Jose A. Muñoz, President and CEO of BCC Engineering, has announced that he will make a generous donation to establish an innovation hub at his alma mater, Christopher Columbus High School. The Muñoz Family Innovation Hub will be a space where students can work collaboratively and creatively in the areas of design, engineering, and entrepreneurship. In essence, the students will be able to invent a product and take it from start to finish, from concept creation using Computer Aided Design (CAD) through the building stage using traditional and digital fabrication tools and ultimately the business development and selling process through the school’s entrepreneurship program.
“In the spirit of our school motto Adelante which denotes forward thinking, this space will be dedicated to inspire and challenge our students to be bold as they prepare to build our future,” said Mr. Armando Rodriguez, CCHS Engineering Teacher and STEM/Robotics Moderator.
The Muñoz Family Innovation Hub will be located primarily on the first floor of the school’s new Marcus Lemonis and Mario Sueiras Center for Science & the Arts with other usage spaces in the Mas Technology Complex. With the donation, Columbus will fully equip the spaces with tools and resources like CAD stations, 3D printers, laser cutters, and Computer Numerical Control (CNC) milling machines.
The hands-on and experimental learning that students will be able to experience in the new hub will be invaluable for their college and career success, giving them an edge over their peers in the areas of STEM, ” said Jose Muñoz. “It is my family’s hope that with the facility in place, more students will gain the confidence needed to explore STEM fields,” he added. Muñoz, who graduated from Columbus in 1990, is one of the alumni who provided the seed money to help start the Engineering Program at Columbus back in 2016. In addition, he provides externship opportunities to Columbus students at his engineering firm and is a supporter of the school’s Caring Hearts Fund which aids families facing great financial hardship. “Columbus is a special place for me so I want to do my part to ensure that the school keeps improving and offering the best educational opportunities possible,” said Muñoz. “Both as a student and now as a parent, with my son Max graduating this year, I’ve seen first-hand the great impact that the school makes on such a large range of students. It is very rewarding to know that my family is leaving behind a legacy to help generations of Columbus students.”
“We are so grateful to Jose and his family for this generous gift,” said Thomas Kruczek, Columbus president. “The Muñoz Family Innovation Hub will provide our young men with an environment to foster innovation, experiment and ultimately develop a maker-mindset. I look forward to seeing more and more of our students dreaming up ideas and then making them happen.“
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