By Melanie Hummel

On Friday, March 8th, a group from the Celebration Foundation had an exciting opportunity to visit Florida Polytechnic University just west of Celebration off of I-4 in Lakeland.

Many people have noticed the avant-garde architecture of the school’s main academic building—designed by famed Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava— without even realizing the wonderful opportunities that exist there for students in our community.

Florida Polytechnic University is Florida’s only accredited public university with an exclusive focus on the core STEM disciplines of engineering, technology, and applied science. Florida Polytechnic offers 6 undergraduate engineering degree programs and 2 graduate-level engineering degree programs. The school’s mission is to prepare 21st-century learners in advanced fields of STEM to become innovative problem-solvers and high-tech professionals through interdisciplinary teaching, leading-edge research, and collaborative partnerships.

According to the last published demographic data, Florida Polytechnic University had a student body of 1445 students, and 87% of those students were male. The team from the Celebration Foundation is currently looking at ways that we can expand the mission of the WINGS (Women’s Initiative Nurturing Girls’ Strengths) program to include encouraging young ladies in the Celebration K-8 and Celebration High School to pursue interests in the STEM fields.  As part of that effort, a dedicated group of volunteers has been exploring different STEM-related organizations in the community. The group was excited to see the opportunities that exist at Florida Polytechnic University. The school’s website can be found at

For more info on WINGS at K-8, contact the school counseling department, and for WINGS in the community, call the Foundation at 407-566-1234 or visit