"Free Wi-Fi will soon be available at several locations across Santa Fe despite reservations about the project from some city councilors who ended up voting for it anyway.
After a nearly 11/2 hour discussion Wednesday, Mayor Alan Webber and the City Council unanimously approved a memorandum of understanding with Santa Fe Public Schools for the city to install Wi-Fi hot spots at several school campuses. The free Wi-Fi on school grounds is primarily intended for students who have switched to online learning in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic but who have limited or no internet access.
Though not part of the agreement with the school district, the city also plans to install Wi-Fi hot spots at several city-owned buildings that will be available for the public to log into, too.
“In combination with city-owned sites, the selected school locations will allow for more areas of the city to have hotspots near at hand,” Sean Moody, the city’s telecommunications architect, wrote in a memo to the council.
Some city councilors, including Michael Garcia, JoAnne Vigil Coppler and Renee Villarreal, pushed for a “timeline” to remove the infrastructure, which is only intended to be temporary. Despite their jockeying, the full council ultimately approved the agreement as originally presented. “The pandemic is our timeline,” Rich Brown, the city’s economic development director, told the governing body. “We don’t know when that’s going to end.”
The project, which will cost an estimated $90,000, has raised suspicions that it will lead to the installation of 5G cellphone technology, which still doesn’t exist in Santa Fe. But city and school officials emphasized that the hot spots are unrelated to 5G.
“That’s still aspirational for Santa Fe,” Moody said in a telephone interview before Wednesday’s virtual council meeting. “None of the providers have it here. Certainly, it’s not part of our project whatsoever. Our project doesn’t use it, and it doesn’t make it.”
Councilor Signe Lindell said the council received numerous emails about the project from concerned residents, some of which left her “dumbfounded.”
“There was one thing that stood out in those emails that I’m compelled to say out loud, and that’s the number of people that said in emails that they didn’t believe there were people in this town that don’t have internet access,” she said. “I was shocked by that. It tells me that there’s some folks who have no idea how much some of our fellow citizens are struggling.”
Tom Ryan, the school district’s chief information and strategy officer, said the free Wi-Fi on school campuses is designed to help students “get to their educational resources” as well as access general information about what’s happening in the world.
“We have about 550 kids that said that they need internet access,” Ryan said. “We also have teachers, some of which their spouse has lost their job due to the closing of businesses, etcetera, that can’t afford or can no longer afford internet.”
Serious Computer Programming for Youth is free workshop: Python programming on the GNU/Linux operating system With Dr. Mark Galassi, LANL Research Scientist
This 10-hour workshop teaches young women and men (6th grade and up) to write software in Python on the GNU/Linux operating system. This is an approach that carries over to real work and science/ math/engineering internships.
Kids from 6th grade up, but please read the notes on age on the web site: younger kids can sometimes do well in this course.
Santa Fe public library, downtown branch.
Sat. Feb. 29 (10am-12:30pm and 1:15pm-5:30pm), continuing Sun. Mar. 1 (1pm- 4:45pm) 2020. (But do check the web site for upcoming courses if you cannot make these dates).
email Mark Galassi <email@example.com> or call +1-505-629-0759.
NO PRIOR EXPERIENCE:
no prior experience is required, but typing practice helps!
This is a hands-on course focused on students but open to anyone. It will involve much work and a good amount of going beyond one’s comfort zone. The goal is to get started on a path that leads to serious programming, rather than using a toy “for kids” programming environment which will never be used for real work. The course will start with an unusual but important feature: each student should bring in an old computer or laptop which is not used much anymore, and we will start by installing the GNU/Linux operating system on it. If you cannot find your grandparent’s or neighbor’s old
laptop don’t worry: write us and we will have something for you.
Once each student has installed GNU/Linux on their computer we will start programming in Python and get to the point of writing hundreds of lines of python code with several intelligent algorithms to play a simple strategy game. Students who have taken this course can drop in on ongoing follow-on mini-courses on scientific computing.
( more information at https://sites.google.com/view/serious-programming/ )
"NCWIT Aspirations in Computing (AiC) provides a long-term community for female technologists, from K-12 through higher education and beyond, encouraging persistence in computing through continuous engagement and ongoing encouragement at each pivotal stage of their educational and professional development."
FabFems are women from a broad range of professions in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). They are passionate, collaborative, and work to make the world a better place.
Create a FabFems profile to expand girls' career options, dispel stereotypes and spark their interests - just by being you.
