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Ask Stephen Moreno '22

How can introducing artificial intelligence to high school students encourage them to enter a STEM field?

"In the past 10 years, we’ve gone from AI being something that pops up in movies to it being involved in our daily lives. In the past, there seemed to be a firm line between STEM and non-STEM fields. However, with the rapid growth and integration of technology, we’re starting to enter a kind of STEM 2.0 phase where every aspect of what we do has some direct application to STEM. You can see examples of AI application in every industry, from fine arts to medical to traditional computing.

“By providing hands-on ways to interact with AI, we can give students amazing opportunities. When we give students these tools, they come up with imaginative, intelligent ways to implement their ideas. This new generation is standing up to show us their creativity and aspirations, and I’m excited to see the results.”

Moreno is a software developer at NMSU’s Physical Science Laboratory, supporting applied research projects for defense agencies and industry partners. Before joining PSL full-time in 2023, he was a student co-op in PSL’s Classified Ready Employee Workforce Program. In summer 2023, Moreno was the lead instructor for the STEMx at NMSU program, which introduces Las Cruces area high school students to computer science, engineering and AI.