For all the talk about how cool and creative Liberty Science Center is — and it is …
And for all the talk about how innovative and imaginative SciTech Scity is going to be — and it will be …
There may be no more important and impactful location in Jersey City than the Liberty Science Center High School — a world-class magnet school created and dedicated to STEM education with the goal of mentoring and fostering the next class of scientists from New Jersey.
LSCHS took a big step toward reality Monday with a groundbreaking ceremony attended by Liberty Science Center CEO Paul Hoffman, Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop and a whole host of educators and benefactors.
The planned academy, which aims to be open in 2025, will be operated by the Hudson County Schools of Technology. It will provide programs in earth (sustainable engineering and climate science), life (biological sciences) and space (astrophysics) sciences to 400 students in grades 9-12 from across Hudson County.
Throughout the ceremony, the dignitaries attempted to explain the transformative impact that LSCHS will have on students aspiring for careers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields, on diversifying those fields and on cementing the position of the region and state at a center of scientific and technological discovery and innovation.
- Hoffman: “The school will get the next generation inspired and excited about science and engineering — and give them the skills they need to go out and succeed in the workplace. … Aspirationally, we want this to become the greatest STEM high school in the United States.”
- Fulop: “This is one of the most important projects that we’re doing in Jersey City. It will be transformational to not only Jersey City, but the entire region and New Jersey as a whole. We couldn’t be more excited to watch this project come to life.”
- LSC board member and benefactor Laura Overdeck: “This school is going to be epic. It’s an epic school for epic children. We may need them in the future to keep fighting climate change, to battle diseases we don’t know about yet and to get a lasso around ChatGPT … every time we open a school like this, we’re reminded what a 15-year-old can do with engineering and what a 17-year-old can do with a telescope.”
- Hudson County Schools of Technology Superintendent Amy Lin-Rodriguez: “This is a revolutionary idea. And when we talk about what Mayor Fulop said, about reimagining education, we’re able to do that here. In order to do that, we have to make an impact.”
In addition to their world-class education, LSCHS students will have access to intensive mentorships and work experiences with the companies and scientists at SciTech Scity, the 30-acre “City of Tomorrow” being developed by LSC that also will include an innovation hub to launch and grow world-changing science and technology startups, residential housing for people interested in a community dedicated to using science and technology to build a better future, and public space for outdoor science-related activations.
LSC also will create preparatory programs for middle-school students from underserved communities in Jersey City and Hudson County who are passionate about science and aspire to attend the new high school.
Along with LSCHS and Liberty Science Center, SciTech Scity pillars will include:
- Edge Works: The eight-story business incubation hub of SciTech Scity, consisting of the Co-Creation Center, a 40,000-square foot state-of-the-art conference center and bleeding-edge tech exhibition gallery, and the Works, 60,000 square feet of research and development labs, workspaces and coworking areas for dozens of startups, plus skunkworks suites, product showcases, consumer testing labs and offices for select well-established companies.
- Scholars Village: Residential housing being developed by Alpine Residential for innovators, scientists, entrepreneurs, STEM graduate students and individuals and families who desire to be a part of the SciTech Scity community. These residents will have the opportunity to test important new high-tech products in their homes before the rest of the world.
- Public Commons: Four acres of outdoor activations that encourage exploration, creativity, collaboration and innovation. An events plaza comparable in size to the skating rink and outdoor area at Rockefeller Center for performances, concerts, maker fairs, farmers markets, huge participatory science experiments, hackathons, art projects and food truck festivals.