VAN, Texas —
There's a new ride outside J.E. Elementary School in Van. As students arrived on campus for their first day of school, they were greeted by the Van ISD STEAM Bus. However, the bus is not your typical yellow school bus, it's the school’s colors.
"From beginning to end it was a two-year process,” Amy Moffatt, an Instructional Technology Specialist for Van ISD said.
The bus teaches the students science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics, also known as STEAM.
Faculty and staff at Van ISD wanted to create a maker space at each of the campuses within the district to teach kids about STEAM. Currently, Van High School is the only school with a maker space. With the help of students and faculty, they transformed an old school bus into a maker space for students of all ages.
"Anything that we do in this mobile maker space, we want to make sure we cover every one of those subjects in the activities,” Moffatt said.
The bus will travel to each school at Van ISD.
“We wanted it to be able to go from K-12 in terms of activities and space,” Moffatt said.
Inside the bus are coded ozobots, microscopes, virtual reality cubes and space for kids to watch activities.
The bus has different stations that are subjects of the word STEAM. With the ozobot station covering the technology portion of STEAM.
"The kids code with the colors,” Moffatt said. “We give them a blank sheet of paper and what all the colors mean, and they can create.”
Video below shows an inside look at the ozobots and different stations in the STEAM Bus:
Using a cube the virtual reality stations creates an image behind an iPad. Moffatt showed CBS 19 a skull behind the iPad. This will teach students about the different parts of the skull using virtual reality technology.
"It is so versatile and instead of just doing one activity we can have 7 or 8 all at one time,” Moffatt said. “All at one time students can experience all of that within an hour instead of just doing one thing."