MELBOURNE, FLA. — Florida Tech has partnered with the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars to open a STEM Lab at Andrew Jackson High School of Advanced Technology in Jacksonville.
Since 2019, Florida Tech has been the official STEM education sponsor of the Jaguars.
Florida Tech fully funded 24 new laptops and furniture to provide an enhanced, virtual reality-based learning environment for the 930-student high school located just north of downtown Jacksonville.
“As Florida’s STEM university, Florida Tech understands the power and potential of a technology-rich, student-driven education,” said Florida Tech President Dwayne McCay. “We are pleased to join the Jaguars in strengthening the opportunities for students at Andrew Jackson and look forward to the success and innovation this new facility will foster.”
In addition to providing an outlet for science, technology, engineering and math, the new lab will supercharge student efforts to apply to college. That’s critical to AJHS Principal Truitte Moreland.
“I don’t believe in no,” Moreland said at a recent grand opening ceremony. “There are no excuses. If a kid does not have the money and they can’t do the basics, then it’s our job to do that for them. This partnership with Florida Tech and the Jaguars helps us do that.”
Jaguars offensive lineman Ben Bartch knows what it takes to get into college and the importance of academics in a child’s journey. He visited with the students virtually and touched on why he is a great example of what can happen with some hard work.
“Bottom line is you just have to work your butt off,” Bartch said. “It’s on you and yourself, it’s you and the man in the mirror. If it’s a goal that is worth pursuing, people will doubt you. That’s how you know it’s a good goal.”