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Science and Engineering Students Flip for the Puzzle

November 23, 2015



When you are a science and engineering school, how do you stand out at college fairs? How do you call attention to your school as the place students want to be? You hand them a brochure in the form of an engineering puzzle, of course.

“We call this our ‘fair piece,’” says Reynaldo Maestas, associate director of admissions at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (also called New Mexico Tech). “We attend a lot of college fairs, so we need something that grabs attention very quickly. It also has to get down to the nitty gritty facts—fast.”

Maestas became aware of The Flapper when NM Tech’s marketing and publications coordinator, Edie Steinhoff, ordered a sample from Red Paper Plane. He jumped on it immediately. “Our students like puzzles,” he says. “We figured it would get their attention very quickly, and it did!”

When students first open the piece, they see the school’s admission requirements, as well as its direct costs and degrees offered. When they open it again, they see the available scholarships, as well as the school’s rankings and peer cost comparisons. When they open it to the left page, it talks about housing options and living / learning communities. When students open it again, they end up back at the front.

“We don’t tell them how it works,” says Maestas. “We just say, ‘It’s a puzzle. If you can get through this, you should probably come to our school.’ When they flip through the back and end up at the front, they get the biggest grin on their faces. They say, ‘No way! That is so cool!’ The engineering of the piece intrigues them.”

NM Tech initially placed an order of 5,000 Flappers as a test. After a month, the Flappers are almost completely gone and the school has put in a second order. “Everyone is eating it up,” says Maestas. “Students, the counselors, advisors, parents—they love it.”

“The Flapper was an amazing success,” beams Steinhoff. “The students can’t get enough!”

Posted in: Higher Education