Mobile Classroom Visits State Capitol Today

The Vanderbilt’s Mobile Classroom, Discovering the Universe, a successful science-outreach program, visited the Long Island delegation at the New York State Capitol in Albany today, February 2. The Mobile Classroom, which is supported by the National Grid Foundation, takes science education to individual schools on Long Island and in Brooklyn and Queens, including under-served districts.

At the State Capitol in Albany: Assemblyman Andrew Raia, Bob Keller of National Grid Foundation, Lance Reinheimer of Vanderbilt Museum, and Assemblyman Chad Lupinacci.
At the State Capitol in Albany: Assemblyman Andrew Raia (left), Bob Keller of National Grid Foundation, Lance Reinheimer of Vanderbilt Museum, and Assemblyman Chad Lupinacci.

Assemblymen Andrew Raia (East Northport), Steve Engelbright (East Setauket) and Chad Lupinacci (South Huntington) took part in the presentation. Members of the delegation toured the Mobile Classroom, which was parked on the plaza in front of the capitol building. On hand to discuss the program with visitors were Lance Reinheimer, executive director of the Vanderbilt; Robert Keller, president of the National Grid Foundation; and Roger Ledgister, a Vanderbilt science educator.

The Mobile Classroom brings state-of-the-art technology and an engaging, professionally developed science and astronomy curriculum directly to students in grades 3-12. In just two years, since first hitting the road in early 2014, the Mobile Classroom has visited 39 schools and libraries, and 6,488 students.

The Classroom is a 37-foot recreational vehicle transformed into a dynamic learning center and staffed by highly trained science educators.The Classroom offers five hands-on interactive exhibits that engage students in a way that is engaging, stimulating and fun. The self-contained modules are Light, Telescope, Digital Imaging, 3-D Universe, and Gravity.

“With school budgets tighter than ever, the Mobile Classroom brings the science ‘field trip’ to students and eliminates school transportation costs,” Lance Reinheimer said. The program also enhances STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) opportunities and aligns with New York State standards, he said.

The Vanderbilt Mobile Classroom at the State Capitol
The Vanderbilt Mobile Classroom at the State Capitol

“The Mobile Classroom is the perfect way to help make astronomy cool and exciting to students,” said National Grid Foundation’s Bob Keller. “We are extremely pleased to be able to partner with the Vanderbilt and hope we were able to spark the curiosity of students and children all over Long Island to explore the Universe and excel in science.

Helping children to become excited about science is one of the most critical educational priorities we have as a nation, and this stunning, traveling window into the universe has become a major resource for encouraging Long Island students to pursue careers in science.”

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