Twenty years ago, a Value City furniture store stood in the place of the Dayton Regional STEM School (DRSS). Ten years ago, after an extensive renovation, the inaugural class made Dayton’s first STEM school a reality.
Last week, DRSS broke ground on another renovation – a 30,000 square foot expansion. The space will house five classrooms, a science lab, an innovation lab, assembly hall, and breakout space. With the extra room, DRSS will add 130 more students by 2025.
“Not only will this project allow us to expand our footprint physically,” explained superintendent Robin Fisher, “but we will also be able to grow our academic programs, collaborate with more partners, and increase our student body.”
A portion of the space will be shared with the Air Force Research Lab’s Gaming Research Integration for Learning Laboratory (GRILL). The GRILL is an educational outreach program that inspires student interest in STEM through modeling and simulation software, helping equip the region’s next generation of critical defense workforce. The program will impact more than 20,000 regional students over the next five years.
“From the beginning, the STEM school has been a community effort,” said Fisher, “and our Dayton community has made this next step possible.”
Community partners like Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Wright State University, Vectren and more attended to celebrate the occasion.
“This truly is cutting edge innovation in education and the collaboration that is happening here is so incredibly important,” said Congressman Mike Turner. “It’s not just about the education – its’s about connecting education to opportunities.”
Fisher accepted a commendation from the Ohio House of Representatives and a proclamation from the Office of the Governor.
“I look forward to your next ten years as we look to those students both changing the world and making their huge contribution to our community,” said Turner.
The new facility will be complete in March 2019. Hear what current students think about DRSS below.
Isabela Nguyen, junior at DRSS
STEM is so unique because of its culture. It’s not similar to anywhere else. Everyone is accepting and friendly. I’ve never met people who are so welcoming and helpful for each other. They build off each other and they want to help the community and themselves. And I feel like without that culture, STEM wouldn’t be what it is today.
Sam Martin, junior at DRSS
In combination with our small community… presentations and group projects prepare you for things that you will actually face in real life and help you with those skills.
Kylie Sauer, junior at DRSS
The reason why STEM is STEM is because of the teachers. The teachers are really accepting and really help us when we struggle. It’s really important to have teachers who are involved and willing to help you learn and get over those issues you may have with learning and working with you to do your best. I think the teachers really want you to be the best you you can be.