STEM Student Research Center Opens at Bergen

Government officials and College leaders join Bergen President Michael D. Redmond, Ph.D., at the ribbon cutting.

PARAMUS, N.J. – Assisted by a student-constructed robot and joined by Bergen County government officials, faculty, staff and institutional leaders, Bergen Community College President Michael D. Redmond, Ph.D., cut the ribbon on the $1 million STEM Student Research Center April 30 at the College’s main campus. SUEZ sponsored the opening ceremony, donating $5,000 to support the College’s STEM programs.

“This is not just a STEM Research Center – it’s a student research center,” President Redmond said. “Our students are our future, and we invest in them because it’s the smartest way we can prepare for tomorrow.”

Bergen County Executive James J. Tedesco III and Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders Chair Germaine Ortiz also spoke at the opening.

“For thousands of students every year, Bergen Community College is the place where their dreams become possible,” the county executive said. “The STEM Student Research Center is a promise to these students and their future peers that their goals are worthy of pursuing and that Bergen is committed to giving them the tools they need to succeed. Here, students will have the opportunity to invent the future: pursuing new ideas, contributing to innovative industries, and even create new fields of study for the next generation to explore.”

“It gives us an opportunity in Bergen County to be ahead of the curve,” Ortiz, the freeholder chair, said, “and maybe lets us create our own Silicon Valley.”

In addition to county chapter 12 funds, the U.S. Department of Education and Emil Buehler Perpetual Trust helped support the construction of the $1 million facility, which features large “showcase” windows that enable observation from outside the center, a drones/robotics wing, a MakerSpace and mini-course classroom.

STEM has remained a focus area for Bergen, as it secured numerous grants to enhance its offerings. More than 2,000 enrolled STEM students take advantage of programs such as engineering science, computer science and biology while completing research projects in- and outside the classroom. Projects have included converting a softball field house into a workshop, high-altitude balloon launches, retrofitting a gas combustion truck and motorcycle into electric vehicles and conducting experimental testing with wind turbines and solar panels.

Based in Paramus, Bergen Community College (www.bergen.edu), a public two-year coeducational college, enrolls more than 14,000 students at locations in Paramus, the Philip Ciarco Jr. Learning Center in Hackensack and Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands in Lyndhurst. The College offers associate degree, certificate and continuing education programs in a variety of fields. More students graduate from Bergen than any other community college in the state.

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