Explorer lab

An immersive STEM learning experience for grades 6-8

About

Learning Undefeated’s Explorer Lab offers a STEM learning experience unlike anything else your students have ever experienced. This custom-built motorcoach bus is a shared immersive learning experience that combines movie-quality video, special effects, and hands-on educational gaming to create a learning environment that gets kids excited about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) – right in the school parking lot.

Upon boarding lab, students take a five-minute trip across the solar system, visiting each planet through a jaw-dropping 360-video experience before landing on Mars. After touching down, students design their own rover on individual tablets and then complete a series of activities designed to help them think and problem solve like an engineer. Throughout the experience, students make engineering tradeoffs between power and functionality, reinforcing concepts of engineering design.

Learning objectives

  • Engineering and design: Students experience the engineering and design process that factors in tradeoffs and consideration for environmental factors and constraints.
  • STEM careers: Students experience relevant and in-context STEM missions that ignite curiosity and interest in STEM careers.
  • Space and scientific practices: Students experience scientific practices (such as analyzing evidence, planning investigations, and collaborating) through the context of space-related content.

Bringing Engineering to Life

Learning Undefeated has released a new video resource for middle school teachers that highlights engineering fields and careers, designed to get students excited about the career opportunities in engineering. The five-minute video features five young engineers from a variety of backgrounds in their work environments across a range of engineering disciplines including mechanical, chemical, and environmental engineering.

Through a series of authentic career profiles, students are introduced to the aptitudes, attributes, and skills needed to be successful in an engineering career. Participating engineers include,

  • Darcy Chiriboga, Project Engineer, Pure Technologies
  • Travis Dennis, Chemical Engineer, WR Grace
  • Geocondra Idrovo, Network Engineer, Verizon
  • Justin Rice, Senior Development Operations Engineer, NASA Goddard Flight Center
  • Kathly Phlelan Weber, Power Tools Engineer, Stanley Black & Decker

The video is part of a three-part engineering curriculum for sixth grade, developed with the support of Verizon Innovative Learning.

COVID-19 Regulations

Due to COVID-19, the Explorer Lab will be running under increased safety protocols. Masks must be worn at all times, a maximum capacity of 11 persons (9 Visitors and 2 staff), installation of High efficiency air particulate filters (HEPA) filtration systems to provide a safer air environment for those onboard, and increased sanitation of high touch surfaces.

The Explorer Lab Program: Exploring Space and Engineering

The Explorer Lab Program is a unique way for students to experience being an engineer, combining hands-on classroom activities with a one-of-a-kind immersive experience aboard the Explorer Lab. The aim of the program is to increase student ability to use the Engineering Design Process to solve real world problems. The program also introduces students to the diversity of engineering careers.

The Explorer Lab classroom curriculum provides students with a hands-on opportunity to explore engineering while also learning about forces and motion. The Roving on Mars curriculum includes two activities, Discovering Friction and Rolling Rovers, in which students integrate scientific reasoning with engineering design. Curriculum aligns with many local, state and national science and engineering standards, including the Next Generation Science Standards.

2020/21 School Year Status

The Explorer Lab is ready to blast off for the 2021 school year. We are currently serving schools within 125 miles of our lunar home base in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Use the form below to sign your school up for visits starting in March 2021.

Not sure if you can have a visit this year? Sign up to get on the priority list for the 2021-2022 school year.