Mobile Innovation Lab reaches Battle Grove
For the first time, last week, the Mobile Innovation Lab made its way to Battle Grove Elementary.
The Mobile Innovation Lab bus, which was completed in October 2016, travels to each elementary school in Baltimore County to do pre-planned STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics)based activities on the bus.
Each grade, from kindergarten to fifth, completes different activities based on grade level, according to Mobile Innovation lab resource teacher, Christina Cumberland.
“We go to different schools and pre-plan what each grade level is going to do,” Cumberland said.
Battle Grove Elementary third graders worked through different challenges using little-bits, creating circuits and solutions for activities based on different challenges.
According to Cumberland, the Mobile Innovation Lab only does elementary school residencies but will do events for secondary schools upon request.
Each grade level does an activity that’s selected by the school, Cumberland explained, noting that it “depends on the school, what the students are working on and what the administrators want them to focus on.”
“For the fifth graders, we wanted them to work on their collaboration skills, so we had them work in teams to fly mini drones,” Battle Grove Elementary librarian Kelly Greer explained. “We had our fourth graders use Ozobots to complete some challenges yesterday on the bus.”
Since there’s only one Mobile Innovation Lab that has to reach all of the elementary schools in Baltimore County, it takes a while to get to each school, according to Cumberland.
“Schools can’t request the bus until all the elementary school have received a residency,” Cumberland said.
The children have a lot of fun doing the activities, Cumberland explained, “Most of them ask if they can come back tomorrow.”
According to Cumberland, kids ask if they can do the activities at home.
“This gives the kids an opportunity to explore things that they don’t typically get to do in the classroom,” Cumberland said.
“Elementary school kids aren’t usually exposed to these STEM activities, and it can really interest them,” she noted.
“Some high schoolers don’t realize that STEM is something they’re interested in, Cumberland explained, “So starting early, gives them years to figure out if it’s something that’ll work for them.”