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Austin ISD opens new STEM learning center in collaboration with Dell Technologies

The new center is located at Northeast Early College High School. It will support students in the district's P-TECH program.

AUSTIN, Texas — The Austin Independent School District (AISD) hosted a ribbon cutting Wednesday to open its new STEM learning center at Northeast Early College High School.

The center will support the district's career and technology training program, also known as P-TECH. The program offers students the opportunity to take free college classes and earn an associate’s degree in cybersecurity from Austin Community College.

Austin ISD partnered with Dell Technologies to the design the “cybersecurity industry workplace” facility. The center includes a data center, computer labs and virtual reality and esports areas.

“Our scholars are embarking upon careers in the STEM field that have yet to be created,” Dr. Creslond Fannin, executive director of Early College High Schools & Pathways in Technology, said in a press release. “Austin ISD and Dell are committed to providing the academic foundation and innovative opportunities they will need to succeed.”

RELATED: Austin ISD superintendent gives state of the district address

Along with the ribbon cutting, Austin ISD gave students tour of the facility and met with McLaren Formula 1 racers. Drivers Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo presided over the ribbon-cutting.

McLaren Racing is “major proponent” of STEM education, according to a release. Dell and McLaren are creating a video series, McLaren Substitute Teacher, to teach children about the technologies that make the Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix happen, as STEM plays a major role in racing.

“Every job is now a tech job in some way, and now more than ever, we need to make sure all students have access to the education and skills to succeed,” Snow White, Dell senior education strategist, said in the release. “With the potential 4.3 million global tech labor shortage projected to hit us by 2030, programs like P-TECH give students the real-world experience to fill workforce gaps over the next decade.”

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