Next Generation Learning Center at the VLA

As NRAO begins work on the prototype antenna for the Next Generation Very Large Array, we are also making plans for the Next Generation Learning Center at the VLA. The vision for the Center is to bring engaging, cutting-edge STEM experiences—of a caliber reflecting the world-leading science taking place on site—to every student in New Mexico.

Radio Astronomy
as a Gateway to STEM

While radio astronomy will be our starting point, experiences will encompass engineering, math, data science, machine learning, and other fields that intersect with radio astronomy. In addition to in-person experiences at the VLA, opportunities will be available for virtual learning, too. NRAO will be a STEM resource locally and nationally.

Making STEM Better
Increasing Diversity in the STEM Workforce

New Mexico’s K-12 students are 60% Latino and 11% Native American. Our goal is to attract New Mexico’s students into STEM fields, and to hire from within the state to fill the hundreds of jobs the ngVLA will eventually provide. At the same time, we hope to diversify the STEM workforce.

Campaign for the
Next Generation Learning Center at New Mexico’s VLA

The cost of building the learning center is estimated at $25 million. NRAO is in the planning phase of a capital campaign to raise the funds to build the Next Generation Learning Center at the Very Large Array. We expect this effort to take several years.

For more information, or to find out how to support this project, please contact NRAO’s Director of Advancement, Heather Cochrane at