Mission Moment: The Mobile Innovation Lab Take’s a Road Trip

Taking a trip is almost always an adventure.  You meet new people, see new things, discover different perspectives and sometimes leave an impression behind.

This past week, on September 12, 2017, members from the Office of Innovation & Digital Safety and The Education Foundation of BCPS, Inc. escorted the BCPS Mobile Innovation Lab and took a trip to Downingtown Area School District to share the dozens of STEM related activities that bring innovation to the schoolhouse.  Those members were Ryan Imbriale, Executive Director, Nick Schiner, Resource Teacher, Christina Cumberland, Resource Teach and Deborah Phelps, Executive Director.

When they arrived, they were greeted by businesses, government and community leaders, along with the Downingtown Area School District administrators and teacher who were ready for a tour.

Often times, schools do not have the opportunity to interact with state of the art technology without investing first.  This shining classroom on wheels delivers experiences that broaden and extend curriculum by giving students and educators a chance to “kick the tires” and see what fits in their environment.

If you have not heard of the BCPS Mobile Innovation Lab you may be surprised to learn that it is a converted school bus that serves as a makerspace and innovation station for the BCPS school district delivering hands on STEM tools, materials and instructional support to schools, centers and programs.  The potential for discovery makes this bus unique, helping transform learning in several capacities.

The trip to Downingtown has left behind quite an impression.  The Downingtown Education Foundation recently announced that they have set a goal of raising $250,000 to create their very own Mobile Innovation Lab for use in their school system, modeled after the Baltimore County Public School’s Mobile Lab.  In addition, a monetary donation was made to The Education Foundation of BCPS, to impact innovation in our district.  The monetary donation was made to the foundation to launch yet another shared grant opportunity between the Office of Innovation & Digital Safety and the foundation allowing schools to apply for 21st Century BCPSMakes grants for our schools.

This unique experience built new relationships through the collaborative interaction between district-to-district and foundation-to-foundation, solidified by the common goal of elevating public education.