Campus News - January 16, 2001
SIPI, UNM receive grant
In conjunction with the Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI), UNM
has received a three-year, $402,000 grant from NASA for a new program titled
Stars on Earth. The program provides under-represented high school students
with research experience in space science and technology-based academic preparation
in math, science, engineering and technology (MSET). SIPI college students will
also benefit from establishing a new course in Earth and Planetary Science,
and the opportunity to be involved in related research projects.
The coordinator of special programs at SIPI, Cathy Abeita, is the principal
investigator for the Stars on Earth program and will work with UNM research
professor Horton Newsom of the Institute of Meteoritics and the Department of
Earth and Planetary Sciences.
The NASA program is one of several student outreach programs at SIPI,
says SIPI president Carolyn Elgin. The program is designed to support
high school students in preparing for math, science, engineering and technology
programs in college through research experiences in space science and technology-based
The centerpiece of the Stars on Earth program is a six-week residential experience
at SIPI, to include a research experience component to impact both the high
school students and the SIPI faculty and students involved in the outreach program
through special training at the Institute of Meteoritics (IOM) at UNM.
The research activity focuses on establishing a Meteorite Identification Laboratory,
to be housed in SIPIs soon-to-be-reality 60,000 square foot Advanced Technical
Education Applications Building.The building will serve as a teaching and research
Identifying meteorites requires a basic understanding of meteorite properties
and the ability to conduct a logical investigation using basic geological equipment.
In suspicious cases or samples, advanced analysis will be conducted at UNM using
a scanning electron microscope with the assistance of SIPI students.
In addition to the programs for students, activities for the students high school teachers and parents will provide a source of support and reinforcement for choosing a technical career path. The Stars on Earth program builds on successful outreach programs at each institution.
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