The FutureMaker Mobile STEM Learning Lab consists of a 34-foot trailer that travels throughout the state. Inside the trailer students participate in a variety of potential STEM career fields with hands on activities. Students use equipment such as a virtual welder to simulate metal repairs, a virtual painter to get a sense for Aviation/automotive coatings careers, and other devices that introduce robotic programming. The lab also carries ten zSpace 3D computers which provide students a virtual reality learning experience. These computer stations contain programs related to all STEM careers which allow students to virtually dissect, wire, build and explore STEM topics in 3D. (See the computers, programs and curriculum at zspace.com.)
The FutureMaker Lab is an entire package providing exploration in the world of STEM. To ensure students receive the most benefit from the visit, teachers will be given curriculum and a lesson plan to present to their students before the Learning Lab arrives in their community. After arrival, zSpace computers will be moved into a schoolroom for part of the class to explore STEM in 3D, while the remainder of the class goes on to the trailer for hands-on activities; after the allotted time, they will switch.
There will be 2 or 3 employees assigned to the lab which rely on the school to provide a teacher and employee/student to assist with the zSpace computers; one driver/instructor who will assist the students in the trailer and a second coordinator/instructor who will work in the classrooms with the zSpace units. The plan is to have the FutureMaker Mobile Learning Lab on the road in the Wichita area by fall of 2017 and touring throughout Kansas during the spring of the 2017-2018 school year.
Our goal is to make the lab available at no cost to students throughout Kansas. Koch Industries, Spirit AeroSystems, and Westar Energy and Textron Aviation have joined us to start making that goal a reality.