Greensboro, N.C., is welcoming its new Mobile Innovation Lab, which allows students to get hands-on experience in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) careers.

The new lab is in partnership with shift_ed, an education non-profit, and Forge Greensboro, a non-profit community Makerspace located in downtown Greensboro. According to a press release, the new lab was funded by a grant from Thomas Built Buses.

The press release said the new lab is shift_ed’s “newest tool to boldly accelerate student potential” and will bring “careers of the future straight to middle school students.”

“Sharing the Mobile Innovation Lab with the community is a dream come true,” says shift_ed President and CEO Wendy Poteat. “For our students to envision themselves working in a career, they first need to see it and try it. With this tool, middle schoolers will get real-life experience with jobs they may not have known even existed.”

Over the summer, shift_ed and Forge Greensboro are partnering with D-UP, a nonprofit that provides “wraparound” services to students in Greensboro, to bring a STEAM experience to students. This fall, the Mobile Innovation Lab will head to Guilford County middle schools with a custom curriculum built to inspire future careers.

According to a press release, Forge Greensboro has designed an eight-week makers’ series of experiences that complement the North Carolina Standard Course of Study requirements for middle school students. shift_ed will coordinate the classes with GCS middle schools.

“We have a vision to transform communities through diverse educational and workplace pathways,” says Poteat. “The Mobile Innovation Lab is another way shift_ed is eliminating barriers to student success in the classroom and in life.”

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