ROCKVILLE, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The MdBio Foundation, a non-profit that provides STEM education and workforce development to underserved communities, will unveil its new mobile laboratory, the Mobile eXploration Lab (MXLab), in Annapolis, Md., on January 24. The event will include an open house and tour of the MXLab, as well as a ribbon cutting ceremony featuring Gov. Larry Hogan, state officials and business leaders.
The MXLab is the largest mobile laboratory of its kind in the U.S. and will enable MdBio to expand its mission of giving students the opportunity to experience hands-on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. The lab provides students with access to cutting-edge technologies and techniques not typically available at schools and experience with practical, real-world applications in use by today’s scientific and tech communities.
“MdBio believes education can change lives. Through our mobile lab program, we strive to pique the interest of Maryland students in STEM and the rewarding, high-paying careers in the life sciences and technology fields throughout our state,” said MdBio CEO Brian Gaines. “We are excited by the expanded possibilities being unlocked by the new MXLab, which enables us to broaden our curriculum beyond our traditional life sciences focus and invite even more students to participate at each location.”
“MdBio is a tremendous asset for Marylanders, and the MXLab will allow this innovative organization to reach even more students and educators,” said Gov. Hogan. “Together with Maryland businesses, our administration proudly supported and invested in development of the MXLab, because we know how important it is for students to gain in-demand skills that employers need in the 21st century workforce.”
MXLab: Building on a Strong Foundation of Mobile Education
Since launching its flagship mobile laboratory program in 2003, MdBio has served more than 150,000 Maryland students at more than 500 school visits in every school district across the state. Leveraging this experience and working with educational leaders, MdBio custom designed this first-of-its-kind multipurpose vehicle to expand availability of new technology and laboratory science experiences for students who may not have access to these tools at their schools.
At 53-feet long, with double-expandable slide-out sides, MXLab is three times larger than MdBio’s current mobile laboratory and features additional outside space to serve larger audiences. With 1,000 square feet of interior space, MXLab can comfortably accommodate more than 40 students, increasing class size by 20 percent. MXLab will serve approximately 10,000 students at 35 high schools each year, starting in September 2017.
Inside MXLab, MdBio’s educators may introduce students to MdBio’s long-standing curriculum focused in biology, chemistry and environmental science or engage them in new activities, including data set modeling, integrated computing, cyber security and game-based learning. The lab incorporates interactive, flat-screen video displays, computational equipment and fold-away workstations to convert the space for larger events, with mobile laboratory amenities, such as laboratory workstations, electricity and water. In addition to its high school visits, MdBio will leverage MXLab to promote the STEM industry at community events and provide professional development for educators.
The MXLab was built in collaboration with Triune Specialty Trailers, a Madison Heights, Mich.-based specialty manufacturer of custom expandable trailer solutions.
Private/Public Commitment to Advance STEM Education and Workforce Development in Maryland
MdBio raised almost $1 million to develop the MXLab. Funding came from a combination of public and private contributions, including $200,000 from the state and investments from businesses including AstraZeneca and its global biologics research and development arm, MedImmune; Emergent BioSolutions; CNSI; Northrop Grumman Corp.; The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation; France-Merrick Foundation; WSSC; VWR International and Scheer Partners.
“Real-world, hands-on experience is one of the most important factors to encourage today’s students to pursue advanced degrees and explore STEM careers in the future,” said Matt Bell, chief operating officer at MedImmune. “We are proud to support MdBio’s mobile laboratory program, which is inspiring Maryland’s next generation workforce and building a strong foundation for tomorrow’s scientists and innovators.”
January 24 Event Schedule
- Noon-1:30 p.m. – Legislative Open House and Lunch. The MXLab will be parked outside the House Office Building, at the intersection of St. John’s Street and College Avenue in Annapolis.
- 3:00 p.m. – Gov. Hogan and state officials tour MXLab
- 3:10 p.m. – Ribbon cutting ceremony, featuring remarks by Gov. Hogan, Secretary of Labor, Licensing, & Regulation Kelly Schulz, MdBio CEO Brian Gaines; Jennifer Cotteleer, chair of the MdBio Board of Directors and CEO of BioInformatics, LLC; and Matt Bell, COO of MedImmune
For more information on the MXLab, visit the MdBio website.
About MdBio Foundation
MdBio Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides innovative, effective and experiential science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and workforce development opportunities to underserved communities. MdBio’s interdisciplinary approach uses STEM to explore a real-world, problem-centric curriculum that bridges school, community, health and business. The foundation’s flagship program is a mobile laboratory for high schools that has provided quality educational experiences to more than 150,000 students throughout the state of Maryland since its launch in 2003. MdBio also operates other celebrated STEM education programs, such as the Young Science Explorers Program for middle school students, the Maryland BioGENEius Award, and ATLAS: Advancing Tomorrow’s Leaders in STEM college and career symposium. Visit www.mdbiofoundation.org or follow on social media @MdBioFoundation.