Innovation campus receives special guests

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Texas Congressman Lamar Smith was given the full tour of WSU's Innovation Campus. Smith heads up the nation's House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and was invited here by Kansas Congressman Dr. Roger Marshall. 

"This is my first visit to Wichita State. Clearly, they are the premier aerospace institution in America," said Smith. 

Dr. Marshall also sits on the same committee that oversees programs like, NASA, the FAA and the National Science Foundation and what Smith saw has him impressed. 

"One of the things I haven't mentioned yet that I hope comes out of today is working with Wichita State in trying to get them to perhaps apply for more grants," said Smith.

The Innovation Campus includes a Maker Space to make it easier to bring ideas to market. Smith and Marshall got a chance to see the largest 3D printer in the world in action. 

"Isn't that something?" said Smith.

Marshall knows that attention like this can translate to more jobs. 

"Not all the jobs are going to be in Wichita, Kansas. There are lots of other companies that help support this area as well," said Marshall.

The House Science Committee is in charge of STEM programs and Smith sees the Innovation Campus as a step in the right direction. 

"We are not going to be able to compete globally unless we encourage our young people to study those STEM subjects. What we have seen today with the Innovation Center with everything we have seen is just a living working breathing testament to the need to study those STEM subjects."

Smith says women only make up about a quarter of STEM college majors. He would like to see that change and bring in more women into STEM careers.