Beyond School Bells unveils mobile maker lab in Nebraska

Beyond School Bells, a collaboration of Nebraska Children, recently unveiled TMC Labs. TMC (Think, Make, Create) labs is a 6’x12′ trailer that houses hands-on, interactive learning resources in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and the arts.

Jeff Cole of Nebraska Children unveils TMC Lab with KCLC staff members.

Jeff Cole of Nebraska Children unveils TMC Lab with KCLC staff members.

We delivered the TMC Labs mobile makerspace to the Kearney Community Learning Center (KCLC) earlier this week,” said Jennifer Jones, Beyond School Bells Project Director. “We chose KCLC as our pilot site, and we’re excited for their students, the program and the community to make the most of this resource.”

A look inside TMC Labs, Nebraska's first mobile makerspace

A look inside TMC Labs, Nebraska’s first mobile makerspace

How will a mobile makerspace work in Kearney?

TMC Labs is first mobile makerspace for Nebraska’s afterschool programs. Kearney is one of the 10 communities that is participating in Beyond School Bells Community Coalition work.   Through the TMC Lab, KCLC youth will access maker spaces in their afterschool and summer program. The TMC Lab will provide KCLC students with interactive learning resources—including electronics, textiles, various arts, robotics—and allow students the ability to “make” and be creative. The mobile makerspace is equipped with roll-out carts, tables and a canopy—so that work and creativity can occur indoors or outdoors.

Roller carts and STEM and Arts supplies make it easy to open the makerspace up and spread out activities at whatever site it visits.

Roller carts and STEM and Arts supplies make it easy to open the makerspace up and spread out activities at whatever site it visits.

KCLC will move the makerspace between its sites, as well as use it for community events and site-specific learning. TMC Labs will also provide opportunities for local businesses and community members to share their resources and expertise with students working in the makerspace.

The “official launch” of TMC Labs will take place during KCLC’s Lights on Afterschool Event, which will be held on October 28th. In the meantime, the makerspace is awaiting exterior graphics and finishing touches. 

About the Maker Movement

The “Maker Movement” is energizing America’s educational landscape.  Based on the realization that some of the most important, creative STEM + A (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math + Arts) learning takes place outside of traditional classrooms, maker spaces are popping up in science and children’s museums, libraries and community centers.   As such, the maker movement is a much needed counterbalance to the increasingly standards-driven curriculum that drives traditional classroom instruction.

Nebraska Children and Families Foundation supports children, young adults and families at risk with the overall goal of giving our state's most vulnerable kids what they need to reach their full potential. We do this by building strong communities that support families so their children can grow up to be thriving, productive adults.

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Posted in Middle Childhood

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