The STEM Outreach Center at New Mexico State University is partnering with Arrowhead Center and Innoventure Jr. to host a series of entrepreneurship and STEM-related family workshops for the community.

The first STEM Saturday will take place from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 23, at the STEM Outreach Center’s STEM Learning Lab at the Foreman Engineering Complex III, Room 213, on the NMSU campus. The workshops for elementary-age students and their families are free, but registration is required HERE. Subsequent workshops will be offered March 16, April 13 and May 11.

A woman and her daughter work on their product design and simple business plan for their product idea, a vibrating device to shake sleepers awake, during a recent STEM Saturday with Innoventure Jr. event at the STEM Outreach Center’s STEM Learning Lab at New Mexico State University. Elementary-age students and their families were tasked with finding an innovative new solution to waking up on time in the morning. [Photo: Amanda Bradford / NMSU]

Workshop participants will learn how creative entrepreneurs use their problem-solving skills to engineer new products in a fun, hands-on workshop that involves the whole family. Participants will think of a new product, imagine how to turn it into a business and then build a prototype.

“Entrepreneurship and STEM learning go hand-in-hand, because we need both skillsets to bring a great solution from the idea phase to the market where it can really make an impact,” said Innoventure director Amanda Bradford. “It’s amazing how innovative even the youngest kids can be when you give them a problem to solve and turn them loose to create an imaginative solution.”

Participants will also have the chance to enter the Innoventure Jr. National Entrepreneurship Week Prototype Capstone Contest with their design. The winning design will be 3D printed at Arrowhead Center as a unique trophy for winners to keep.

“Our STEM Outreach Center, located within the College of Education, is always ready to collaborate in order to provide high-quality STEM experiences for our K-5th grade students and their families,” said Susan Brown, interim dean of the College of Education.

A family works on the prototype for their product idea, a water jet alarm, during a recent STEM Saturday with Innoventure Jr. event at the STEM Outreach Center’s STEM Learning Lab at New Mexico State University. Elementary-age students and their families were tasked with finding an innovative new solution to waking up on time in the morning. [PHOTO: Amanda Bradford / NMSU]

The Innoventure suite of programs at NMSU’s Arrowhead Center fosters innovation and an entrepreneurial mindset in New Mexico K-12 students by strengthening skills like critical thinking, problem-solving and teamwork. For more information, visit the Innoventure website. For information about free elementary school classroom presentations on entrepreneurship and teamwork, contact Bradford at ambradfo@nmsu.edu. Innoventure Jr. is supported by a grant from the Daniels Fund.

The NMSU STEM Outreach Center provides high quality, innovative afterschool programming and outreach to students and educators of all levels. For more information, visit the NMSU STEM Outreach Center.

— By Adriana M. Chavez, for NMSU. She can be reached at 575-646-1957 or adchavez@nmsu.edu.