Missouri S&T is taking science education on the road in the STEM Mobile
Missouri University of Science and Technology is looking to get more involved in educating younger students about science, and it has a new method to take the lessons to them.
The school purchased a vehicle it calls the STEM Mobile that will take portable experiments and other hands-on science opportunities to grade school and high school-age students.
The largely science-based university has a long history of bringing younger students to campus to build their interest in science, technology, engineering and math. But the STEM Mobile will make it easier to reach more of them.
“There's a lot of logistics for schools to come to us, especially schools that are far away. And so what this does for us is be able to have maybe access to the entire school when we go there,” said Courtney Jones, Missouri S&T’s director of STEM education.
The test run for the STEM Mobile consisted of setting up an inflatable planetarium in Rolla for some schoolchildren to go inside and see constellations and other astronomical delights.
The “oohs” and “aahs” suggested it might be a hit.
S&T also has plans to bring robotics gear, virtual reality setups and biology experiments to students in far-flung places.
“We will take requests from all schools, but there will be a priority,” Jones said. “Are they a rural school? Do they have access? And so those will get the priority first because that is what is at the center of our mission is ensuring that we increase access and opportunities to STEM.”
S&T students will also play a big part in the STEM Mobile’s travels. The university is looking to increase enrollment among its education majors, but it also wants to include students in all areas to help spread the love of math and science.