The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

College of HEST holds first ever Learn-A-Palooza event 

Learn-A-Palooza+gathered+children+from+Las+Cruces+and+its+surrounding+areas+for+an+event+full+of+activities%2C+family%2C+and+food.+March+2%2C+2024.
Perla Carrillo Arias
Learn-A-Palooza gathered children from Las Cruces and its surrounding areas for an event full of activities, family, and food. March 2, 2024.

New Mexico State University’s College of Health, Education and Social Transformation hosted its first Learn-A-Palooza event at Preciado Park on Saturday, March 2, designed to get students of all ages involved and informed about higher education. The event was multidisciplinary, including partnerships with the STEM Outreach Center, the Provost’s Office, the NMSU Library, Stem Connection in the College of Engineering’s Office of Outreach and Recruitment, the College of Arts and Sciences, and Doña Ana Community College. 

The event was organized like a block party, as different organizations set up booths with games and prizes. Over 650 students were bussed out to the event from local schools and local families poured in too. The event also offered free catered food from food trucks, and a DJ who kept things lively with music. 

Students from Santa Teresa High School pose for a photo on March 2, 2024. (Perla Carrillo Arias)

The decision to include different departments across NMSU helped highlight that NMSU has options for any students to pursue a career in their particular area of interest.  

The STEM Outreach Program Director Wanda Tamez focused on how events like Learn-A-Palooza can bridge the gap between high school and higher education through showcasing opportunities provided by the programs and departments in attendance.  

“We don’t want them to be a senior in high school and not know about them,” she said. “We want them to be ready to jump out of their senior year and to go into the next grand adventure.” 

Students from Riverside Elementary School spoke about their three favorite activities they got to experience at the event.  

“Our favorites were the learning theater 3D pens, and the free food,” they said. “We love free food.”  

STEM Outreach Specialist Erika Acosta noted the purpose of the event and how it ties the community together. 

Learn-A-Palooza volunteers watch as children play games. March 2, 2024. (Perla Carrillo Arias)

“Our focus has been on families seeing NMSU as part of their community,” she said. “The idea was: make it free, make it fun, make it big. And here we are.” 

The event is a spiritual successor to the STEM Fest, which was first held back in 2015 and stopped after 2019 due to the pandemic. All the activities for the previous event were held exclusively in O’Donnell Hall. 

STEM Outreach Program Coordinator Jessica Muñoz discussed how much the event has developed since then. 

“As you can tell from today, it has just exploded into something absolutely wonderful,” she said.  

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About the Contributors
Kaden Martinez, Staff Writer
Kaden Martinez is entering his first year at The Round Up as both a staff and a sports writing intern. This is his first time writing for a local publication (or any publication for that matter!). He is also entering his first year as a freshman majoring in Cybersecurity with a minor in Computer Engineering. Since his dad is in the military, he has moved all around New Mexico, having lived in Albuquerque, Springer, Maxwell, and finally Rio Rancho where he graduated. He is the oldest of three siblings. Kaden has always enjoyed writing, whether it was school related or as a hobby. He decided to become a member of The Round Up both to broaden his horizons and step out of his comfort zone by trying something new. Some of his interests include exercising, playing sports, video games, TV shows, and movies.
Perla Carrillo Arias, Photojournalism Intern
Perla Carrillo Arias is entering her first semester at The Round Up as a photojournalism intern. She is a senior at NMSU, majoring in Business Marketing with a focus on Advertising and a minor Social Media Management. Perla was born and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico. A passionate traveler and avid reader, Perla finds inspiration in exploring new places and immersing herself in diverse experiences. Perla’s love for photography and videography sprouted when she was a just little girl. She reminisces going through hundreds of photographs her mom has captured and having the realization of how important it is to have memories. When she’s not behind the lens, Perla can be found indulging in her love for literature, spending time with her family, or tuning into thought-provoking podcasts that ignite her curiosity. Perla is looking forward to acquiring knowledge from the team and further developing her photographic skills at The Round Up.

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