STEM mobile Learning Laboratory Comes to DeKalb West School

January 13, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
STEMmobile Learning Laboratory Comes to DeKalb West School
DWS Teacher Tammy Payne and 6th grader Dallas Cook
Assistant DWS Principal Sabrina Farler with Sebastian Tarango
Teacher Tammy Payne and students follow steps shown on screen
Sixth graders Haley Dies and Dallas Cook at STEM mobile

Getting children excited about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM subjects) can be a challenge for any teacher but DeKalb West School has a new tool this week to ignite students' interest: the STEM mobile.

The STEM mobile is at DeKalb West School Monday through Friday, January 13-18. It will be open to the public on Saturday, January 18 from noon until 1:30 p.m. at DeKalb West. Everyone is invited to attend.

The STEM mobile is a mobile learning laboratory that provides a unique, on-site educational experience for grades pre-kindergarten through eighth grade; however, this year the focus is on grades 2-8. This mobile classroom brings much-needed technology to the doorsteps of DeKalb West, and the students have access to state-of-the-art equipment to help them to promote STEM learning in creative and hands-on ways.

In a demonstration for WJLE Monday, sixth grade teacher Tammy Payne and assistant DWS principal Sabrina Farler showed sixth graders Dallas Cook, Haley Dies, and Sebastian Tarango how to create a simple circuit using the hands-on technology available through the STEM mobile.

The STEM mobile is the product of the Oakley STEM Center and Tennessee Tech University as part of the Upper Cumberland Rural STEM Initiative, a grant project funded by Tennessee's First to the Top program. UCRSI is part of the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network, whose mission is to enhance student participation and interest in STEM subjects.

Housed in a 53-foot tractor-trailer with self-contained power, the STEM mobile has its own heating and cooling system, a satellite uplink for Internet connectivity and workstations to accommodate about 24 students at a time. This classroom on wheels is stocked with equipment from the Oakley STEM Center, TTU, and includes equipment and supplies for activities for each grade level. Materials are on board and ready to go for grade levels.

The STEM mobile is designed to help students learn more about three core STEM themes particularly relevant to rural students: *water, with a focus on its importance, usage and conservation;* energy, which highlights how power is generated, ways to lower consumption, green energy and long-term energy needs; and *my food, my body, my health, which help students learn more about agriculture, health, nutrition and physical fitness. You may visit www.ucrsi.org. for more information about the STEM mobile.

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