If the kids can’t come to the classroom, bring the classroom to the kids. That’s the idea behind a public library’s decision to go mobile to promote STEAM learning.

The LaPorte County Public Library in La Porte, Indiana, is rolling out a mobile classroom to provide local students with hands-on education tasks — all surrounding STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics).

“Students come on board the mobile classroom and they get to experience hands-on advanced manufacturing with Dobot robots, laser cutter, a CNC milling machine,” librarian Jenny Minich tells CBS affiliate WSBT.

The mobile classroom’s debut was a hit with Brayden Schaeffer, who got to work with electronic cubes.

“I would do it again and again and again,” he said.

Schaeffer says his favorite part was “creating like a car that can sense, think and act like a robot — a self-driving kind of car that when it faced a wall it would stop.”

The library is partnering with local schools and businesses to help give kids the exposure to these fields early on.

“To put hands on equipment and technology into the hands of students that will help them make a better informed education choice for high school, college, and career choice further along.”

The mobile classroom is free to local students but they will implement adult education at events, too.

“I think anytime you get that expose kids to new experiences they are like sponges, they learn so much,” says Ruth Lile, who tried out the classroom with her grandson. “The more we can expose them to that, not just on a screen with video games is great.”

Minich says the goal is to be the center of the community and mobility gives them that chance.

“If they can’t make it into a physical library location, with this we can visit people where they are,” she says. “We can go to schools, we can go to community fairs and festivals.”


Leave a Reply