LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (AP) — It's crunch time for dozens of student teams that will be testing their ability to use science, technology, engineering and math to solve real-world problems.
Hundreds of people will convene Saturday in Los Alamos for the first New Mexico Governor's STEM Challenge.
The 46 teams — made up of 10 students each — have made computer simulations or prototypes to answer the question posed by Los Alamos National Laboratory: “How can you use science and technology to make the world safer?”
The challenge is a collaboration among the state, Los Alamos National Laboratory and 18 other employers. A total of $95,000 in prize money is up for grabs. Participating students also earn a varsity letter from the New Mexico Activities Association.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said the competition showcases New Mexico's ingenuity and passion.
"It's a reminder to all: New Mexico's best and brightest are on the cutting edge of the science and technology advancements that will define our shared future," she said.
Public Education Secretary Ryan Stewart said high numbers of students from rural communities and female students are taking part in the program. He said those groups historically have been underrepresented in science and technology fields and opportunities like the challenge aim to address the gap.