GAITHERSBURG, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Learning Undefeated, a nonprofit organization that provides life-changing STEM experiences for high needs communities, today debuted its latest concept in mobile STEM education: Drop Anywhere Labs™. Learning Undefeated custom-designed these three STEM learning spaces from shipping containers and will deploy the new labs to middle and high schools in Maryland and Texas beginning in the 2019-2020 school year.
Smaller, lighter and less expensive than brick-and-mortar or trailer labs, Drop Anywhere Labs offer a blend of career and skills education. Each lab will support a variety of content themes, from science and health to engineering and construction, offering an immersive, hands-on learning environment that can serve up to four classes simultaneously.
"Drop Anywhere Labs provide sophisticated laboratory equipment and resources, facilitating hands-on learning that sparks interest in in-demand STEM jobs,” said Brian Gaines, CEO of Learning Undefeated. “These new mobile labs serve as flexible laboratory and classroom space that triples our current capacity, enabling us to serve more than 80,000 students annually. Through our wide-ranging mobile lab program, we can provide equitable access to technology, and a solution to help schools more quickly regain normalcy following a natural disaster.”
More than $2.45 million was contributed by AstraZeneca, the State of Maryland, Rebuild Texas Fund, the Qatar Harvey Fund, the State of Texas, and Learning Undefeated’s newest partner, Toyota USA Foundation.
“Drop Anywhere Labs provide the opportunity to augment the classroom experience and expand access to STEM learning opportunities,” said Michael Medalla, manager, Toyota USA Foundation. “These labs help get students interested in STEM careers early and create the innovators of tomorrow.”
Pioneering Mobile STEM Education
Learning Undefeated is a pioneer in mobile STEM education, operating the first multi-state mobile laboratory program in the nation. The organization introduced the first mobile lab program for Maryland high school students in 2003 with its MdBioLab, and enhanced its offerings in 2017 with the newer, larger Mobile eXploration Lab. To date, these mobile labs have served more than 200,000 K-12 students – approximately 75 percent of those from low-income school districts – across 18 states.
In 2016, Learning Undefeated expanded with a grant to operate the Verizon explorer lab, an engineering-focused STEM education program for middle school students. Then in 2017, the Learning Undefeated team saw an opportunity to take its MdBioLab to South Texas to help Gulf coast schools that had been damaged or destroyed during Hurricane Harvey. The organization’s Texas initiatives have served more than 15,000 students from disaster-impacted communities in 27 schools across 12 school districts.
With the three new Drop Anywhere Labs, Learning Undefeated will be able to serve an additional 60,000 students per year.
Speaking at the ribbon cutting today, where Learning Undefeated showcased its entire fleet of mobile labs, Maryland Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford said, “STEM education is critical to powering our state’s economy in 2019 and well into the future. Maryland leads the country in so many STEM disciplines including science, health, IT and cybersecurity, and we are home to excellent, high-paying STEM careers. Our students are second to none, and we hope these talented youth will choose to stay, study and work here in Maryland, so that our state workforce may continue to innovate and lead the country forward.”
About Learning Undefeated
Learning Undefeated (formerly MdBio Foundation) is a non-profit organization that provides life-changing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education opportunities for underserved communities. Through innovative and experiential education programs for grades K-12, we are sparking interest in STEM careers and building the workforce that will drive the innovation economy. Learning Undefeated’s flagship education program features mobile STEM labs that have provided hands-on learning opportunities to more than 200,000 K-12 students in 18 states since 2003. Learning Undefeated also operates several other celebrated STEM education programs including the Young Science Explorers Program, a summer camp for middle school students; Advancing Tomorrow’s Leaders in STEM (ATLAS) College and Career Exploration Program; STEM Leadership Experience; student competitions; after-school programs; curriculum development; and disaster recovery education. Visit learningundefeated.org or follow on social media @LearningUNDFTD.