Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Photo via Wikimedia Commons

The Toyota USA Foundation announced Tuesday a $4 million grant to Cal State Dominguez Hills to create a center to prepare students in Southern California for careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

The grant will support the design, construction and equipment for an 87,000-square-foot science and innovation building on CSUDH’s Carson campus, which will house the Toyota Center for Innovation in STEM Education.

The center will include a fabrication lab, labs for K-12 teacher demonstrations and training, SMART classrooms, collaborative workspaces and an outdoor workspace.

“The center will help further science, technology, engineering and mathematics teaching, learning, research and `making’ that is critical to the future of California’s youth, the region and the nation,” said Mike Goss, president of the Toyota USA Foundation.

“Investing today to provide hands-on, creative experiences that create excitement for STEM careers is critical to America’s advanced manufacturing future,” Goss said. “We want this new facility to help support students of the South Bay and Los Angeles so that they can be prepared for the next generation of jobs.”

Torrance-based Toyota Motor Sales committed an additional $750,000 for construction of mobile trailers equipped with tools and technology, such as laser cutters to create 2D and 3D structures, 3D printers and electronic components for prototyping projects.

The mobile “fab labs,” pulled by four Toyota Tundra trucks, will travel throughout the South Bay and the greater Los Angeles region to serve local schools, beginning in May.

Groundbreaking for the science and innovation building is expected in the fall.

“The new center will be a key resource for the university, directly impacting academic success and strengthening the region’s future STEM workforce,” said CSUDH President Willie Hagan.

“Educators are constantly adapting to new, innovative technology and processes to prepare students for success in our global society,” Hagan said. “The Toyota Center and mobile fab labs will provide leading tools for the development of creative academic programs and innovative curricula in line with the Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core State Standards.”

—City News Service

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