MdBio Foundation’s new Mobile eXploration Lab, the MXLab, will begin offering school visits to Maryland high school in 2017/18. The lab has been custom-designed by MdBio to expand technology and laboratory science experiences, and pique students’ interests in STEM learning and careers.

 

For teachers who are familiar with the MdBioLab, MXLab visits will have both new content and new requirements. In order to maximize the student experience onboard the MXLab, MdBio is making changes to the timing and content of some existing activities, as well as pre-visit materials required for our visits. Please review the details below for answers to some of our most commonly asked questions.

Applying for a visit

Scheduling for priority schools begins online August 1 at 9AM via this website.  Please return at 9AM August 1 to view the application.  Open scheduling begins August 8 at 9AM via this website.

Visit confirmation

MXLab staff will confirm visit status and dates with main school contacts by September 15, 2017. After the visit has been confirmed, MdBio staff will provide a packet of materials for the visit along with a checklist to complete before the visit.

Visit timeline
6 weeks prior to school visit:
  • Schools will receive a reminder email about their approaching visit date as well as additional copies of checklist and scheduling materials.
  • Parking site visit will be scheduled at this time
  • Due dates for all additional materials will be provided at this time
4 weeks prior to school visit:
  • Site visits should be scheduled with MXLab staff
3 weeks prior to school visit:
  • Schools provide MXLab staff with class schedule, teacher contact info and student numbers

Note: All teachers who will be bringing classes aboard MXLab are required to complete pre-lab materials.

Important documents

Teachers will be provided an MXLab packet containing all instructions and materials necessary to prepare for the visit.

Parking the MXLab

Please note:  MXLab is a double expandable trailer and requires a space no less than 90 feet long and 40 feet wide on a hard, level surface.  If your school is unable to accommodate the MXLab, MdBio Foundation will substitute the MdBioLab for your school visit.

Class schedules

The MXLab visits each school for one week. Mondays are reserved for setting up the trailer and meeting with classroom teachers. Classes with students are held Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and until 1 PM on Friday.

Class schedules should be developed by the school based on the minimum time required to complete each lab activity. If a class period is scheduled for a shorter period than the activity’s minimum class time requirement, another lab activity should be chosen. Schools may follow their bell schedule or create a unique schedule to be used for the week of the visit.

Minimum class time required for each lab:

Lactase: 50

Crooked Cell: 50

Transformation: 55

Broken Beaker: 70

Wildlife: 50

Parasite: 55

Biodiesel: 50

Student handouts

Schools are responsible for printing student handouts and ensuring that each student has a copy to bring to the MXLab for their class. Pencils will be provided by MXLab.

Instructors

MXLab provides experienced science educators who lead students through inquiry-based laboratory activities. MXLab provides all necessary equipment, reagents, and supplies for the activity. Students and teachers only need to bring laboratory handouts.

Pre-visit checklist

Schools will receive instructions on how to prepare for the visit. A checklist will also be provided to keep track of what materials need to be completed prior to the visit.

Site visits

Schools must schedule a time for MXLab staff to conduct a site visit for the parking location. MXLab staff will work with school contacts to create a suitable parking map and plan for MXLab’s arrival the Monday of the visit week. This will include all contact numbers needed for the MXLab driver. Site visits must be scheduled at least four weeks prior to the MXLab visit.

Safety First!

Student safety is MdBio’s number one priority.  MXLab aims to provide a safe learning environment for students, teachers, and all guests who come on board. As such, we ask that you help us enforce MXLab’s Safety Rules and Regulations.

Class size

The MXLab can accommodate up to 40 students (working in pairs) unless otherwise noted for specific activities. Please see descriptions of the laboratory activities to confirm the maximum number of student participants.

Pre-laboratory activity

Classroom teachers are asked to introduce students to theories and concepts related to the laboratory activity through a pre-laboratory classroom activity. MXLab staff is available to help teachers with creating or implementing these pre-laboratory activities.

Student handouts

Schools are responsible for printing student handouts and ensuring that each student has a copy to bring to the MXLab for their class. Pencils will be provided by MXLab.

Consent forms

Schools are responsible for distributing and collecting MXLab consent forms from students and their parent/guardian.  The form will be distributed during the school’s pre-visit meeting.

Extension activities

Suggestions for extension activities to broaden student experiences are provided for each laboratory activity on our Laboratory Activities page.

After MXLab

Many opportunities exist for high school students who would like to further their science experiences, perform an internship at a local organization, or find educational opportunities. MdBio is committed to helping students identify their own unique career pathway. We provide information to schools and students about these experiences and are available to help teachers develop or implement new programs and/or events.

Submit your 2017/18 Visit Request

The 2017/18 MXLab schedule is currently full. If you would still like to submit a request you will be added to our waitlist.

Applying for an MXLab Visit

MdBio will offer 35 week-long mobile laboratory visits for the 2017/2018 school year.

Of these weeks, twenty seven (27) have been set aside for priority schools (defined by MdBio as those schools with a majority of students eligible for free/reduced meals).

Priority schools will be required to provide documentation showing their eligibility at time of scheduling.

The remaining eight (8) weeks are available to any Maryland high school.

Preference for the remaining weeks will be given to public schools that have not had a mobile laboratory visit within the last three years.

  • Scheduling for priority schools begins online August 1 at 9AM
  • Open scheduling begins August 8 at 9AM
  • Classes begin the Monday after Labor Day
Questions?

Contact the MdBio education team | Email

Parking Requirement

MXLab is a double expandable trailer and requires a space no less than 90 feet long and 40 feet wide on a hard, level surface.  If your school is unable to accommodate the MXLab, MdBio Foundation will substitute the MdBioLab for your school visit.