"BlockFiesta! is a one-day conference that seeks to bring together Blockchain enthusiasts. Blockchain technology organizes data into records, or blocks, that are linked using cryptography. This allow for secure transfer of information through a chain of blocks. Blockchains are widely known as the technology that supports cryptocurrency, but there are many more applications of this technology that we will explore at this conference. In Albuquerque and globally, blockchain is being used to improve education environments, the government, and businesses. Come to BlockFiesta! to learn more about the latest advancements in Blockchain technology." https://www.blockfiesta.org/
The National Tribal Broadband Summit takes place in DC
this Mon. and Tues., Sept. 23-24. The agenda looks like a
substantial program, and includes NM pueblos, Navajo and other
The New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) recently adopted the CSTA 2017 Computer Science standards effective on July 1, 2019. Providing rigorous standards for computer science and increasing access to high-quality computer science training programs will help ensure that more students master computer science skills that lead to rewarding, high-paying, and in-demand careers. Utilizing funds from House Bill 548, APPROPRIATIONS & EXPENDITURES, NMPED is offering $500,000 in competitive grants to applicants, as requests for applications, to promote intensive, high-quality professional learning activities that focus on increasing teachers’ computer science content knowledge; to plan expansion of an existing computer science program or institute a new computer science program; and/or to provide support for teachers enrolled in a credentialed computer science program or courses.
The 2019–2020 New Mexico Computer Science Grant Program Request for Application (RFA) will be released on the Information page of the NMPED’s website Wednesday, September 25, 2019 and all applications must be submitted by 5:00pm on Thursday, October 31, 2019. Pursuant to the issuance of the RFA, officials from the NMPED will host a virtual meeting to provide a high level overview, discuss the intention, and guidelines of the RFA with interested stakeholders on Wednesday, September 25, 2019 from 10:00 am–11:00 am MST. Please register for this webinar through the ZOOM link at https://zoom.us/meeting/register/48c55d65813bf051cde7dc3c8da9331e. If you have questions or issues regarding registration, please email Shafiq.Chaudhary@state.nm.us.
Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively — essential skills for life in the 21st century.
Create stories, games, and animations!
Michelle Lujan Grisham
Alicia J. Keyes
(505) 827-0226, cell: (505) 795-0119
“Better Call Saul” contributes to media education
"Grants, Carlsbad, Farmington, Española benefit from Give Back
SANTA FE, N.M. - More than $600,000 has so far been paid to film and media education programs around New Mexico from production companies who do business in the state under a unique Give Back Program to boost workforce training, the New Mexico Film Office announced Tuesday."
"The latest contribution came in the amount of $68,000 from the “Better Call Saul” Season 4 production. The contributions were paid to the following programs:
“This is such a smart program because the industry is helping train its own future employees,” said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. “We’ve got New Mexico colleges and universities using film and media industry dollars to beef up training programs all over the state, and students across New Mexico are able to learn the skills they need to launch a fulfilling and exciting career right here.”
“This is an important part of our film incentives law,” said Alicia J. Keyes. “The industry is investing in workforce development and programs, which will lead to better careers for our students and more jobs in New Mexico.”
The Give Back Program is a result of the Film Production Tax Credit Non-Resident Crew provision, which allows a credit for below-the-line crew wages in exchange for a contribution to an educational program equal to 2.5 percent of the non-resident wages.
Karen Henry, head of the Creative Media Program at NMSU in Grants, said the money has “truly transformed” the experience for her students by opening up more opportunities. The Give Back funds have been used to purchase cameras and accessories, 3D printer supplies, paper, ink, and game consoles for students to test their video game designs.
“As a small rural community college, we lack the funds to keep our program current with the industry and be able to provide the supplies needed for relevant hands-on experiences,” she said. “These funds allow the Creative Media Program to continue to expand current course offerings and develop into new areas, like virtual and augmented reality, to expose students to the latest exciting creative developments.”
She added that contributions from the Give Back Program have also provided several scholarships and work-study positions to talented Creative Media students, allowing them to continue their pursuit of a Creative Media Degree.
Luke R. Renner, Director of Film and Digital Media Arts program at San Juan College, said the film industry donation allowed the program to purchase new equipment and expand technical training. They were also able to purchase dolly track, grip equipment, and lighting, and upgrade cameras in the program to meet the needs of 4k production.
Renner said that some of the money is being used to help with travel costs for students to attend the New Mexico Film Foundation's statewide Student Filmmakers Showcase in Albuquerque on Sept. 21. They would also like to give students more on-hands training opportunities.
A part of the funds will be used to bring in outside industry professionals to conduct on- campus workshops for both San Juan College students and local high school students from the film and digital media programs.
“The biggest challenge for students in this rural part of the state is the costs associated with internships in metropolitan areas. These funds provide the students career development opportunities,” said Renner.
At Northern New Mexico College, the Give Back money was used to purchase equipment for broadcast and live video feeds. “The program is growing and we couldn't have done that without this support,” said David Lindblom, Assistant Professor, Film & Digital Media Arts at the Española campus. ”It has created excitement in our students."
The latest disbursements bring the 2019 fiscal year payments to more than $200,000 with a total of $640,000 paid to programs over the past three years.
Other programs that received contributions from film and television productions in New Mexico since 2017 include:
The non-resident crew giveback requirement is just one of the initiatives of the Economic Development Department that is helping to sustain a long-term industry cluster in New Mexico. As part of another recent agreement, NBCUniversal is required to provide funding for workforce development as well as aspiring director internships."
Visit the New Mexico Film Office at nmfilm.com
The New Mexico Film Office
1100 S. St. Francis Drive, Suite 1213
Santa Fe, NM 87505
A division of the New Mexico Economic Development Department