Curiosity Cube to make STEM fun for children
The Curiosity Cube is a travelling cargo equipped with labs, virtual reality technology and other opportunities that aim to provide students with a hands-on experience when learning about science. The programme is developed by Millipore Sigma, a biotech company, whose volunteers teach students of fourth through eighth grade about the branches of science.’
The programme targets Title I schools in Washington and aims to trigger interest in STEM fields by reaching out to schools that don’t have as many opportunities.
To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the periodic table and its 118 elements, the Cube’s focus was on three avenues of life where the elements can be found: nature, the body and technology. Students worked with digital microscopes and tested water samples to explore the elements in nature.
‘They test three different ways water can be contaminated – physical, biological and chemical,’ said Natalie Randolph, coordinator of the Curiosity Cube.
The students can use virtual reality technology to explore body organs – the heart, lungs and bones.
To drive the point home that elements are also found in technology, the students can also build mining models, which Randolph calls the ‘robot exhibit’.
‘We look at how we get the raw materials that go into making our cellphones and other technology. Lithium, carbon and gold are all mined,’ said Randolph. The model robot is one of the biggest highlights of the exhibition.