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Huntsville's Alabama School of Cyber Technology and Engineering will be free for students

Senator Arthur Orr said this will be a "first-of-its-kind" magnet school.

Posted: Jun 13, 2019 5:05 PM
Updated: Jun 13, 2019 5:18 PM

The new cyber tech academy coming to Huntsville next year will be free for students.

WAAY 31 found out on Thursday how it will attract students from across the state.

No location has been announced yet for the magnet school. However, Senator Orr said North Alabama is breeding the smartest and brightest students in the country, making it the perfect place for the school.

"We are a leader, and we need to do it right and do it well and not only make Huntsville-Madison County proud of us, but the whole state of Alabama," said Senator Arthur Orr, who's the president of the Board of Trustees for the academy.

Senator Arthur Orr said there is no other program like this in the state. The school's mission will be about all things technology, like what they focus on at STEAM Works in Huntsville.

The STEAM Works program allows for students to get a firsthand look at science, tech, engineering, arts and math. Employees there say it's important for kids to have that opportunity.

"Gonna put that in front of them and be able to go, 'Hey, you can do this, this is here, this exists out in the world, come and do it,'" said Karl Liggin, who works at STEAM.

Karl Liggin is all for the new magnet program and says this is a huge step in the right direction. He believes this will be a state-of-the-art school, but hopes students understand it won't be easy.

"A lot of the time the only way that you're going to get good, get proficient and become an expert at them is having the opportunities to fail at them and still be able to grow," said Liggin.

Senator Orr says the goal is to make the cyber tech school free, including the dorms. He says the board wants to attract students from all over, not just here in the Rocket City.

"We envision not just another Alabama magnet school. We envision a world-class institution," said Senator Orr.

Senator Orr told WAAY 31 the school plans to open in August of 2020. He says a big announcement is coming later this month and we might find out where in Huntsville it will be built.

The school will take 10th and 11th graders for the first year and expand to 7th through 12th grade in the coming years.

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