Air Force ROTC

The cadre and cadets of Air Force ROTC Detachment 505 at NMSU make regular appearances at High Schools, Middle Schools, and Elementary Schools across the southern third of the state to assist in STEM days, college fairs, and informational visits. While we don’t actively recruit elementary or middle school students, our participation in STEM-related events, as well as appearing in uniforms and sharing our experiences, has proven to be a motivator to young students to continue their education and help get them to college. Desert Hills has a STEM day, where we teach students how to make paper airplanes! Fun stuff!

For more information contact Lieutenant Colonel Jeremiah Klomp at 575-646-2136 or email jklomp@nmsu.edu


The Art Department has sponsored workshops for several K-12 groups with the help of current faculty and students. Some of these activities have been supported through grants from Margie and Bobby Rankin. In addition to faculty and students, the NMSU Art Gallery has also worked with K-12 groups for many years. NMSU Art Gallery strives to help schools meet their New Mexico State-mandated benchmarks and Standards for Fine Arts each year. The Art Gallery schedules school groups to visit the exhibit each year and also gives guided tours.


The Astronomy Department holds Open Public Nights at the Campus Observatory one Friday Night each month.


The Biology Department has several successful outreach programs that influence the community and future biologists. For example, the primary goal of the Mobile Molecular Laboratory is to provide opportunities for students from traditionally under-served communities to develop an interest in science and to develop confidence in their ability to pursue university-level studies and careers in science. Since the initiation of the program, 6,000 New Mexico high school students have participated in intensive weeklong visits to their high schools. During these visits, outreach scientists lead students through laboratory activities that emphasize the understanding of phenotypes and genotypes using the student’s own DNA and modern molecular biology techniques and equipment.

Another program the Biology Department has in place is the Access to Science Center. The ASC’s goal is to support teachers as they develop the ability to successfully integrate real-world science methodologies and concepts into their classrooms. The ASC provides teachers equipment and supplies, instructional support through site visits and through a web-based platform, as well as instructional support through a series of summer workshops and content refresher courses.

A program that is directed by Dr. Michele Shuster, primarily for young students, is the Bioinformatics in the K-8 Classroom program. This outreach project investigates a particular approach to outreach and the impacts on teacher and student attitudes and learning. It has served approximately 1600 K-8 students in Las Cruces in its first three years. This project is carried out under a NMSU IRB-approved protocol.

Chemistry and Biochemistry

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry cosponsors the New Mexico State University Chemistry Olympiad Competition, along with the American Chemical Society Rio Grande Section. The guidelines that are followed are in association with the American Chemical Society National Chemical Olympiad, which has local, regional, national, and international levels of competition, and The New Mexico State University Chemistry Olympiad Competition is one of them. For more information please click the following link: http://web.nmsu.edu/~davsmith/.

The Minority Access to Research Careers Program (MARC) is another outreach program of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. MARC is research training with goals to increase the number and capabilities of scientists from underrepresented minority groups who are engaged in biomedical research and to strengthen science curricula and student research opportunities at institutions with substantial minority enrollments in order to prepare minority students for research careers.

Communication Studies

Students in the Undergraduate Communication Studies Association work as tutors for communication skill development at the J. Paul Taylor Academy.

Computer Science

The Department of Computer Science has a couple of great outreach programs. The Young Women in Computing program has the overarching goal of engaging and preparing middle and high school women in the field of computer science. This program includes roadshows, student competitions, student clubs, online courses, and extensive summer camps.

The other program is Discovering Science through Computational Thinking aimed at partnering graduate students with middle and high school teachers to introduce computational thinking into the curriculum. The program currently has seven graduate student/teacher teams throughout area middle and high schools.

