Cajon Valley Union School District has 27 school sites and nearly 17,000 students from Pre-K to 8th grade, which makes providing the top technology and a maker experience to each of those students a challenge. STEM education is becoming a top priority nationally, and the projected growth rate for jobs in the next decade show that more than 80% of jobs will require STEM skills. The Maker Bus is Cajon Valley’s innovative solution to giving all students within the district the access they need to STEM technology for their education and their futures.
A yellow school bus that was ready to be retired by the district was given new life through the idea of having a Maker Bus. In order for Cajon Valley staff to transform the old bus into an area of innovation, it was gutted, electrically wired with outlets inside and outside, and fabricated with computer stations. A generator was also added to power the bus and its updated air conditioning. The inside of the Maker Bus features a 3D printer and pens, laser cutter, robots, circuits, Sphero, Makey Makey Kits, Beebot, Dash and Dot, Mac computers, a 50 inch TV, and so much more!
While visiting the bus, students have the opportunity to create, design, and invent. They are given the tools and knowledge to participate in challenges that are focused in STEM. Some designs students have created include solar powered fans, parachutes, 3D plant cell models, earthquake resistant buildings, and hand pollinators. The Maker Bus also appears at community events, where families are exposed to the level of technology and innovation that their students are enjoying. The bus is important to the communities of Cajon Valley because it provides STEM, maker, and workplace skills to students that will ultimately lead them to happier lives and gainful employment.
Katie Connolly, a certificated teacher in the district, was hired to take on the role of Maker Bus Facilitator in the 2017-2018 school year. She is committed to collaborating with teachers to provide students with the best possible experience on the Maker Bus. At the beginning of the school year, teachers were provided with training and were taught how to best utilize the bus and the technology on it that could be implemented into their curriculum. Within the first 40 days of it’s launch, around 5,000 students and 150 teachers, had the opportunity to enjoy and learn on the Maker Bus! The success of the bus means that more teachers will be trained and more classes reached next school year.
For more information and a tour of the Maker Bus, check out this video:
Company Name: Cajon Valley Union School District
Contact Person: Howard Shen
Email: Send Email
Address:750 E Main St
City: EL CAJON
Country: United States