Hagerty High School in Oviedo, Florida, with the support of the modeling and simulation industry, is leading the educational front on the development and expansion of their modeling and simulation (M&S) laboratories for secondary public schools. The goal is to engage, educate and motivate students to pursue high level STEM careers in modeling and simulation.

Hagerty High students work in their M&S lab.

Hagerty High School is sharing its M&S program with other high schools and now middle schools across the state of Florida. Over the past three years, Hagerty has grown its modeling and simulation program from one lab with 60 students to three labs with more than 250 students, as well as a waiting list.

The labs run several of the industry’s latest software at no cost through educational licenses which are updated annually. The program is project-based with an emphasis on real world problem solving. The Hagerty labs host visitors from all over Central Florida seeking input on how to create an M&S program of their own.

Ms. Lindsey Spaulding, lead for the Hagerty M&S program, said, “The students are the leaders and do a great job communicating concepts and showing application to motivate principals and industry experts alike to take STEM action by engaging, educating and motivating students to pursue high level STEM careers in modeling and simulation.”

More than 250 students use three labs at Hagerty High with a waiting list for others to join the classes.

Dr. Neal Finkelstein, chief engineer for the Army Research Lab here in Central Florida, said, “As one of the fastest growing corridors in the country, STEM jobs will be a key element in the continual growth of the I-4 corridor innovation economy. As such, Ms. Spaulding’s work in expanding the M&S pipeline to other secondary schools in Florida is foundational and is a model for experiential learning.”