By Rachael Reagan | read it >
Wester Elementary students got hands-on experience as Learning Undefeated’s Mobile STEM Lab visited Lubbock.
Desurae Matthews is the education program lead for Learning Undefeated. She describes it as a life-changing career and educational opportunity for kids in kindergarten through eighth grade. The Texas Mobile STEM Lab, a product of the Learning Undefeated organization and in partnership with the Texas Education Agency, travels Texas, sparking interest in students early on.
“When they come on it’s like, sometimes they feel like they’re going into space,” Matthews said. “Sometimes they walk on and it’s like ‘oh I feel like I’m at the airport!’ It just, to take them out of that classroom environment, but still be able to provide learning to them is everything.”
The labs originated in Maryland, where Learning Undefeated is headquartered. It was a natural disaster that brought the first program, a bio lab, to kids in Texas.
“When Hurricane Harvey hit, there were so many schools that didn’t have lab space,” Matthews said. “They didn’t have equipment. They didn’t have classrooms, right? And so, our CEO, vice president and leadership team in Maryland was like ‘hey, why don’t we send our lab down to Texas? There are so many schools without.'”
It was so well-received among Texas schools they decided to stay. The lab offers a range of activities for kids. Wester students participated in an engineering project where they used different materials to build houses, inspired by the story of the Big Bad Wolf and the Three Little Pigs.
“This is a great opportunity for all kids. Our students have been extremely excited about this throughout the week. They’ve been coming in and showing us their creations and talking about it. They are very excited to share what they have learned,” Principal Stacy Hurst said. Any Texas teacher can request a mobile STEM lab visit.