McDuffie County School District launches new STEM mobile unit

Published: Oct. 24, 2023 at 9:28 AM EDT
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THOMSON, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The McDuffie County School District hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday for its new mobile science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and literacy lab.

The Bulldog Express is a lab on wheels, meeting students where they are in the community and supplying them with resources that support STEM and literacy activities.

This one-of-a-kind bus in the CSRA will be making stops during parent engagement programs at McDuffie County Schools, as well as local community events. Teachers can book the bus for visits to enhance their STEM lessons.

“This STEM bus is going allow us the vehicle and the mechanism to be able to reach so many children before they even enter McDuffie County Schools,” said Superintendent Dr. Mychele Rhodes.

Rhodes says all schools and daycares in the district will benefit from the Bulldog Express.

The mobile lab aims to help fill the gap for students who might not have books readily available.

Dr. Lynn Cato, director of curriculum and instruction, said: “We hope this bus helps our students not only learn to read but learn to love to read. This is another opportunity for children to have access to books, and they are books that easily lead into the hands-on STEM activities. STEM is so important because it builds those reasoning and problem-solving skills that transcend all disciplines.”

The bus is also part of a larger STEM initiative throughout the district determined to increase the number of hands-on, engaging activities that help students grasp material more concretely. Including virtual reality headsets to allow for three-dimensional immersive field trips, drones to demonstrate flight physics and piloting, Anatomage tables to enhance health science and anatomy classes, robots to teach coding and computer science, and tablets for a variety of classroom activities.

District officials are currently building partnerships with local preschool providers so that visits to the mobile lab can expose younger children to STEM and literacy concepts before they enter the school system.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at 11:30 a.m. at the central office, followed by a tour of the bus.