The mission of STEAM NM is to raise capacity for STEAM education throughout the state of New Mexico, providing opportunities for students and community members with a focus on higher education.

STEAM is an approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics to guide student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking. STEAM investigates the same concepts as STEM, but through the inquiry and problem-based learning used in the arts, including humanities, language arts, dance, drama, music, visual arts, design and new media.

Based at the University of New Mexico College of Fine Arts, STEAM NM has branches throughout the state

With seed funding from Americorps/VISTA, STEAM NM has expanded across interdisciplinary units within the University, and to several educational and community organizations in the City of Albuquerque and state of New Mexico, with a focus along the Northern Cultural Corridor including Santa Fe and Taos.


• Grantwriting and Fundraising
• Public projects
• Recruiting


• Workshops
• Visiting Presentations
• Courses Between Science and Art


• Documentation
• Evaluation

Benefits for Students

  • Provides higher education and on the job training in STEAM outreach
  • Provides opportunities for resume-building in STEAM-related skills
  • Provides advanced STEAM-related research opportunities
  • Brings STEAM experts locally, nationally and internationally to present and inspire students
  • Provides workshops for youth in STEAM
  • Facilitate positive experiences and heightened self-esteem

Benefits to the Community

  • Provide opportunities for collaboration between community members and the University
  • Contribute to UNM’s role as an international leader and innovator in STEAM education
  • Build partnerships between international STEAM professionals and communities
  • Build supportive relationships among faculty, staff and students across UNM, CNM and local communities
  • Recognize and celebrate the cultural diversity of local and regional communities
  • Provide new and meaningful opportunities for artists and community members to contribute to society
Andrea Polli headshot

From the Director

“It has been very important to us to work throughout the state, and we have gotten better at collaboration, communication and coordination, for example between Taos and Albuquerque. Our biggest challenge has been our rapid growth. Over the past five years we have expanded from 5 to 20 full time VISTAs. Even before the expansion of the number of VISTAs, our capacity for serving the community was greatly expanded due to effective recruiting and partnership development. We have been fortunate to find and hire most of our VISTAs from New Mexico and our VISTAs are as diverse as our communities.

Through this project and many others, our VISTAs learned to use spreadsheets to catalogue. They’ve learned about metadata and digital information storage strategies. Our VISTAs developed skills in social media marketing, design, outreach, digital image processing, digital video and audio editing. Our VISTAs have not only learned the digital fabrication tools and equipment at maker spaces, but have developed training materials for community members using the technology. ”

—Andrea Polli, Director, STEAM NM
Phone # (505) 277-9547