Millville Unveils New Mobile STEM Lab

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MILLVILLE, N.J. -

Educators at Millville Public Schools are hoping to expose their students to different subjects in hopes of helping them succeed in the future in whatever career they choose.

And when it comes to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics they’re doing it on wheels.

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One 5th-grade class from R.M. Bacon Elementary School in Millville spent an hour of their day working outside in a mobile classroom, the brand new Mobile STEM Lab.

“It’s fitted with electricity, with straps to carry things down," said Bobby Barber, supervisor of math and science at Millville Public Schools. "Inside it’s a shell. Our idea is it can turn into any type of classroom we want. It’s an opportunity to get some different types of experiences to all the different schools without having to build those types of classrooms or buy those supplies for all the schools.” 

While the lab will be used by different grade levels, right now they’re aiming at giving every 5th-grade class the opportunity to get four hours inside to practice creating robots.

“They were given a pile of things, like little pieces, and now they’re constructing a robot. They’re going to program them and we have cones and little things to have obstacle courses with to learn how to control them,” said Barber.

Then they’ll disassemble it and put the pieces away for the next class to use. The kids are having fun learning the ins and outs of robotics.

“I really, really like it. We’re doing a clawbot currently and they said we have to work really fast because it’s really long. I really love it,” said Max Richter, a 5th grader at R.M. Bacon Elementary School.

“I think it was a good experience because I’ve never done this before, but other people that did showed me how to do it,” said Demetrius Riley, a 5th grader at R. M. Bacon Elementary School.

“I like building and I like how when if you get it wrong it’s always a mistake to learn on,” said Makenzie Quinn, a 5th grader at R. M. Bacon Elementary School.

And with this lesson, teachers hope they’ll experience STEM and decide whether or not they enjoy it enough to pursue it in the future.

“A lot of the technical stuff, the robotics and engineering, it’s emerging in all fields now," said Barber. "Whether it be farming in Cumberland County or airspace design at the air force base in Atlantic County or anything else — and the kids need to be exposed to that at an early age so they can make informed decisions when they get to the secondary level.”

They’re hoping that exposing the students to STEM at a young age will help those interested in it to take advantage of electives offered in both middle and high school.

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