MdBioLab made the trip to Canton, OH this summer, but it wasn’t for the football hall of fame. The truck was sent to OBS, Inc., the original manufacturer of the mobile laboratory, for an interior and exterior makeover. Having served more than 100,000 students since it hit the road in 2002, the 10 year-old lab on wheels received multiple renovations and upgrades that make it more technically advanced, safer, and accessible.
The interior of the truck received the majority of the updates. While the MdBioLab has always been accessible to wheelchairs, the team lowered a station and removed the cabinets underneath to create a much more comfortable workspace. Each of the 16 stations was equipped with wall-mounted iPads for future integration with the lab’s ten STEM-based activities. The truck was also outfitted with a brand new instructor’s station for aliquoting samples along with a new freezer for sample storage.
Other “under-the-hood” renovations included: brand new floor heaters to keep the truck comfortable during these cold winter months, a reset floor and a reworked electrical system to ensure the proper operation of the freezer and incubator when the generators are turned off. The exterior of the truck also received new outdoor lighting and steps that provide better grip when there is inclement weather.
To date, more than 3,600 students have had class on the revamped MdBioLab at 14 different schools, primarily in Baltimore City. The lab will be visiting schools in Southern Maryland, Prince George’s County, and Baltimore County for the remainder of the year.