Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation

MSC10 5600
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001

Phone: 505-272-2231 (clinic hotline) 505-272-4107 (academic office)
Fax: 505-272-8098

MESA North/North Central Region Leadership Summit 2016

New Mexico MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, and Science Achievement) is a pre-college program designed to prepare students for careers in math, engineering, science, technology, and related fields. The programs typically target middle- and high-school students throughout the state. Supported activities range from field trips, guest speakers, workshops, academic competitions, volunteer services, and leadership development projects. The mission? “Empower and motivate New Mexico’s culturally diverse students with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) enrichment.” For more information about this wonderful program, please peruse the MESA website. 

Christina Salas, PhD (UNM Orthopaedics/UNM Mechanical Engineering) and Elizabeth Dirk, PhD (UNM Chemical & Biological Engineering) were invited to participate in an all-day MESA event on November 14, 2016: North/North Central Region Leadership Summit 2016 (at New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas). The outreach program consisted of four sessions total, which each lasted one hour and comprised about 40 students (from both high schools and middle schools). Middle schools included: Mora, Anton Chico, Carlos F. Vigil, West Las Vegas, Memorial, Capshaw, and Santo Domingo. High schools included: West Las Vegas, Santa Rosa, Espanola Valley, Mora, Robertson, and Bernalillo. 

Dr. Dirk opened each session with a stimulating discussion on tissue engineering of the heart. Students watched in a quiet awe during several video clips, which showed how cells absorbed naturally into surrounding tissue and pulsed as one unit. Dr. Salas kept ahold of the audience by revealing some fascinating projects as a biomedical engineer, including a recently patented mesh plate and the creation of 3D-printed hands for children. In a perfect segway, students eagerly split up into 5-6 groups to assemble actual 3D-printed hands (with the 3D printer buzzing in the background). We used string, bolts, tweezers, flathead screws, and other ordinary tools to make an extraordinary concept come to life. Check out the pictures below for some learning in action!

UNM Orthopaedics MESA