GRANGEVILLE – A custom designed and equipped STEAM educational trailer arrived in Grangeville on June 1st.
The new “Think, Make, Create (TMC) Lab” was delivered to Grangeville Elementary Middle School by Wendy Wilson, STEM Education and Communications Coordinator for the Idaho Out-of-Curricular Network. The trailer will serve as a mobile maker space with materials and instructions for kids to create and complete their own projects with supervision.
According to Susan Anderson, grants writer for Grangeville Schools, the lab is worth $30,000 and was funded by the Idaho STEM Action Center and Optum Health. The unit will be managed by the local community partnership between GEMS, Kids Klub, Lewis-Clark Early Childhood Program and Grangeville Centennial Library and coordinated locally by GEMS.
Although Anderson is retiring this year, she will remain the volunteer coordinator for the caravan.
TMC Labs is a collaborative partnership of educational programs, agencies, and private sponsors working together to increase access to creative space learning in rural areas. The concept was originally developed in Nebraska and is licensed for use in Idaho by the Idaho Out-of-School Network and the University of Idaho’s 4-H Extension Youth Program.
Grangeville’s TMC Lab #25 will become the latest in a fleet of trailers reaching more than 12,000 young people at schools, clubs and after-school programs in the Idaho panhandle of Bear Lake in southeast Utah. Idaho.
The lab comes to Grangeville after an earlier $10,000 grant for Rural STEM Community Engagement from the Idaho STEM Action Center. The previous grant provided training for educators at GEMS, Clearwater Valley Elementary School, Kamiah Elementary School, Nezperce Elementary School, Kids Klub, Lewis-Clark Early Childhood Program, and the Grangeville Centennial Library.
“I am so excited that children in our community will now reap the rewards of greater exposure to skills used in science and industry,” Anderson said.
The trailer contains material for 80 hands-on projects to be carried out by school educators and after-school programs. These STEAM activities that help K-8 students see possibilities in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. The GEMS TMC Lab is part of a statewide collaborative project led by the Idaho Out-of-School Network, University of Idaho 4-H Extension Youth Development Program, the state department of education and the division of vocational and technical education.
Students in Ms. Wasem’s class at GEMS had the opportunity to view the trailer and see and use some of the materials.
“We hope to have the trailer here to use as long as we can keep it stocked and in use,” Anderson explained. It will be parked at GEMS but will be available to the community, including schools, after-school programs and libraries. Along with the trailer material, online lesson plans are also available.
“I see it being used a lot this summer, to start with,” Anderson added.