students but space is limited. She says the goal for the program, by the time students graduate high school, is to creatively solve problems, become more resilient, collaborate in teams, have solid skills in coding, programming, and public speaking.

“The program also helps prepare students for internships, STEM careers, and other careers they may have an interest in,” Verploegh said.

According to the program’s website, the first year of full implementation yielded many successes such as:

  • Multiple field trips to such locations as the University of New Mexico, the Air Force Research Lab, the Roundhouse in Santa Fe, and the Nuclear Museum
  • Opportunities to present to authentic audiences through showcases and Pitch Competitions
  • Hosting the regional VEX robotics championships 
  • Computer Science courses across the grades
  • Access to newly purchased technology and 1:1 technology access at Mission Elementary

To apply or for more information, aps.edu/innovation/engineering-the-future.

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