ATX STEM Park Board
|Cathy Cocco, Chair
|Janet Asghar, Treasurer
|Becky Carter, Director
|Kim Hughes, Volunteer Coordinator
Austin-area businesses face a growing shortage of workers qualified for high-tech jobs. Area schools serve thousands of students interested in pursuing STEM careers. Applied learning bridges the gap between school and workplace — preparing young people for success in college and career, and ensuring a highly-qualfied workforce to support the booming high-tech economy in Central Texas.
The ATX STEM Park is an intellectual recreation center where students, tech professionals and the public can connect and collaborate. We envision an exciting and welcoming environment where like-minded peers and mentors can encourage, explore and share their passion for STEM with each other and with the community. We are starting small, but our ambitions are big. We envision creating a center with space for a machine shop, classrooms, storage, support for a wide variety of STEM activities and a full-size robotics field for practice and competition.
The idea was born when LASA Robotics, the nationally-recognized robotics team from Austin’s Liberal Arts and Science Academy, built a robot but had no chance to practice driving it until competition day. Robots for some student competitions are the size of a small washing machine, and the competition field is the size of a basketball court. That means robotics teams across central Texas have the same problem LASA Robotics faced. They love what they do, and they’re skilled at building robots. But they need a place to practice — with their own teams and in scrimmages with other robots. Just like a sports team, these kids need a place to practice. The ATX STEM Park will offer that, creating a place for pick-up robo-battles just like the pick-up basketball games that happen on courts across the city.
And the park will support much more than robotics. It will be a place for students to explore a kaleidoscope of STEM fields, to engage with each other and to collaborate with mentors who can nurture and expand students’ curiosity and abilities. The ATX STEM Park will be fun and exciting. It will be welcoming and inviting. It will support our students today, and strengthen our workforce tomorrow.
Join ATX STEM Park as we build this dream — for our students, our economy and our community.