Thursday, October 1, 2015

Perot Museum of Nature and Science and Dell Taking Science to the Streets with TECH Truck

Rolling into neighborhoods soon! Through a generous $1.13 million grant over three years from Dell, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science has created a mobile innovation truck that will bring science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) learning to a broader and more diverse audience in the D/FW region and beyond.
 
The Perot Museum TECH Truck, powered by Dell, will provide more opportunities for the community to engage in museum experiences through free, out-of-school educational and interactive programs, including drop-in sessions and workshops, using no- and low-tech activities as well as high-tech experiences. The program is designed to reach people who – for a variety of reasons – do not or cannot engage with the Museum at its physical location.
“We know there are families who never or rarely have an opportunity to visit museums, so we want to bring technology and digital literacy directly into their neighborhoods,” said Colleen Walker, Eugene McDermott Chief Executive Officer of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science.
The super-cool, custom-outfitted van has been nicknamed TECH Truck, an acronym based on the program’s mission to inspire youth to “Tinker, Engineer, Create, and Hack.” Specially trained Perot Museum educators will work on a full- time basis to instruct children to solve design challenges through hands-on making, tinkering and creative problem solving. Activities will include soldering, squishy circuits, coding, robotics, wind-tube challenges, 3D printing, laser cutting and stomp rocket design, to name a few.
The TECH Truck will debut this fall, operating 300 days per year and reaching an estimated 20,000 people annually at community centers, libraries, public areas and parks, community events and schools. Plans are to launch a second TECH Truck in 2016. Each TECH Truck will be large enough to accommodate two staff members plus necessary materials and equipment. A pop-up awning will allow outdoor programming to take place adjacent to the vehicle.
 
For more information about the TECH Trucks, go to perotmuseum.org/techtruck

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