Tarleton State University’s Center for Educational Excellence Mobile Discovery Lab launched at BSA Camp Tonkawa in Tuscola, Texas, earlier this month.
Funded by more than $250,000 in grants from the Texas Pioneer Foundation, the lab has a dual mission — to provide outreach to intermediate-level students and to recruit and educate pre-service educators and professionals in science, technology, engineering and math.
The lab features activity stations and hands-on learning, allowing students in area organizations to explore real-world STEM challenges.
“We are extremely grateful to the Texas Pioneer Foundation for its support and commitment to STEM education,” said Tarleton President James Hurley. “Increasing the number of North Texas students prepared for post-secondary education and a career in STEM fields is critical to economic vitality.”
Tarleton Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Karen Murray said the traveling lab would not be possible without the Texas Pioneer Foundation. “We are grateful for their generosity and look forward to using the Mobile Discovery Lab to share STEM learning experiences with students and educators in our area.”
The mobile lab was the brainchild of a former director of Tarleton’s Center for Transformative Learning, Dr. Denae Dorris, and a team of Tarleton faculty and staff. The interior build-out was completed with the help of graduate students from Dr. Curtis Langley’s agricultural mechanics classes.
“We are excited to bring scientific discovery directly to students in local schools and organizations,” said Dr. Lesley Leach, Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Development within the Center for Educational Excellence. “By involving students in experiential learning in the Mobile Discovery Lab, we aim to spark interest in STEM fields while providing Tarleton pre-service educators valuable opportunities to practice what they’re learning in the classroom.”
The lab is available for visits to schools and other organizations. Contact Colleen Knight at firstname.lastname@example.org or 254-968-0791.
For more information about the lab, visit https://www.tarleton.edu/cee/mobile-discovery-lab.html
The Texas Pioneer Foundation has awarded Tarleton more than $500,000 in grants over the past several years.