Creative Media Institute

The Creative Media Institute has a couple fantastic outreach programs in place. The first one is Curriculum Development Project. The Creative Media Institute produces school kits in conjunction with the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and the Bureau of Land Management. Dr. Phil Lewis directs the show, and the producer is McKinney Briske. The program is aimed at 1st – 8th graders, and these kits will teach Permian Era paleontology. The kits feature actual fossil casts, 3D animations of scientifically accurate plants, animals, insects, and brachiopods developed by Derek Fisher and Derek Chase of the CMI and other cool illustrations designed by Mary Parrish from the Smithsonian Institute. The kits will have a film component, which will feature actual paleontologists from the Smithsonian Institution, the NM natural history museum, and the geological survey who will explain what they found as evidence for students to derive information from. A hostess will guide the students through a series of practical, hands on activities as they become “paleontologists” trying to discover what it was like in New Mexico 280 million years ago. Another part of the filming will teach instructors to use the kits in an effective way.

The other program that the Creative Media Institute has is a Teaching and Mentoring Program. Creative Media Institute students go into middle school Language Arts classrooms to teach filmmaking. The students are then responsible for writing, editing, drawing out, planning, shooting, and video editing their films into narrative form.


The English Department has conducted the Borderlands Writing Program for over ten years! This outreach program has several aspects: the invitational Summer Institute which is an intensive workshop for public school teachers and graduate students on teaching writing and the Teacher Inquiry Work, which aims to educate public school teachers on professional development and reflective practices.

The English Department also has overnight retreats each Fall or Spring where teachers, active in the Borderland Writing Project, get the chance to participate in an uninterrupted writing and discussion of writing workshop.

The department sends two faculty members and two graduate students to Truth or Consequences (NM), to work on an English Teacher Inquiry/Action Research Seminar that focuses on implementing the New Common Core Standards.

However, the department’s main outreach organization for the last twenty-five years has been La Sociedad Para las Artes. Every year, the organization hosts free evening readings of national caliber. As part of a major research university in one of the poorest countries in the country, La Sociedad seeks opportunities to involve the English Department in the community.


Many individuals in the Geography department take it upon themselves to provide outreach to the community. Dr. Dan Dugas provides ‘Science Days’ on a regular basis at local middle schools. Dr. Mike DeMers has an NGS grand that supports advancing Geography as a STEM discipline in statewide K-12 schools. Dr. Christopher Brown volunteers as a judge at the White Sands School Science Fair and provides a staff person and exhibit for the Science Museum. He also currently helps with the NGS Geography Bee at White Sands School. Dr. Michaela Buenemann participates in Search and Rescue outreach. She is an active member of two teams in southern New Mexico and regularly teaches Search and Rescue skills like map, compass, and GPS use to teams.

The National Geographic Society’s National Geographic Education Foundation has awarded NMSU $32,000 to help educate children from kindergarten through grade 12 about geography. The New Mexico Geographic Alliance will become part of a network of 50 such alliances whose collective mission is to improve geographic education throughout the United States. The full article can be viewed at http://newscenter.nmsu.edu/news/article/8400/


Powered By Geography

The New Mexico Geographic Alliance is part of a network of alliances supported by the National Geographic Education Foundation. Our mission is to support and promote K-12 geography education throughout New Mexico and across the Nation.  If you are passionate about the importance of geographic education and recognize its role in so nearly everything we do, this you can help. Join our Alliance, support our cause, get involved in activities, teaching, learning, sharing and empowering our children through geography.


Throughout the year, teachers call the department and request a Geologist to come talk with their class. The Geology department assigns graduate students to act as the K-12 liaisons. In the past, these talks have been accompanied by experiments and occasional evening events at schools.

Members of the Geology department often make arrangements with teachers to have a knowledgeable person present and give guided tours to students through the University’s Zuhl Museum.


The Government department partners with the University of Denver and goes to high schools to discuss international issues and allows for debates at conferences.

Dr. Gregg Butler arranges and runs a program that involves local high schools, specifically in Alamogordo. The program provides with students of the early years of the United States and assitis high school teachers prepare to teach history. Dr. Gregg also participates in school talks for recruitment purposes. He was also invited to Sandia Prep in Albuquerque.

