By Marco Santana, Orlando Sentinel
Some soon-to-be 11th graders in Osceola County will be part of the first group of students to get an inside look at a sensor research facility in Kissimmee next month.
It will be a test run of what officials at the high-tech building known as BRIDG hope becomes a regular event, one meant to encourage students to enroll in science, technology, engineering and mathematics courses in college.
That would help bolster the region’s STEM workforce, BRIDG Chief Executive Officer Chester Kennedy said.
“It’s part of the sustainable economic transformation we are trying to lead here in Osceola County,” he said. “We need to think about this project in a way that it builds the workforce and starts interest in these careers early on in their lives. We are trying to give kids an inspiration, something that will get them excited.”
The stage for that effort: a 109,000-square-foot building on the former Judge Farms property in Kissimmee.
BRIDG, which only recently opened its doors officially, will host a group of 30 students beginning June 13. Engineers and other tech professionals will explain the jobs and technologies being used at BRIDG to the rising juniors.
The three-day program, which uses a curriculum developed by California-based nonprofit SEMI Foundation, also includes visits to St. Cloud motor manufacturer Mercury Marine and University of Central Florida. Florida High Tech Corridor Council and Osceola County Education Foundation are footing the bill.