Northwest Austin high school debuts tech center

The new Applied Technology Center at Anderson High School offers students hands-on learning in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, fields.

The new Applied Technology Center at Anderson High School offers students hands-on learning in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, fields.

L.C. Anderson High School is offering students a chance to get hands-on experience in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM fields. The school unveiled its new $3 million applied technology center Feb. 23.

The center includes a machine shop, an engineering design room, an electronics lab and a robotics lab.

Anderson teacher John Sperry, who fostered robotics at the school, said the technology center would inspire students to seek out STEM careers.

“Adolescence is an important time of self-discovery,” he said.

Sperry said he hoped STEM education centers like the one at Anderson would soon become a standard at public schools.

Teacher Vincent Wrencher said the strong STEM programs at Anderson have drawn many female students with events such as the Annual Robot Fashion Show, and many of them later go on to study robotics and engineering in college.

“We teach them everything you would learn in the industry,” he said.

Anderson Principal Donna Houser said the center is a joint project between Austin ISD, a private donor, and the Boy Scouts of America and the Girl Scouts of the United States of America, who intend to use the facility to host STEM-focused summer camps.

Stacy Huff, director of Boy Scouts of America National Foundation, said STEM education is one of the Boy Scouts’ highest priorities.

“We hope this serves as a model nationally,” he said.

District 10 Council member Sheri Gallo said she is a product of AISD, and both her children graduated from Anderson.

“We love this school, and I’m so excited about this technology center," she said.