LAS CRUCES, N.M. - U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) will travel to Las Cruces on Monday, August 10, to discuss Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education and health care technology initiatives at New Mexico State University (NMSU) and tour the campus' NASA Aerospace Education Lab. Senator Heinrich will also host an outreach session to discuss a two-generation approach to creating economic opportunities and addressing the needs of both vulnerable children and their parents.
On Monday morning, Senator Heinrich will tour NMSU's Learning Games Lab and learn about innovative, federally funded STEM education programs that help young students better understand math concepts. The Learning Games Lab specializes in designing and testing media-driven educational tools. Recent projects include games and animations -- several of which are focused on science and math education -- an interactive virtual laboratory for remote schools, mobile apps, and creative video productions. Senator Heinrich will also learn about Math Snacks, a series of games and animations created by the Learning Games Lab that help teachers and youth better understand STEM concepts.
Senator Heinrich will then tour the NASA Aerospace Education Lab (AEL), part of NMSU's STEM Research & Partnerships program, which engages students in real-world technical challenges relative to aeronautics and space exploration. The AEL houses real aerospace hardware and software including an Advanced Flight Simulator, a laboratory-grade, a research wind tunnel, and a working, short-wave radio receiver, and hand-held global positioning systems.
Later in the morning, Senator Heinrich will tour NMSU's Arrowhead Center and be briefed on multiple initiatives, including the Arrowhead Park Health-Tech Cluster Planning Grant. Recently, the U.S. Economic Development Administration, an agency under the U.S. Department of Commerce, awarded NMSU a $488,000 grant for the creation of a master development plan that includes a health care delivery and medical technology development cluster at Arrowhead Park. The funding will help the center lay the groundwork to expand their hub and better support innovators, entrepreneurs and startup companies focused on improving health care in the region. The health care technology cluster at Arrowhead Park would result in the creation of 580 jobs over five years and more than $100 million in private building and infrastructure development. A longer ten-year plan would create 830 new jobs and $170 million in total private capital investment. The cluster would also help diversify the state's economy and capitalize on the growing nucleus of health-related assets like NMSU's biomedical and engineering programs, Doña Ana Community College's allied health training programs, the Arrowhead Medical Academy, and the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine.
In the afternoon, Senator Heinrich will host an outreach session with families, education administrators, and representatives of several non-profit service providers at Doña Ana Head Start to highlight programs taking a two-generation approach to early childhood education, employment and job-training, and health and well-being that put the entire family on a path to permanent economic security. In addition, they will discuss ways that service providers can coordinate to align and link existing systems to overcome fragmented funding streams. Senator Heinrich is preparing legislation aimed at ending the cycle of poverty in America by addressing the needs of children and their parents. Other participating organizations at the discussion include Doña Ana Community College, AVANCE, Community Action Agency of Southern New Mexico, NGAGE New Mexico, La Clinica de Familia Early Head Start, Casa de Peregrinos, and the Ocotillo Institute for Social Justice.
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Las Cruces - Monday, August 10
WHAT: NMSU Learning Games Lab Tour
WHEN: 10 to 10:30 a.m.
WHERE: New Mexico State University, 1780 East University Avenue Las Cruces, N.M. 88003, Gerald Thomas Hall, Room 173
WHAT: NASA Aerospace Education Lab Tour
WHEN: 10:30 to 11 a.m.
WHERE: New Mexico State University, 1780 East University Avenue Las Cruces, N.M. 88003, Ed & Harold Foreman Engineering Complex III, Room 213
WHAT: Arrowhead Center Briefing and Tour
WHEN: 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
WHERE: Arrowhead Center, 3655 Research Drive, Genesis Center Building C, Las Cruces, NM 88001
WHAT: Two-Generation Economic Empowerment Outreach Session
WHEN: 1 to 2:30 p.m.
WHERE: New Mexico State University, Doña Ana Head Start, 4101 Sam Steele Way, Building A-800, Las Cruces, N.M. 88001