ASSURE Partner New Mexico State University Creates UAS STEM Outreach Program as Part of the FAA's UAS COE

September 15, 2016

Story Photo
NMSU will host about 500 middle-school students for an Unmanned Aircraft Systems Roadshow to teach students about science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
(NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)
New Mexico State University will host an Unmanned Aircraft Systems Roadshow for local eighth-grade students Sept. 26 at Aggie Memorial Stadium. The 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. event will teach about 500 Las Cruces Public Schools students about science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The Federal Aviation Administration selected NMSU and Tuskegee University to host the STEM Outreach events, which will include two fall events at each institution along with summer camps in 2017.
"This is an event where students can come and interact, get hands-on experience, get jazzed up and have an opportunity to understand that technology can be fun and can be a career," said Henry Cathey, Physical Science Laboratory Deputy Director. "We want to provide a spark to allow them to see themselves in the future doing these kinds of technical, well-paying jobs."
The UAS Roadshow, which is a collaboration between NMSU's PSL, PSL's Flight Test Center and the STEM Outreach Center in the College of Education, will feature multiple stations to provide students with hands-on experience. Stations will include aviation education that explains how a UAS flies, subsystems of UAS and unmanned aircraft vehicles and how UAS are used; UAS display of NMSU's aircraft; flight simulators; UAS flight demonstration by NMSU pilots and local Mesilla Valley Model Airplane Club pilots; student flight demonstration where selected students will have the opportunity to conduct a flight of a small UAS; and the event will conclude with information on FAA careers and safety.
"This will provide engaging curriculum that will stimulate an interest in STEM that will translate into a STEM career in the future of the students and help them understand STEM areas and be competent/informed adult USA citizens," said Susan Brown, director of NMSU's STEM Outreach Center.
In 2015, NMSU became a core member-university of the Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence (ASSURE), led by Mississippi State University, and chosen by the FAA as the National Center of Excellence for Unmanned Aircraft Systems.
"STEM programs are the foundation of the future of American competitiveness in a global economy, and the ASSURE program is honored to be leading this outreach effort with youth that may not have otherwise been exposed to this technology and realized its potential as a tremendous positive influence in the coming economy and society," said Marty Rogers, ASSURE UAS Center of Excellence Executive Director.