STEM center has grand opening

Palomar students Ty Night and Marilyn Marino have a study group session on May 11, 2012 in the new STEM Center located on the third floor of the NS building. Joe Canter/Telescope

Palomar College’s Natural Science building held a ribbon cutting ceremony on April 27 to mark the official opening of its brand new Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) center, according to STEM Project Supervisor Mireya Gutierrez-Aguero.

The event brought almost 60 people out, some students, some staff and faculty, and others from Cal State San Marcos, Gutierrez-Aguero added. Palomar President Robert Deegan gave the welcome address, while the President of the Governing Board Darrell McMullen, Assistant Superintendent and Vice President Berta Cuaron and the Dean of the STEM Program Dan Sourbeer all provided comments. The event’s speaker was STEM Center Coordinator Wing Cheung, Gutierrez-Aguero said.

“This grant for the STEM program is to support underrepresented students,” Gutierrez-Aguero said. “Ideally, we want to help students who want to go from Palomar to Cal State San Marcos. But we are more than willing to provide support for students interested in going to other state schools or universities as well.”

The center is available to students as a resource where they can study, get tutors, speak with counselors and utilize computers, whiteboards, projectors, print or simply obtain valuable information on opportunities such as workshops or internships, she explained.

Palomar physics student Mario Ramos said the staff has done a great job of promoting the STEM center.

“I like that they are putting a lot of work and effort into the STEM program,” he said. “It shows they care a lot about Palomar and us as students, especially (Mireya). The nice thing about people caring is that it is motivating, shows your work is appreciated and I always like coming.”

He does however suggest that they think about separating students who want to study and students who want to talk while studying, because it can get loud and be distracting if you are trying to get work done.

According to Gutierrez-Aguero, additions are still being made to the STEM center such as adding projector screens to the walls in rooms and creating a system where students can check out books, so they still don’t know the final cost of the building.

“For now it’s letting students know what is available to them and how the STEM center can be a vital resource for them to utilize as they pursue their education.”

Author: Jacqueline Coble

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