More than a Surfer's Paradise: Why New Smyrna Beach Loves STEM

Mon, Feb 20, 2023 at 9:00AM

More than a Surfer's Paradise: Why New Smyrna Beach Loves STEM

While the west coast seems to get all the love from surfers, Florida’s New Smyrna Beach is a surfer’s paradise in its own right and is home to some of the most consistent surf breaks on the entire east coast. 

However, this coastal city, located on the south side of the Ponce Inlet, is known for more than just its great waves. New Smyrna Beach is also a hot spot for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs. 

There are two key contributing factors that have made New Smyrna Beach a prime location for STEM education, which are as follows:

Aerospace in Florida Is Thriving

The Sunshine State is widely considered to be the birthplace of commercial avionics. Today, aerospace in Florida is still thriving. The state is home to staples of the aerospace industry, including the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Cecil Spaceport, and Kennedy Space Center, as well as dozens of airports. 

New Smyrna Beach is particularly embedded in Florida’s aerospace sector. The world-renowned Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is located just 15 miles north of New Smyrna Beach. 

The presence of Embry-Riddle, as well as numerous commercial aerospace businesses, has encouraged the development of countless STEM programs throughout New Smyrna Beach and all of Volusia County.

New Smyrna Beach Is at the Heart of Florida Workforce Development Efforts

The development of STEM education in New Smyrna Beach has been further encouraged as part of Florida’s overarching workforce development programs. These programs aim to equip Volusia County high school students with the skills they need to thrive in the business ecosystem of tomorrow. 

New Smyrna Beach, as well as its citizens and businesses, embrace STEM because these programs put the next generation of workers in the position to succeed. STEM programs also ensure that business leaders have access to a talented workforce both now and in the years to come. 

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