2. The Baltimore County Public Schools launched its Mobile Innovation Lab in 2016. The Mobile Innovation Lab is a converted school bus serving as a maker space and innovation station for the district’s schools, centers, and programs. Housed within the Mobile Innovation Lab are the tools, materials, and instructional supports for students and stakeholders to truly innovate. Materials include a 3D printer, a Makey Makey, LEGOs, Ozobots, and more. The Mobile Innovation Lab’s residency program and availability for school and BCPS-affiliated community events provide opportunities to reach all Baltimore County Public Schools stakeholders.

3. Pennsylvania’s Downingtown Community Education Foundation’s (DCEF) Mobile Innovation Lab Project transformed a handicap accessible school bus into a state-of-the-art STEAM mobile classroom that travels to each of the Downingtown Area School District’s 10 elementary schools ensuring equitable access to work with the advanced technologies and participate in unique educational experiences. Housed within the Mobile Innovation Lab will be all the tools, materials and instructional supports including Wi-Fi connectivity, computers and robotics kits to ensure that all 6,000 K-5 students regardless of gender, race, ability, or income gain confidence in their ability to succeed in a STEM/STEAM related field.

4. In San Antonio, the Geekbus is a mobile makerspace that travels to schools and other organizations to provide STEM educational experiences in their classrooms. The converted school bus aims to inspire and spark students’ interest in skills needed for the 21st century. Geekbus educators teach students the value of design thinking, encouraging them to apply these concepts to solve problems in the classroom as well as in the real world.

6 fun examples of converted school buses!

5. In the Beaverton School Disrict, the FutureBus features 3D printers, robotics, and other equipment and supplies to help spark students’ creativity and desire to explore and invent. The mobile makerspace, housed in a converted school bus, operates on a simple idea, stated on the FutureBus website: “It doesn’t matter if you use a 3D printer, a laser cutter, or glue sticks and cardboard. Learning ignites when kids see their idea made into a real thing. It works whether they make a model robot, a video game, or their first feature film.”

6. Rosybelle is 72-passenger converted school bus in Colorado that has been transformed into a dynamic, interactive and accessible mobile arts classroom and makerspace. Programming on Rosybelle includes subsidized after-school classes, collaborations with public and private schools as well as other nonprofits in the area. The bux is equipped with workstations for up to 12 children and 8 adults, solar power and a Wi-Fi hotspot, 6 Macbook Airs, screenprinting set-up, a utility sink, sewing machines, printing press, turntables, extra tables and awning for outdoor work space expansion, and basic art supplies.

Laura Ascione
About the Author:

Laura Ascione

Laura Ascione is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura

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