Science Center on Wheels Brings Solar STEM Opportunities to Underserved Communities
Access to fun, interactive, STEM-based programming is often out of reach for schools in underserved communities, due to lack of resources. Such education opportunities are critical components to sparking interest in STEM-related fields among youth to help ensure they are not held back from STEM careers. Nonprofit Mobile Science Laboratory, Inc. (MoLab) works to change this dynamic by providing on-the-go, hands-on, inquiry-backed science experiences through its mobile laboratory, creatively bringing STEM programming to Florida schools — especially those in underserved communities.
Tallahassee-based MoLab has partnered with All Points North Foundation on a new program, the MoBus Solar Science Sustainability Lab, to provide solar science education to nine Title 1 middle schools in Florida’s Leon and Gadsden Counties, with activities ensuring physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of this programming, the first six months of the MoLab project will include completing the transformation of the MoBus: installation of a vehicle wrap to generate excitement and additional lab equipment for use with a new curriculum, installation of solar panels on the bus to power lab activities, development of a film introducing students to solar energy and conversion of the MoBus to a more sustainable vegetable waste oil fuel source. While the focus of the curriculum will be on solar, this clean energy technology provides an excellent introduction to STEM programming, such as understanding circuitry and electricity and helping students recognize the connection between energy and all living things.
MoLab’s founders know having access to STEM education opportunities is a critical component in raising up underserved communities and schools, and also helps to bridge the ethnic and gender gaps seen in math and science fields. As school budgets and out-of-classroom experiences are reduced, MoLab brings hands-on solar programing to those who need it most.
For more information: www.tallymolab.org
Photo credit: MoLab Inc.
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All Points North Foundation
All Points North Foundation provides grants for U.S.-based projects and initiatives that support our priorities: improving public middle school education and teacher training, and implementing effective solar programs and/or projects.
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