Verizon Innovative Learning explorer lab

An immersive STEM learning experience for grades 6-8


MdBio Foundation is excited to be partnering with Verizon Innovative Learning to offer a new mobile learning experience.

The Verizon Innovative Learning explorer lab is an entirely new way for middle school students to discover concepts of engineering design. The explorer lab is a shared immersive learning experience that combines movie-quality video, special effects, and hands-on educational gaming to create a learning environment that gets kids excited about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) – right in the school parking lot.

The explorer lab was created by Verizon Innovative Learning, the education initiative of the Verizon Foundation.

Mars Discovery Program

The explorer lab curriculum has been developed to meet Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for engineering and design (MS-ETS-1, MS-ETS-2, MS-ETS-3) and the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for engineering.  The curriculum provides connections for life sciences, physical sciences, and other STEM disciplines. Student explorers will experience an interactive tour of the solar system which ends with a landing on Mars. Following the landing, each student will use a tablet to design their own Mars rover. Explorer lab experiences are designed to fit into a typical 30- to 45-minute class period, but can be extended for longer class periods. Explorer lab activities are led by MdBio’s professional science educators.

Learning objectives

  • Engineering and design: Students experience the engineering and design process that factors in tradeoffs and consideration for environmental factors and constraints.
  • STEM careers: Students experience relevant and in-context STEM missions that ignite curiosity and interest in STEM careers.
  • Space and scientific practices: Students experience scientific practices (such as analyzing evidence, planning investigations, and collaborating) through the context of space-related content.


Please contact us to learn more about the Verizon Innovative Learning explorer lab and it’s limited Fall 2018 engagement in Houston

  • Jennifer Colvin
  • Vice President of Education
  • MdBio Foundation, Inc.
  • email

Requesting an explorer lab visit

In the Fall of 2018 the explorer lab will land in Houston to serve middle schools in the Houston Independent School District.  Houston ISD teachers who attend one of the Mars Discovery Program professional development workshops in August 2018 may request to have the explorer lab come to their school.  Email us to learn about Fall 2018 opportunities in Houston.

The explorer lab’s Spring 2018 District of Columbia Public Schools schedule is full.