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Home | Tag Archives: Alamogordo

Tag Archives: Alamogordo

Innoventure’s Student Entrepreneurs Focus on Helping Those with Disabilities

If you could create a new device or product that helps someone with a disability navigate their life with greater ease, what would it be? A group of middle and high school students from around New Mexico contemplated that question and came up with some unexpected solutions as they participated in the Innoventure competition through New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center.

Those teams – 45 of them from all over the state – will participate in the annual Innoventure competition at Corbett Center Student Union on the Las Cruces campus from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday, May 5. The public is encouraged to attend a student invention showcase from 2:30 to 3:15 p.m. Friday on the first floor of Corbett Center.

“We have the most teams we’ve ever had this year, including new teams from schools in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho who are the first from their school to join this program,” said Marie Borchert, director of Innoventure.

The Innoventure program is designed to generate excitement and creativity in students and provide the experience of transforming an idea into a prototype of a product. Student teams worked throughout the academic year to create a product and prototype that assists someone with a physical disability to complete an everyday task, such as feeding themselves, getting dressed, taking out the trash, or going to the grocery store. Judges from NMSU, the community and industry will evaluate each team’s work.

As they prepared, students learned more about people with disabilities, who represent 19 percent of the population, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. They also participated in webcasts to learn about public speaking and how to tackle prototyping.

While on campus Friday, the students will learn how to use crowdfunding and attend workshops with Studio G, Arrowhead Center’s student business accelerator, as well as the Student Accessibility Services office at Dona Ana Community College.

Innoventure is now in its 14th year and has served more than 2,500 students, some of whom have gone on to attend NMSU and work with Studio G to further develop their business ideas. Many student teams return year after year to participate. Innoventure has been one of Arrowhead Center’s core programs since its founding, and expansion efforts this academic year for the program were sponsored in part by the Daniels Fund.

The competition is part of a suite of Innoventure programs, including Innoventure Jr., an online program for elementary-age students, and Camp Innoventure, a week-long entrepreneurship-themed summer day camp that continues to expand. This summer, Camp Innoventure will take place all over the state, with sessions in Alamogordo, Albuquerque, Clovis, Deming, Las Cruces, Rio Rancho and Roswell.

Registration for the camps is available up to a week before they begin, and the schedule and registration information can be found HERE.

“Our long-term, robust program for K-12 entrepreneurs is unique in New Mexico,” Borchert said. “It creates a pipeline and develops students over a long period of time to increase their college readiness, as well as their career readiness.”

Kate Sanchez, a math teacher at Anton Chico Middle School in rural northern New Mexico near Santa Rosa, said Innoventure has allowed her to expose her students to a world that they might have never had experienced otherwise.

“Innoventure has not only given these students the opportunity to feel accomplished, by inventing and presenting their own original ideas, but it has also helped them to begin thinking about their future,” said Sanchez, who serves as an Innoventure adviser for two Anton Chico teams, Wolf Pack and Helping Hands. “This program has brightened the future of many of the students who have gone through Anton Chico Middle School.”

Technology prizes for the competition’s winners include a laptop, Bluetooth headphones and wireless earbuds.

For more information, click > Innoventure program or contact Borchert at mhaaland@nmsu.edu.

Author: Amanda Bradford – NMSU

Holloman AFB to house Central American refugee children

ALAMOGORDO, N.M. – Beginning in mid-January, Holloman Air Force Base in southern New Mexico will become the temporary home for about 400 refugee children from Central America. The Department of Health and Human Services and other federal agencies are in charge of the program, a result of the recent increase in the number of unaccompanied minors crossing the border into the United States.

Mike Espritu, director of the Chamber of Commerce in nearby Alamogordo, said local groups are getting ready to assist when the children arrive.

“We’ve already had one meeting with some local leaders and it appears the community is willing to do what it can, to do what’s right for the children,” he said. “Because at the end of the day, it’s going to take care of those young people, no matter who they are.”

At Holloman, an HHS spokeswoman said, the children will be provided with food, health care and a place to sleep. The goal will be to help them locate relatives in the United States or put them in temporary foster care. They eventually will be given court hearings to decide if they can stay in the country.

Espritu said he is aware that other refugee facilities have drawn protests and controversy, but he hopes to avoid that.

“One of my goals is to be extremely transparent with our community and those around the nation that are watching,” he said. “My goal is to get the word out there, because we’re not keeping any secrets.”

He said Holloman officials are remodeling what used to be the 4th Space Surveillance Squadron building to house the refugees. Officials say children will begin arriving around Jan. 15, and they have no timeline for how long the facility will be needed.

Author: Mark Richardson, Public News Service

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