By Nyesha Stone
Shades of blue colored the sky outside the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum and while Milwaukeeans enjoyed the crisp sun, a brightly-painted pink 22×10-foot shipping container: MilliporeSigma’s Curiosity Cube, sat near the museum’s front. The container, which contains the lastest technology according to their site, found its way to Milwaukee and brought the fun of STEM with it.
This free mobile science lab was created with the goal of sparking an interest—or curiosity—in a child and expose them to STEM at an early age. The hope, is that this initial spark could lead to a potential career in the field later on. .
STEM, or Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, is a growing field that lacks diversity. Through services like the Curiosity Cube, STEM’s outreach grows and can catch the attention of children who wouldn’t have this opportunity otherwise.
Outside the science lab, volunteer employees from MilliporeSigma sat with Virtual Reality goggles lined up on a table. The glasses helped viewers look into the inside of a cell, cells being this year’s theme.
Inside the cube were more volunteers ready to talk about the importance and workings of cells. Not only were they knowledgeable, but they engaged the kids further through a learning activity.
MilliporeSigma’s Content Developer Brianna Upton was inside the Curiosity Cube running the activities, she said it’s important for all kids to have access to science.
STEM is another form of education that should be available for everyone but isn’t. However, services like the cube are closing the learning gap.
This is the cube’s second year running. MilliporeSigma Program Coordinator/Corporate Reasonability, Jaden Elsasser said the Children’s Museum’s location was so successful last year that they decided to come back.
“We hope they [the children] get science in their heads and think it’s fun,” said Elsasser. “They can be future scientists.”
The learning activity involved different colored markers to draw squares on a coded paper to make the robot—or cell—do different directions, like turning right or doing a U-turn. Because, just like the different colors signified a new direction, cells have codes that tell them how to function in the body.
This activity not only teaches children about cells but coding, which are both a part of STEM.
Introducing something like coding to a child could eventually lead to them creating the next innovation that changes our everyday lives.
The Curiosity Cube made its way to Brown Deer on Aug. 7, Children’s Museum on Aug. 8, Thurston Woods Elementary School on Aug. 10 and the Back to School Festival held on Vliet St. on Aug. 11, but had earlier dates starting on Aug. 2.
This is an annual service that will continue to provide accessible STEM education to the Milwaukee community for years to come.
MilliporeSigma is a global life science company that has facilities in Milwaukee. The Curiosity Cube is only available in cities where MilliporeSigma facilities reside.
To find out more about the Curiosity Cube visit http://thecuriositycube.com.