Department of Education Visit
Dear Mr. Gaona:
I would like to extend my greatest appreciation once again for submitting our institution for a non-evaluative visit from the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Rural Outreach, Mr. John White, on September 9, 2013. The team of directors, staff, faculty, and students were all honored to be a part of the tour and to show Mr. White the successes that the Department of Education grants have helped to bring to NM Tech.
We had students at every stop on the tour to demonstrate how the programs help them to feel connected to their student community, their faculty advisors, and their chosen career fields. At the wind tunnel, students demonstrated to Mr. White the research that they have begun which will culminate in the launching of a small rocket in the spring of 2014. The students learn to work together collaboratively and cross-departmentally to accomplish a common goal, and the students on the tour indicated that this experience has been valuable for them in helping them to understand the principles of the research and working world. Mr. White also had the opportunity to discuss educational theory and practice with our PPOHA STEM Communication Fellows. We had three fellows on hand who summarized the meaning of their experiences in working on the grant initiatives. Their stories demonstrated clearly that the ‘pipeline’ of education within our DoED grants has been truly successful.
The last stop on the tour was our new Engineering Success Lab, which was developed by our HSI-STEM grant. When we entered the lab, students were in the process of fully utilizing the room including the idea paint for writing on the walls, the elvis board (engineering specific) computers with high-powered processors for engineering design, and the 3D printer, which had a working wrench being printed with Mr. White’s name inscribed. Mr. White had the opportunity to use the 3D printer wash, and the students all gathered around him and watched him very intently as he cleaned the excess pieces of the newly printed wrench. Mr. White then took the opportunity to talk to the students about high school, college, and rural education. The students were so engaged that they all stayed at least 10 minutes after the ending of class to talk to our honored guest.
We concluded the tour with an open discussion forum with some of the key faculty and administrators involved in the DoED grant projects here at NMT. Again, Mr. White was engaging and had complimentary things to say about his time on campus. We all valued the time we had with a Department of Education representative, and we would welcome another visit from you, Mr. White, or any other DoED delegate.
With sincerest gratitude,