Extol | Celebrating Southern Indiana and Beyond Extol Digital November 2023 | Page 24

Bringing STEM to Schools : Exploring the Kentucky Science Center Maker Mobile

The Kentucky Science Center MakerPlace stands out in the heart of Louisville as a hub of creativity and innovation . This dynamic facility is igniting imaginations , fostering ingenuity , and empowering young minds to explore the world of science , technology , engineering , and mathematics ( STEM ) through exciting projects and collaborative experiences .
The MakerPlace opened in 2019 as part of the “ Maker Movement ,” or tinkering , taking things apart , and finding out how things work . “ Kids and families want to create things in this space and they can do that ,” said Justin Magaw , Senior Manager of Education Collaboration at the Kentucky Science Center . “ We have high tech equipment like a laser cutter and vinyl cutter , but we also have low tech , which is just as important . People can take projects home , create , dive in , and really explore whatever interest they might have in STEM .”
Justin and his colleagues love being part of the difference the STEAM Carts are making in schools and lives of young people . “ This has been such an awesome experience . We really get to take the best of what we do here at the Science Center and bring it down to something we can put into a classroom and use on a daily basis .”
Kentucky Science Center
Kysciencecenter . org justin . magaw @ louisvilleky . gov
The MakerPlace has it ’ s main flagship facility on Main Street in downtown Louisville , but wanted a way to make the space and activities available to even more young people throughout the area .
Finally , through grants and partnerships , the mobile MakerPlace STEAM cart was born . The cart is fully stocked with a completed curriculum developed by Kentucky Science Center experts , hands on activity lesson plans , and multiple technology enhancements to use during lessons . The Science Center works with schools through an application process to put the cart in sites for six months at a time . Currently , two carts are in Kentucky schools and three more are in Indiana schools .
The STEAM Cart has received amazing feedback from different sites . “ One of the schools we worked with in Kentucky changed their art room into a STEAM room . Now , they get to create art , but they integrate it with science lessons and building robots ,” said Justin . For schools interested in having a more permanent cart , the Kentucky Science Center has purchasable carts as well . They will help with training , technology , using the product , and provide any needed support along the way .
24 EXTOL | FALL 2023