The University of New Mexico hosts the 55th Annual Central New Mexico Science and Engineering Research Challenge (CNM SERC) March 12-14 at Johnson Center on UNM's main campus. Approximately 500 middle school and high school students will display their research projects and compete for the chance to move forward to the state research challenge, or directly to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF).

“This event provides UNM a great opportunity to showcase the University, recruit from a pool of excellent future student candidates, and promote science, technology, engineering, math and health care (STEM-H) education in the state of New Mexico,” said Karen Kinsman, director of UNM’s STEM-H Center for Outreach, Research and Education.

Students qualify to compete in CNM SERC by entering a research or engineering project in their local research/engineering competition (“science fair”) and being selected to move onto regional competition. Then, they must meet the paperwork requirements by a set deadline and comply with all Intel ISEF Rules for Pre-College Research. For some students whose projects involve humans, vertebrate animals or potential biosafety hazards, this means starting their research months in advance in order to gather the necessary pre-approvals to proceed with their projects.

The UNM Office of the Vice-President for Research and Economic Development is Institutional Sponsor for all events and competitions hosted by the UNM STEM-H Center. Other major sponsors for this year’s CNM SERC include the UNM Health Sciences Center, the UNM School of Engineering, Sandia National Laboratories, NAIOP-NM, PNM Resources, the Albuquerque Journal, Ethicon Endosurgery, Intel Corporation, NM 529 Plan, NM Biomechanical & Biomedical Association and Northrop Grumman Mission Systems. CNM SERC’s 2015 in-kind communications sponsor is Advanced Communications and Electronics and the STEM-H Center’s Media Partner is NM PBS.

The CNM SERC Public Open House takes place on Friday, March 13 from 4 to 6 p.m., in the South Gym at UNM’s Johnson Center. Those with an interest in STEM-H subjects are encouraged to attend for free. This year’s open house will feature a number of local informal STEM education partners including Sandia National Laboratories, Explora, Engineering for Kids, NM PBS, Sandia Mountain Natural History Center, UNM Health Sciences Center Office for Diversity, Girl Scouts, 4-H, and the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum.

The Grand Awards and Special Awards Ceremonies is set for Saturday, March 14 from 9 a.m.-12:45 p.m. in the Main Gym at UNM’s Johnson Center.

For further information or to volunteer at CNM SERC, call the UNM STEM-H CORE office at 505-277-4916 or email us at stemed@unm.edu.