For more than a week, a 53-foot black trailer sat in the east parking lot of Kimball Elementary School. What was not evident from the outside, was that the trailer enclosed a self-contained, traveling science classroom and state-of-the-art laboratory.
The St. Cloud State University Science Express is part of their STEM outreach program (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).The trailer was donated by Medtronic, and outfitted and supported by a number of grants and donations. It is available to K-12 schools in central Minnesota, at no cost to the districts, in order to promote science and technology and to enhance what is offered by local schools, bringing advanced equipment that local districts would not be able to afford..
It has been found that students take an interest in science and technology careers early on in their education, often before they complete elementary school. This program, and about five others like it in the country, help to introduce exciting science projects to young people.
The Science Exprress makes about 25 school visits each year.
During its time at KES, each class had a designated instruction time.
Below, Mrs. Bauerly's third-grade class looks both fascinated and excited by the science projects in SCSU's Science Express. Staff photos by Marguerite Laabs.