STEM Alive and Prospering at Alamogordo Public Schools with Students Heading to World Competition


ASTRO Vikings at APS Board Meeting 2024

Alamogordo Public Schools in the 60s and 70s ranked in the top of the nation in student performance and teacher pay. If one were to listen to the rhetoric of some elements with Alamogordo one would believe that the school system is failing on all accounts and there are no opportunities for STEM educational enlightenment within the existing APS School framework. There is a group of individuals intent on potential STEM Charter school and attempting to mislead the public into believing there are not strong STEM educational opportunities with the Alamogordo Public School System.

The FACT is APS has dedicated teachers and mentors building a strong STEM program within APS. A program exists and is growing, evident by recent accolades and accomplishments of students within APS STEM programs, that are competing across the state, and possibly onward to national competition. 

The goal of a STEM program is to provide opportunities for students to familiarize themselves with careers in Science, how to demonstrate Technology skills, the execution of Engineering processes, and recognizing the implicit Mathematical Principles (STEM) needed to compete for 21st Century jobs.

Students experience hands-on learning, discover the breadth of a STEM career and become more knowledgeable about the pathways for STEM education. Students are invited to participate in programs that reinforces the importance of life-long learning and provides skills for advancement into careers in the fields of robotics, science, technology or math. Students have the opportunity to pursue different tracks to concentrate their career-building skills. The A.S.T.R.O. program at the Alamogordo School District serves nearly 100 students throughout the Otero County and was started this year by Alamogordo teachers Sarah Cerra, Heather Kangas and Matthew Kangas.

Previously teachers individually mentored robotics teams this year to grow the program they have come together and formalized a program. A story in the Alamogordo Daily News quotes APS teacher Sarah Cerra, "While previous years, we have individually mentored robotics teams, we have come together this year to really grow the program and reach students in STEM, our program served 59 kids, preschool to 12th grade, in Alamogordo and another 30-ish students in Tularosa."

There are three teams that are traveling to World Competitions for school year 2023/24.

 The "Short Circuits" won fourth place at the State First LEGO League Challenge Championship and will represent New Mexico in May at the Western Edge Invitational in California. The "SupercalifragilisticA.S.T.R.O.alidocious" won the first place at the State First LEGO League Challenge Championship and will represent New Mexico in April at the World Championship in Houston. The "A.S.T.R.O. Vikings" won the Inspire Award (first place) at the First Tech Challenge State Championship and will also travel to the World Championship in April.

A.S.T.R.O Vikings and SupercalifragilisticA.S.T.R.O.alidocious teams will be traveling to Houston where they plan to showcase their robots at the Worlds Competition. They could use the public support to cheer them on and the APS system needs your feedback to expand this program within APS. To learn more visit:…

A gift of community support APS three advancing teams, Short Circuits, SupercalafragalisticASTROalidicious, and ASTRO Vikings presented to the Sacramento Mountains Foundation at one of their high school meeting.  The team was surprised with a check for $5000! The team was honored and claims they will do our very best to make you and the community proud at World Championship in April!

Photo Per Astros…

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