December 20, 2019
In today’s rapidly evolving digital age, capturing and holding the attention of a young audience requires a creative approach to education and usually a healthy dose of integrated technology. Enter Learning Undefeated, a nonprofit organization that brings STEM education to underserved communities. While Boxman Studios has worked with the organization in the past, this year the construction of new mobile education units came with an added challenge: create disaster recovery units able to run on minimal power for use in places that have experienced natural disasters.
Through a fully collaborative design and build process, Boxman and Learning Undefeated partnered to bring interactive, high-tech mobile classrooms — Drop Anywhere Labs — to locations without the reliance of a constant energy source. Boxman’s architects and design team worked with electrical consultants to determine overall loads and how the units could run in disaster mode. Plans were made to accommodate a substantial power generator and a complete HVAC system while also providing enough energy to run the unit’s technology for 100 hours, assuming that one fuel fill-up per week would be possible. With the support of technical experts, the team was able to maximize space for learning while minimizing energy consumption.
The team at Boxman researched experiential learning, including the Kolb theory that says that individuals gravitate toward a certain learning style based on inner cognitive makeup, social influence and educational background. With this in mind, Boxman and Learning Undefeated created an immersive learning experience with engaging educational components for K–12 students. Boxman’s experiential marketing expertise provided the foundation for the project, allowing the company to elevate the technological components of the structure to bring STEM lessons to life through walls made of interactive touch screens.
Boxman crafted multiple mobile structures, streamlining the process by designing the three units at one time, and then building them on a staggered schedule. An expedited build timeline meant that units could get into the field quickly as they became operable, rather than waiting for all units to be completed at one time.
The mobile units have brought STEM education to Maryland as well as to areas in Texas impacted by recent hurricanes with positive experiences and feedback from all of those involved. Students have been able to continue their education in the unique units while their communities rebuild from the storms. In the future, the teams at Learning Undefeated and Boxman hope to explore ways to build gaming curriculum and technology into the units, continuing a commitment to experiential learning that captures the imagination and expands opportunities for success.