June 10th, 2021   |   Submitted by Hannah Hausman

 New Grab-and-Go kits provide students with limited network access with opportunities for hands-on STEM learning.         
 Sam Gallegos, a student at New Mexico Highlands University, led the student team helping design the kits.  

(Santa Fe, NM) – The Santa Fe Children’s Museum (SFCM) is thrilled to announce a line of newly designed Grab and Go Kits designed by students from New Mexico Highlands University Media Arts & Technology Department. Created for New Mexico children and families without access to the internet, and as a way to serve our community during these unprecedented times, these kits provide hands-on STEM and art-based activities for the whole family to enjoy, at home.

Using the kit themes, Paper Rivers, Rain Jar, and Solar System String, visual communications students from the Department of Media Arts and Technology designed new, creative brand packaging, and curriculum materials for the Grab and Go Kit Program. Advanced Design Practices course instructor Mariah Fox Hausman said, “Sam Gallegos led the student team and played an important role in developing the logo mark, while Krislyn Padilla pitched some fun ideas for the ‘Solar System String’ lesson. This project was challenging, and I’m proud of the students’ hard work. The reward of seeing their designs reach communities in need throughout the state is not only priceless but a valuable educational experience.”

“I am so grateful for the Highlands partnership and so happy with the work of the students. It hit home on our mission of discovering the joy of learning, play, and community. We are very fortunate to be able to work with such an amazing pool of local talent.” —Leona Hillary, Director of Education at SFCM

With donor support, and since March 2020, the Children’s Museum has delivered 7,000+ complimentary kits to children and families across the State of New Mexico. Kits have been distributed with the help of partners including:

Keres Children’s Learning Center, Cochiti Pueblo

Mariano Elementary, Gallup

Northern Youth Project, Abiquiu

Railyard Park Conservancy, Santa Fe

Community Educators Network, Santa Fe

City of Santa Fe Homeless Shelter: Midtown Campus, Santa Fe

Espanola Public Schools, Homebound Services, Espanola

Gerard’s House, Santa Fe

Santa Fe Public Libraries, All Locations

New Mexico Autism Society

Rio Arriba Independent Libraries, Rio Arriba County

Rio Arriba County Health Department, Rio Arriba County

Community Art Closet, Santa Fe Place Mall

Christus St. Vincent Regional Cancer Center serving families from

Riberia, Questa, Taos, Las Vegas, and Santa Fe.

This coming year, the Children’s Museum anticipates distributing 20,000 Grab-and-Go Kits to rural and Tribal communities throughout the State of NM.

About Department of Media Arts & Technology New Mexico Highlands University

Our mission is to cultivate a homegrown talent pool of multimedia specialists capable of working with cultural content and committed to serving their communities. Year-round, New Mexico Highlands University Media Arts & Technology places students from diverse populations into cultural institutions, like museums and libraries, where they use skills learned in our degree program to enhance information presentation and accessibility.

About Santa Fe Children’s Museum

Celebrating its 36 year, the Santa Fe Children’s Museum is a nonprofit institution that helps children discover the joy of learning, play, and community through extraordinary learning experiences across the arts, sciences, and humanities. Though temporarily closed to the public, Santa Fe Children’s Museum offers an exciting lineup of programming including Virtual Field Trips, Outdoor Garden Visits, and Grab-and-Go Kits distributed to rural communities.