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UNM wins $3.5M in grants for microscope, online program

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Two grants totaling $3.5 million have been made to the University of New Mexico by the National Science Foundation that will allow the school to acquire a transmission electron microscope for research and to create an online professional development program for high school science and math teachers.

The initiatives are designed to enhance science and computer education for students across New Mexico, according to a news release by U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham who announced the grants this week.

A $1.75 million grant will be used for an open-access scanning transmission electron microscope, housed at UNM – the first of its kind in the Rio Grande corridor. It will enable students and faculty to study specimens at the nanometer level in high resolution, aiding research into promising new areas, such as energy storage, fuel cells and nanoparticles, according to the release.

Another $1.75 million award is for the online professional development program to help high school science and math teachers incorporate computational thinking into their curriculum.

“This funding is critical to the University of New Mexico’s efforts to increase student participation in STEM-related studies and advance science in important new areas,” said Udall in a statement.

“New Mexico’s world-class scientific research is one of our state’s greatest assets,” said Heinrich in a statement. “I’m proud to support these federal investments that will keep the University of New Mexico on the cutting edge of research and development for emerging energy technologies and also help UNM train the next generation of science instructors who will teach our children to embrace opportunities in the STEM fields.”

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