WARREN — It first opened its doors 25 years ago, and since then, more than 1,400 students have graduated from the program.
An open house was held Dec. 23 to commemorate the Warren Consolidated Schools Macomb Mathematics Science Technology Center’s 25-year anniversary.
On that evening, the MMSTC — located inside the Butcher Educational Center — was the gathering spot for alumni, current students, parents, teachers and school officials to look back on the center’s last 25 years.
Former students reconnected, cake was served, classrooms were open and displays decorated hallways.
The MMSTC was developed in an effort to create an innovative environment to foster excellence and vision in teaching, learning and discovering the relationships of mathematics, science, technology and society.
School officials credit the center’s longevity to the commitment of the instructors, who work to build meaningful relationships with students while preparing a rigorous and engaging curriculum.
Students attend the MMSTC for half of the school day and then return to their regular high school for the second half. According to school officials, the program includes students from 12 Macomb County high schools. Currently, 300 students are enrolled in the program.
Chris Mataczynski, a 2011 Cousino High School graduate, was among the past students who attended the anniversary event. He was selected to the MMSTC during the summer before ninth grade.
“You had to take a test,” the 21-year-old said. “That determined if you came here.”
Mataczynski said he “loved” attending classes at the MMSTC. The classes were small, so everyone got to know each other, he said.
“We were all friends,” said Mataczynski, who is now studying biology at Wayne State University. “I’ll hopefully go into pre-med.”
Warren Mott junior Olivia Smith has been in the program since her freshman year. Smith said the test to get into the center “was pretty tough.”
“It’s a lot of work, but it’s definitely worth it,” she said. “I knew I would learn more, and it would help better prepare me for college. With all the hard work, it’s still fun.
“Our classes are a lot smaller. We don’t have a set schedule,” Smith said. “Every day, we have a different order of class. We don’t have math first, or sometimes we have math first. It changes every day.”
Smith wants to be a pilot in the U.S. Air Force.
“I need a lot of academics,” she said. “This would help me by getting in.”
“My goal is to be an engineer,” Warren Mott junior and MMTSC student Sydni Jordan said. “This has helped me. It builds that path to high school. It’s just preparing me for what I want to do later on.”
Jordan’s plans include majoring in biomedical engineering and building medical machinery. But that’s not all; she’d also like to minor in music composition.
She said other highlights of attending the MMSTC are the quarterly field trips to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Wayne State University in Detroit, Lawrence Tech University in Southfield and Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti.