On the Road to Deming


By Rachel Szczytko



Asombro is on the move.


This spring, Asombro staff and volunteers have been heading 60 miles due west to Deming in order to bring hands-on science education to K-12 students in Deming Public Schools. All this is possible because of a generous grant from the PNM Resources Foundation to the Asombro Institute. The Foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of life in New Mexico. And we are too!


So, what does this grant actually mean?


Asombro is doing a few things with the funds:


  • Bringing 100 classroom programs to K-12 students
  • Providing a Next Generation Science Standards-focused workshop for teachers
  • Supplying teachers with resources for hands-on science education

    First grade students investigate a scorpion during the lesson, Young Arthropod Identification.



With just two months left in the school year, we have been busy. Kindergarteners have explored different surfaces in the sun and shade and created a new home for Lizza the Lizard; 1st graders have matched young arthropods to their adult counterparts; 2nd graders have investigated arthropod diversity in their schoolyard; 3rd graders have discovered patterns in the life cycles of various desert organisms; 4th graders have created arguments about the necessity of plant structures to plant survival; and 5th graders have mixed matter to identify mystery substances by their properties.


Deming Public Schools middle school science teachers work through an Asombro lesson on energy to better understand NGSS alignment.

In March, Asombro staff held a workshop on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for middle school science teachers in Deming. Through exploring Asombro’s lesson, Energy Transfers Around a Kangaroo Rat in the Desert, the educators learned how three dimensions of the NGSS work together, how to read the standards, and how to apply NGSS in their classroom.


All the teachers reported gains in their knowledge and confidence in using the new science standards from our half-day workshop. We were thrilled to be able to give them the knowledge, confidence, and tools (like our NGSS wheels of science and engineering practices) to help make this transition.


So, what’s next?


April and May are filled with trips to Deming. The early mornings are made sweeter by beautiful sunrises and engaging lessons with enthusiastic students and teachers. Asombro has been having a wonderful time in Deming thanks to PNM Resources Foundation – we can’t wait to hit the road again!


Rachel is a Science Education Specialist at Asombro. She was thrilled to help lead the NGSS-workshop in Deming.