By Tom Tolen /

Plans have been finalized for an open house and ribbon cutting ceremony for the new, cutting edge STEAM Center at Brighton High School.

STEAM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. The event, which is scheduled for 5:30-6:45pm tonight, will allow members of the community to view the new facility, which includes a state-of-the-art engineering lab, fabrication lab with the latest in industrial manufacturing equipment, a demonstration space with a capacity of 100 people, advanced computer lab, collaboration space and conference style amenities.

The STEAM Center received financial support from the voters, who approved a $59 million bond proposal in November of 2019. Brighton Area Schools Superintendent Matthew Outlaw says the STEAM Center will create innovative learning opportunities for students in STEAM-and-STEM-related careers, which are projected to grow at a much faster rate than other career fields.

The facility will also be used to support existing career and technical education opportunities at Brighton High School, including automotive technology, First Robotics and graphic arts. In addition, the new facility will become a resource for other organizations located in the extended community.

Discussions on potential educational partnerships have already begun with organizations such as the Ann Arbor Autonomous Vehicle Group and the American Center for Mobility. The educational partnerships, along with the guidance of the Industry to Education Taskforce, will work together to create a vision and strategies to develop enhanced learning opportunities for students as they pursue careers in high tech fields.

After the open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony, the regular Board of Education meeting will take place at 7pm, also in the new STEAM Center.