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NMSU hosts STEMx AI summer camp for local high school students



This summer, Las Cruces area high school students had the chance to attend an interactive artificial intelligence summer camp at New Mexico State University. Trenchant Analytics, which is based in Great Falls, Virginia, and NMSU’s Physical Science Laboratory partnered to design and deliver STEMx, a hands-on AI summer camp, June 12-23.  STEMx at NMSU is a collaboration with NMSU’s STEM Outreach Center, PSL Information Science and Security Systems Division and the NMSU Klipsch School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.  Five students from the Las Cruces Public School District and Gadsden Independent School District, Jaedon Casteneda and Victor Hannan from Centennial High School, Justine Hernandez from Alta Vista Early College High School, Luis Saldana from Las Cruces High School and Daniel Saldivar from Arrowhead Park Early College High School, were selected to participate in the pilot STEMx program.  The program will culminate from 10 to 11 a.m. Friday, June 23, with a student showcase highlighting the students’ progress on applied computer science and engineering projects during the two-week camp. The closing event will include special guest speaker New Mexico Secretary of Education Arsenio Romero, a former NMSU regent. Following brief remarks, Romero and PSL Director Eric Sanchez will make a special presentation recognizing STEMx students completing the program.  During the camp, STEMx students learned about coding, gained hands-on experience working on projects introducing them to computer science and electrical engineering to include the topics of AI and software-defined radio. Students were introduced to various facilities and programs at NMSU in engineering and computer science, such as the Aggie Innovation Space and Physical Science Lab’s Telemetry and Missile System Division. STEMx students also heard from various guest speakers from the region with careers in applied engineering, computer science and defense.   “PSL is pleased to host STEMx at NMSU this summer. Putting on this camp has been a collaboration between Trenchant Analytics, NMSU STEM Outreach Center, PSL and NMSU Electrical Engineering. Stephen Moreno, PSL software developer, and NMSU Electrical Engineering faculty Dr. Stephen Sandoval have put together an incredible educational and interactive two-week program,” Sanchez said. “Seeing the enthusiasm and engagement of our local high school students is energizing. Programs like STEMx open the doors to educational and career pathways in science, technology and defense for these bright young scholars.”   Trenchant Analytics and PSL are stakeholders in the Department of Defense’ Defense Civilian Workforce Pipeline Initiative through Chief Digital AI Office, or CDAO.    “As a partner in CDAO’s defense civilian workforce pipeline portfolio, we have seen the great work PSL has done to develop programs that support the college-to-defense career talent pipeline. Given the tremendous capability of subject matter expertise at PSL and NMSU, and tie to the regional defense sector, PSL was a natural partner to work with to support a pilot of the STEMx program,” Trenchant Analytics President John Ferry said. “This summer, NMSU joins George Mason University, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and Florida State University-Panama City as STEMx hosts. Participating students will interact with their peers and coaches to work through challenges and get immediate feedback and will be on a fast track to rewarding careers in STEM.”