An education partnership is looking to increase interest in STEM programs among area middle school students by literally dropping in at some local schools.
The Drop Anywhere Lab is being used by the education non-profit Learning Undefeated to help grow kid's interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
Learning Undefeated has partnered with Astra Zeneca and the WRK Group (Reach Riverside and The Warehouse) to bring the Drop Anywhere Lab to several schools over the next several weeks.
Kristin Diamantides, Learning Undefeated’s Education Program Manager, said the lab is a modified shipping container and consists of two study components.
"The first is there's an on board game experience where you can basically play a game to learn about chemical and physical changes," said Diamantides. "In addition to that there's a cart that goes into the classroom for teachers to use to teach chemical and physical changes."
It's like being dropped into a video game.
"It is completely immersive," said Diamantides. "You have movie theater sound, movie theater style video, and it really does make you feel like you're dropped into the middle of somewhere new."
Diamantides said the fast paced videos and surround sound, combined with interactive games played in teams, has the kids coming back for more.
"We've seen multiple students come back for a repeat and they're excited to come and see what the new experiment is and see what we're going to be doing."
Diamantides said just don't tell the kids it's educational.
"We want them to have fun and we want it to kind of be a secret. Yes, you're learning something the whole time you're doing it."
The lab is currently at A.I. Dupont Middle School with future visits set for George Read Middle School, Kingswood Academy, and EastSide Charter School.