The new Thomas Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics building was dedicated Tuesday on the Port St. Lucie campus of Indian River State College.
Inside one classroom, students are talking about gravitational force. In another, there are microbiology experiments. In a third, chemistry students are determining the properties of vinegar.
"I'm doing pre-med so it's cool that we get the chance to get more experience hands-on," said Sophomore Norma Valentin.
There's a lot of brain power at work here. The key is to make sure many of these students use it here after graduation. The college is hoping new businesses will relocate after seeing what's in this buildings DNA.
"One of the first stops, we hope they will come through the STEM complex and our other facilities and they will get the feeling immediately that they can get a trained workforce," said IRSC President Dr. Edwin Massey.
With the emergence of biotech on the Treasure Coast like Torrey Pines and VGTI, it was important for educators at IRSC to set up their new labs just like the scientists do.
60 students each semester will get internships in those labs.
"They show us exactly what to do. They show us the same research techniques that current science is using," said Adam Carroll, who is interning at Torrey Pines.
Also at Tuesday's building dedication, the IRSC campus in St. Lucie West was renamed the Ken Pruitt Campus after the longtime area lawmaker.
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