New Mexico Partners with MS for K-12 Education
The state of New Mexico is entering into a partnership with Microsoft Corp. through the company's "U.S. Partners in Learning" program. The idea is to bolster STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education programs by providing funding for classroom technologies and integrating curricula with opportunities to enhance the economic situation in the rural communities that will participate in the programs.
Under the agreement, Microsoft will donate $2 million in classroom technologies to 10 different school districts in New Mexico, including:
- Fort Sumner Municipal Schools;
- Mosquero Municipal Schools;
- Loving Municipal Schools; and
- Seven districts of the Northwest Regional Education Cooperative #2 consortium.
The districts will receive funds to "develop innovative school and community programs that also support the creation of meaningful work for local citizens in the fields of agriculture, technology, home construction, and film production," according to Microsoft.
Said New Mexico Lt. Gov. Diane Denish, "New Mexico must continue to align academics with our local and global economies. The Microsoft U.S. Partners in Learning program is a wonderful opportunity for economic and academic growth in New Mexico communities."
In addition to funding, Microsoft will also provide a company employee to work with New Mexico's Office of the Governor and Public Education Department :to help each program focus on its goals."
The plan involves four distinct projects:
- Growing Green in Fort Sumner, through which Fort Sumner Municipal Schools will expand its campus greenhouse in an attempt to turn it into a commercial venture by growing and selling cottonwood seedlings and cactus plants;
- Mosquero Media Entrepreneurs, a project-based business enterprise integrated into the Mosquero Municipal Schools' curriculum;
- Student Film Technician Training, which will provide training in film production to rural high school students in the seven districts of the Northwest Regional Education Cooperation #2 consortium; and
- 21st Century Economic Revitalization Through Home Construction, a project that will allow Loving Municipal Schools to introduce "trade- and work-based learning into the high school curriculum."
"Real-world relevance and community involvement are critical to successful education systems," said New Mexico Secretary of Education Veronica García. "Each of our four partnerships incorporates both elements in innovative ways that will benefit classroom curricula, student achievement and community involvement."
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