Dr. Neil Harvey is involved in collaboration with the College of Education in the emersion of border culture for in-service teachers. This is a semester-long reading and discussion group that goes over Mexican culture.


Dr. Jon Hunner, with the History Department, works with students in grades through 5-12 in HIST 481 & 581 classes on living history. During the semester, approximately 500 students join to recreate living in 1912.

The Confucius Institute places Chinese teachers in classrooms around Mesilla Valley. As a result, approximately 2,000 students learn Chinese.

Journalism & Mass Communication

The Journalism and Mass Communication department offers local high school and middle school students the opportunity to learn what they could expect if they were to decide to pursue a Journalism & Mass Communications major at New Mexico State University.

Language & Linguistics

The professors of the Language & Linguistics department take on many outreach ventures on their own time.

Dr. Gabi Buchenau selects prize winners for the participants of the German National Test for high school students. She visits German classes and counselors at Las Cruces High School and Mayfield High School to recruit. She also participates on a committee to establish a German program at the new Centennial High School.

Dr. Mark Waltermire has been the official pronouncer for the Las Cruces Spelling Bee (grades 3-8) since 2008. Along with pronouncer duties, he meets with administrators and librarians who organize the event to review rules, procedures, and the official word list. He is responsible for ensuring that all the 375 official words from Scripps are pronounced properly, including alternate pronunciations, state the rules to students and parents, and maintain the pacing of the event.

Dr. Daniel Villa conducts a Calaveras workshop with students from a number of elementary and middle schools in the area. He is currently working with faculty and administrators to explore possible collaboration with the Alma d’Arte high school Centennial projects.

Dr. Claude Fouillade visits high schools as a guest speaker in French classes.

Dr. Spencer Herrera participates in bilingual book readings the SHL program does with Cesar Chavez Elementary.

Dr. Patricia MacGregor-Mendoza goes to Gadsden High School at least twice a year to speak to students in the Honors and AP Spanish courses to provide them with information about applying for college and how they can take advantage of the credits they would earn by taking AP exams.


The Math Department collaborates with the College of Education for the Mathematically Connected Communities-Leadership Institute for Teachers. The program works with public schools in six different school districts to run professional development through graduate courses for teachers and to provide personnel to work with teachers in their classrooms.

Another program is the MC2 program, which provides professional development for math teachers in grades 5-12 in over 20 districts around the state. This professional development includes summer academies for teachers and administrators, as well as school year follow-up in teachers’ classrooms.


The Music Department has many great outreach programs in place.

The NMSU Choirs and voice faculty offers a clinic each September to help students prepare and learn music for their All-State Auditions.

In February each year, the Music department offers an audition day for high school seniors interested in majoring in music. All Music faculty suspends their regular teaching schedule to meet with students and their families, assist in advising, hearing auditions, and offering scholarships.

The NMSU Choirs and DALO collaborate with the Santa Fe Opera to celebrate New Mexico’s centennial. The children’s opera has been commissioned by the State of New Mexico. Forty elementary and junior high students will be selected to sing in the children’s chorus. NMSU faculty and Santa Fe Opera personnel will lead a summer program to prepare the students.

The Pride Marching Band works with pre-school and elementary aged students each fall presenting a musical program.


The Physics department has a NASA Science, Engineering, Mathematics, and Aerospace Academy program, SEMAA, for 4th and 5th graders at NMSU. The MESA program holds demonstrations at NMSU for middle school students.

The Tasks Inspired by Physics Education Research workshop given at American Association of Physics Teacher’s National winter meeting in Jacksonville, Florida.


The American Southwest Children’s Theatre Company is an after school program designed to provide children for the ages of 5 to 12 with the opportunity to learn skills such as collaboration, creativity, problem-solving, and critical thinking by creating their own theatrical production and mounting it for families. This workshop runs throughout the academic year.

There are also free high school workshops that the Theatre Arts Department provides annually, which focus on specific skills such as auditioning, acting, designing, and playwriting.

The department also provides ten free school matinees of shows chosen specifically for young audiences. Productions reach over 4,500 students.