In Fall 2018, MdBio Foundation’s Learning Undefeated program will serve school districts in the Rio Grande Valley. The program is highlighted by a custom-designed mobile laboratory that brings hands-on laboratory science and STEM experiences to schools impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The program has been designed to pique students’ interests in STEM careers and offer schools a laboratory space to meet state mandated curriculum requirements.

Please review the details below for answers to some of our most commonly asked questions.

Visit confirmation

MdBioLab staff will confirm mobile lab visit status and dates with the main contact at each school district. Once the visit has been confirmed, MdBio staff will provide teachers with a packet of materials visit along with a checklist to complete before the visit.

Visit timeline

6 weeks prior to school visit:

  • Schools will receive an email with information about their approaching visit date as well as additional copies of checklist and scheduling materials.
  • Pre-visit meetings will be scheduled at this time.
  • Due dates for all additional materials will be provided at this time.

4 weeks prior to school visit:

  • Learning Undefeated instructors will meet with teachers and discuss the logistics of the upcoming visit.

NOTE: All teachers interested in bringing classes aboard the MdBioLab are required to attend the pre-visit meeting.

2 weeks prior to school visit:

  • Schools provide MdBioLab staff with class schedule, teacher contact info and student numbers

Important documents

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

Parking the MdBioLab

Please note: The MdBioLab is a trailer and requires a space no less than 80 feet long and 15 feet wide on a hard, level surface. Once the lab has been placed, it cannot be moved until completion of the visit.

Pre-visit checklist

MdBio Foundation team will provide schools with instructions for preparing for their mobile lab visit. A checklist will also be provided to keep track of what materials need to be completed prior to the visit.

Pre-visit meeting

Schools must schedule a time for the exploration lab staff to conduct a site visit for the parking location. The MdBioLab staff will work with school contacts to create a suitable parking map and plan for the lab’s arrival the Monday of the visit week. This will include all contact numbers needed for the exploration lab driver. A pre-visit meeting must be scheduled at least three weeks prior to the MdBioLab visit.

Safety First!

Student safety is MdBio’s number one priority. The MdBioLab team 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 MdBioLab’s Safety Rules and Regulations.

Class size

The MdBioLab can accommodate up to 32 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 activity through a pre-laboratory classroom activity. The MdBioLab 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 lab for their class. Pencils will be provided by exploration lab.

Consent forms

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

Class schedules

The MdBioLab visits each school for up to 3 weeks.

The first week at a school MdBio

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.

In order to serve the largest number of students possible, no more than two different activities be scheduled on the same day (but you may schedule any number of labs for the week). Schedules should be made based on the time a class is expected to be on the lab and when the class must leave the lab (accounting for travel time, etc.).

Student handouts

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

Instructors

During the first week of your visit, MdBioLab provides experienced science educators who lead students through inquiry-based activities. MdBio provides all necessary equipment, reagents, and supplies for the activity. Students and teachers only need to bring student handouts.

Extension activities

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

After the MdBioLab

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.

To learn more about bringing the Learning Undefeated program to your school, contact:

Joe Wilkerson, Education Director

MdBio Foundation

jwilkerson@mdbiofoundation.org

240.522.9217