Shady Spring Elementary students stars of Mobile Innovation Lab unveiling

Four Shady Spring Elementary School students held up an enormous pair of scissors they created for the special occasion and cut a yellow ribbon.

Mobile Innovation Lab ribbon cutting

Shady Spring Elementary students Awanga, Chelsea, Briana and Mudasser, along with their teacher, Katie Ruskey, at the Mobile Innovation Lab ribbon cutting.

When the ribbon tore apart, the students smiled. The crowd cheered. With that, the gleaming BCPS Mobile Innovation Lab officially opened for learning, discovering, and creating. And it’s coming to a BCPS elementary school near you.

The Mobile Innovation Lab is a converted school bus equipped with computers, 3-D printers, mini-Drones, robotics, and more. The mobile classroom and maker space will officially debut at Shady Spring Elementary in early January before rotating to elementary schools throughout the county during week-long residencies.

Shady Spring students earned the honor of being first by winning the inaugural BCPS Makes Challenge, which required building a contraption for use in the lab’s launch. Shady Spring Grade 5 students Chelsea Goodman, Briana Martinez, Awanga Apparandi, and Mudasser Kamal showed off the winning pair of scissors that they painstakingly tweaked until it was proper for a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Goodman explained to the gathered audience how the scissors were created using trial and error. The first pair was far too small. So they decided to use yard sticks for the body. Then they had to make sure the scissors would cut a ribbon. When the students reached road blocks, they persevered, with the encouragement of their teacher, Katie Ruskey.

When they successfully tested the scissors, they felt the glorious feeling of accomplishment.

“We were very, very excited that it would cut the ribbon,” Goodman said.

The grand scissors experiment embodied the innovative spirit of the Mobile Innovation Lab, one where students will work, and learn, together.

So be on the lookout for Mobile Innovation Lab, built by Transportation, Innovative Learning and Information Technology staff. You can’t miss it. The bus, painted black, will be traveling throughout the county. Nick Schiner, team leader in the Office of Innovative Learning Projects, spearheaded the project. Christina Cumberland is the Mobile Innovation Lab’s resource teacher. Be sure to follow the lab’s many journeys on Twitter @BCPSMakes. We also have a Flickr gallery that recaps the event.



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