Maryland: A Repurposed Bus for STEM Learning

Baltimore County Public Schools

What does a school district do with an old bus it once used to transport students with special needs? In Baltimore County, Maryland, school district leaders decided to repurpose it for STEM learning for K-5 students. After gutting the bus, they had generators installed underneath (to power the computers and air conditioning), outlets and shelves for laptops and robotics equipment lining the inside, and, on the outer wall, a 50-inch screen housed in a waterproof compartment.

In an effort to create a more equitable learning opportunities for Baltimore County students, the Mobile Innovation Lab – or “magic bus” – spends most of its time at schools where students don’t have access to innovative learning technology. School visits are chosen by lottery.

When the bus arrives at a school, it connects to the school’s Wi-Fi and opens its doors to students, who get on board to build robots, learn how to code, and use the 3D printer. Outside the bus they learn how to fly drones. The students are excited and engaged, and the superintendent says, “It’s almost like having a field trip that provides an opportunity for enriched learning.”

Source: District Administration