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Shaping the Future of St. Petersburg

Thursday, September 17, 2009   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Elaine Smalling
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All Children's Hospital 
In a three month period this fall St. Petersburg will be celebrating the dedication of four new facilities that will transform our technology sector, our medical complex and our local university. The attached images offer a glimpse of the advanced new facilities that are rapidly emerging including: Draper Laboratory’s new microsystems facility that will be dedicated in October; SRI’s new research facility in Bayboro Harbor that will open in November; a new Science and Technology Facility that will open on USF’s St. Petersburg Campus in December and All Children’s new hospital that includes a birthing center, Bayfront Baby Place, operated by Bayfront Medical Center which will open in December. Taken collectively these facilities represent what is clearly one of the most important transformations this community has ever seen. Imagine miniature new sensing systems that will be applied by medical and military professionals, by the food, shipping, chemical and electric industries throughout the United States. Indeed, SRI and Draper are major contributors to new technologies that are already revolutionizing our society as well as being injected into a global arena. At USF Saint Petersburg the new Science and Technology Center will, for the first time, offer opportunities for both undergraduate students from the College of Arts and Sciences at USF Saint Petersburg and graduate students from USF’s College of Marine Science to explore, discover and subsequently apply scientific insights with faculty.  The new All Children’s Hospital will provide our state with one of the most advanced pediatric facilities ever built. Further, the unique collaboration with Bayfront Medical Center, Bayfront Baby Place, provides a birthing center that is an integral part of All Children’s new hospital. As a result, newborns in need of special medical attention will have immediate access to one of the most advanced, extensive and accomplished pediatric groups in the country.  The potential linkages between our medical, university, and local technological sectors are manifold and will almost certainly provide a host of exciting new ventures that spur economic development.


In addition, SRI’s involvement in a revolutionary new mathematics initiative focused on middle school children in Pinellas County is especially significant. Thanks to SRI’s Curtis Carlson and his talented team from SRI, to Pinellas County School System’s Julie Janssen, to the College of Education at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, to the Helios Education Foundation, and to the City of St. Petersburg a new digital mathematics curriculum is being introduced in seven Pinellas middle schools.  The pilot study will provide data that is critical to determining whether the new digital curriculum teachers are applying this year significantly advances both the mathematical ability and interest of their middle school students.  Clearly our new technical partners are doing much more than advancing their bottom line. Rather, they are also strengthening the fabric of our community. We hope you will join us as we celebrate our collective good fortune this fall.

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