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.
Onboard a customized motor coach, students experience a futuristic research lab that transports them to extreme environments from underwater to the arctic, and even to outer space. For the 2017-2018 school year, the explorer lab Mars Discovery Program lands in DC bringing students to the Red Planet for engineering challenges.
Upon entering the explorer lab, 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 and complete a series of missions including navigating challenging terrain, collecting samples from the red planet, and collaborating with classmates to find the NASA rover Curiosity.
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.
- 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.
More information on scheduling will be available on this site in August 2017. Please subscribe to our mailing list below for updates on scheduling.
MdBio Foundation is hiring!
MdBio Foundation is hiring a team of enthusiastic individuals to operate the explorer lab. In addition to providing instruction to middle school students aboard the bus, the team will also assist in the development of associated curriculum, coordinating school visits, and moving and placement of the vehicle.
The explorer lab is currently being built in Burbank, California and will travel across the United States for a “road show.” The road show will include a series of school visits and PR events between March and August 2017. In August 2017, the explorer lab will arrive in Washington, DC and will serve the DC Public School system for the 2017/2018 school year.