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Florida Polytechnic University

A mockup of the ISEAUTO, designed at Tallinn Technical University in Estonia.
Tallinn Technical University

Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland has a new partner in autonomous vehicle research--a university in Estonia that’s built a prototype of a driverless car.  

Florida Polytechnic University

A faculty member and a group of students at Florida Polytechnic University have been awarded a grant from NATO to develop research focusing on radiation detectors.

Florida Polytechnic University

Florida Polytechnic University is announcing their vision for the future -- a five-year plan that includes a research park, an expanded curriculum and new scholarships.

Robin Sussingham / WUSF

Florida Polytechnic University's inaugural class graduated Friday with more than 200 undergraduate and graduate students receiving their degrees.

The state's newest university opened its doors four years ago in Lakeland. 

Brooke Owens Fellowship Program

As a child, Payton Barnwell was fascinated by race cars, but her passion for science came to her in high school with the support of her high school physics teacher.

“He really showed us the applications of the science we were learning,” Barnwell said. “So it wasn’t all theory. He would say, ‘We can do it with this, and we can do it with rockets.’”

Now, the Florida Polytechnic University mechanical engineering junior has been selected for one of the most prestigious aviation and space programs in the country, one specifically designed for women.

Facility Seeks To Boost Transportation Technology

Nov 14, 2017

State officials held a ceremonial groundbreaking Monday at a transportation facility in Polk County that could make Florida a leader in developing technologies related to tolling and automated driving.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Members of the State University System's Board of Governors said Thursday they were disappointed that Florida's newest university will miss the original deadline for getting accredited, a designation that can affect students' job prospects and ability to receive financial aid.

Florida Polytechnic University will name its campus after former Senate Budget Chairman JD Alexander, who spearheaded the move to create the Lakeland school.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Classes are underway at Florida Polytechnic University. It's the second academic year for the state's newest university -- a STEM, or science, technology, engineering and math college -- and  the  campus is growing quickly.

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Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Florida's 12th university opens to the public Saturday with the grand opening of Florida Polytechnic U. More than 550 students are expected for the first day of class on August 25th. The Lakeland campus is the state's first public university devoted to STEM - science, technology and mathematics.

Florida Polytechnic University

Saturday, Aug. 16, marks the grand opening for Florida's 12th university. Florida Polytechnic University, in Polk County, will offer a tuition-free STEM education to its inaugural class of about 550 students, who start class on Aug. 25.  President Randy Avent  sat down with WUSF's Robin Sussingham to talk about his vision for the university.

Choosing the right college or university is usually a big decision for most students, but choosing an untested one was an even bigger decision for Edison Collegiate High School Senior Natalie Ekdahl.

When she told her friends where she was going she says,  “most of them asked what it was, they’d never heard about it. But a few of them, they were excited about it and had heard good things about it too.”

Yoselis Ramos / WUSF

Florida Polytechnic University is still a work in progress. Travelers can see the iconic innovation, science and technology (IST) building from Interstate 4, just east of Lakeland. It's not done, but the admissions center building is open to the public.

Prospective students are able to register for tours online. Florida Poly Chief Operating Officer Ava Parker says this building brings the brochure to life.

Florida Polytechnic University

In-state undergraduate students who enroll at Florida Polytechnic University next year will get free tuition. The school's Board of Trustees approved the scholarships Monday at its meeting at the Orlando International Airport.

State University System Board of Governors (BOG) Chairman Dean Colson wrote Florida Polytechnic University board of trustees chairman Rob Gidel, requesting that he make a presentation on the status of the polytechnic. "Given the news reports of Florida Polytechnic's intent to request $25 million from the Legislature, I would also ask that the presentation include specific information on any perceived funding shortfalls not covered in Florida Polytechnic's initial budget or by way of exemptions granted in SB 1994," Colson said. The next week, Florida Poly Chief Operating Officer Ava Parker advised the board against asking for additional funds, saying it would be "more prudent to wait at this point." Gidel said he will attend the meeting, which will be held in Tallahassee on March 27 and 28.

Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, told The Ledger Wednesday that he did not call Florida's newest university a "disaster," as had earlier been reported. He said his remarks to the editorial board of the Tampa Tribune earlier in the week were directed toward a request by Florida Polytechnic for additional state funds.

While Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford says Florida Polytechnic University is "a disaster" that could use an outside ally, he's looking for an entity more like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and not USF -- the university Florida Poly was spun off from.

Speaking to the Tampa Tribune editorial board, the Wesley Chapel Republican presented what he admits is "a crazy idea... go talk to MIT or CalTech or Stanford and see if they want to have a satellite campus in Florida."

Chris Urso / TBO.com

In a move that's prompting a round of "I told you so's" from critics, Florida Polytechnic University trustees are asking state legislators for $25 million in additional funding.

The Tampa Tribune reports those who stood opposed to creating the new university last year are again voicing their displeasure.

"I told my colleagues and I told the governor last year that this was going to be a monstrous cost," said state Rep. Mike Fasano, a Republican from New Port Richey who was in the Senate at the time. "Very few people wanted to listen. Now it's coming back to haunt them."

Standing in front of a banner reading "There is a Voice!" a group of Polk County business leaders and politicians today  rallied in support of the new Florida Polytechnic University.

In attendance was  State Sen. J.D. Alexander, the driving force behind Florida Polytechnic's contentious  split from the University of South Florida. The group said they  wanted to move discussion and press coverage about the school into a positive light and away from the laser-like focus on Alexander.