CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – The Mahoning County Career and Technical Center (MCCTC) cut the ribbon to open the brand new Valley STEM + ME2 Academy Thursday night.

Students and faculty were pouring in for the open house to check out the 7,500 square foot lab, which features more than $450,000 in state-of-the-art equipment, including 3-D printers. The equipment will support the rigorous curriculum the school will provide, as well as the problem-based learning STEM education is built on.

The evening began with the official ribbon cutting of the STEM lab that will be housed at MCCTC in Canfield. Following the ribbon cutting, Youngstown State University President Jim Tressel spoke, along with Superintendent Dr. Ron Iarussi and Director of Valley STEM Mara Banfield. Following the speakers, refreshments and tours were provided, as well as hands-on activities with the new equipment in the lab.

“Public school is great for education, but if you have kids that are really into science and really into future technologies, this is kind of it,” said Keith Campbell, a parent from Canfield.

Faculty from MCCTC, including former engineers, will be coming over to teach the students.

Superintendent Ron Iarussi says the idea for the school was actually brought to them by local businesses.

“It was brought to life actually by the area manufacturers that expressed a concern over the amount of candidates that were available for the jobs they’re going to have open in the future,” Iarussi said.

STEM + ME2 stands for science, technology, engineering and math plus manufacturing, energy and entrepreneurship.

Enrollment is now open to 9th and 10th grade Mahoning county and surrounding area students for the 2016-2017 school year. The academy is accepting 100 students per grade and already has 85 students enrolled.

The Academy has a STEM designation from the Ohio Department of Education.