Mission Moment: Our road trip with the BCPS Mobile Innovation Lab

Education Foundation staff pictured with Ryan Imbriale, Nick Shiner, and Christina Cumberland

Education Foundation of Baltimore County leadership hit the road with the Mobile Innovation Lab’s Ryan Imbriale, Christina Cumberland, and Nick Schiner.

Taking a trip is almost always an adventure.  You meet new people, see new things, discover different perspectives, and, sometimes, leave an impression behind.

Members from the Office of Innovation & Digital Safety and The Education Foundation of BCPS escorted the BCPS Mobile Innovation Lab and took a trip to Downingtown Area School District in Pennsylvania to share the dozens of STEM related activities Sept. 12. On the bus: Ryan Imbriale, Executive Director, Nick Schiner, Resource Teacher, Christina Cumberland, Resource Teacher, and Deborah Phelps, Executive Director of the Education Foundation.

When they arrived, they were greeted by businesses, government and community leaders, along with the Downingtown Area School District administrators and teachers who were ready for a tour.

Photo of the BCPS Mobile Innovation Lab.

The Mobile Innovation Lab, a converted school bus, is often in residence at Team BCPS elementary schools. You will also catch it at events throughout the community with lots of hands-on activities for students.

Often times, schools do not have the opportunity to interact with state-of-the-art technology without investing first.  This shining classroom on wheels delivers experiences that broaden and extend curriculum by giving students and educators a chance to “kick the tires” and see what fits in their environment.

If you have not heard of the BCPS Mobile Innovation Lab, you may be surprised to learn that it is a converted school bus that serves as a makerspace and innovation station for the BCPS school district delivering hands on STEM tools, materials, and instructional support to schools, centers and programs. The potential for discovery makes this bus unique, helping transform learning in several capacities.

The trip to Downingtown has left behind quite an impression. The Downingtown Education Foundation recently announced that they have set a goal of raising $250,000 to create their very own Mobile Innovation Lab for use in their school system, modeled after the Baltimore County Public School’s Mobile Lab.  In addition, a monetary donation was made to The Education Foundation of BCPS, to impact innovation in our district.  The monetary donation was made to the foundation to launch yet another shared grant opportunity between the Office of Innovation & Digital Safety and the foundation allowing schools to apply for 21st Century BCPS Makes grants for our schools.

This unique experience built new relationships through the collaborative interaction between district-to-district and foundation-to-foundation, solidified by the common goal of elevating public education.

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