New case study provides educators an inside look at the iterative process the Bay Area Discovery Museum took to develop a mobile engineering program
Sausalito, CA – The Bay Area Discovery Museum (BADM) released a case study detailing the development and testing of its Try It Truck, an engineering lab-on-wheels that travels directly to schools, libraries, and community organizations throughout the Bay Area to provide hands-on early engineering experiences to children in kindergarten through fifth grade.
“We hope this case study, with documentation on the iterative process we took, is useful to other educators and organizations looking to develop engineering and maker-center mobile learning experiences,” says Elizabeth Rood, former Vice President of Education Strategy at the Bay Area Discovery Museum and Director of the Center for Childhood Creativity.
In spring 2017, BADM partnered with 10 Title I schools to pilot the Try It Truck in urban, suburban, and rural communities through the Bay Area, reaching nearly 3,000 children in a few short months. During the piloting, the Try It Truck programming introduced children to the engineering design process and encouraged children to take risks and try new ideas. Using a mixture of high- and low-tech tools—such as laser cutters, 3-D printers, hammers, and pliers—children explored a series of hands-on stations (both on and off the truck) where they collaborated, experimented, and designed solutions to engineering challenges.
The Try It Truck case study, titled Case Study: Mobile Engineering Lab, details the overall communications and educational goals of the Try It Truck; the process of developing curriculum and a developmentally appropriate approach to the engineering design process; vehicle choice and interior vehicle design; messaging and visual identity; and the evaluation methods used to assess and refine the pilot program. In addition, the case study provides fellow educators with key takeaways to help them make their own mobile engineering and maker programs.
With the pilot season completed, the Try It Truck is now available for educators to book it to come to their school, library, or community center in the greater Bay Area. Online registration is open at TryItTruck.org.
Further, the Center for Childhood Creativity, the research and advisory division of the Bay Area Discovery Museum, is available for consulting and advisory services to support other organizations looking to develop mobile (and non-mobile) engineering experiences for young children.
The Try It Truck was made possible thanks to an innovative 100Kin10 Fellowship, which provided support for ideation, testing, program development, and piloting of the Try It Truck.
About the Bay Area Discovery Museum
The Bay Area Discovery Museum is a children’s museum in Sausalito that applies the latest research to develop early learning experiences that inspire and build creative problem solving skills in children, transforming the way they learn and the way they contribute to the world. As an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the museum provides STEM-focused, inquiry-driven experiences that develop creativity and conceptual thinking, critical components of problem solving. BayAreaDiscoveryMuseum.org
About the Center for Childhood Creativity
The Center for Childhood Creativity (CCC)—the research and advisory division of the Bay Area Discovery Museum (BADM)—is the missing link between academic research and adults’ work with children ages 0 – 10. CCC provides advisory services and develops resources for organizations and companies seeking evidence-based expertise in children’s creativity development. Learn more at CenterforChildhoodCreativity.org.