Wonderbus: Lakota's First Mobile Learning Space

Introducing Wonderbus: Lakota's First Mobile Learning Space
Posted on 02/27/2020
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Proud to introduce WonderbusWith the rollout of its first mobile learning space, Lakota Local Schools will be giving parents and community members a dose of the Lakota learning experience. The Wonderbus - a former school bus transformed into a “Wonder Lab” or “STEAM Lab” on wheels  - will officially roll out at Lakota’s Pi Day celebration on March 6. 

“This idea has been in the making for quite some time now and we are thrilled to be so close to sharing it with our community,” said Lakota Superintendent Matthew Miller. “The Lakota learning experience is one marked by exploration, creativity and critical thinking. The Wonderbus will give our parents and the larger community a taste of our commitment to student-led learning.”

Besides its external transformation, the inside of the bus has been outfitted with a host of educational tools and resources that promote design thinking, a model used in each of Lakota’s early childhood school Wonder Labs and elementary-level STEAM Labs. Legos, magnatiles, marble runs and other tinkering tools like Rigamajig sets, Keva Planks and Strawbees will be at visitors’ disposal as they tackle different “invitations to play,” or design challenges, produced by Lakota’s Wonder Lab teachers.

With such spaces available for daily use in every Lakota school, the bus will be reserved strictly for community events where families can enjoy the design thinking process together. 

“The whole idea is to extend the STEAM and Wonder lab experience beyond the classroom walls and involve parents,” said Lakota’s Director of K-6 Curriculum & Instruction, Christina French, who led the creation of Lakota’s Wonderbus. “We want to model to our families how fun and engaging it can be to learn alongside one another.”

The new space also bears some of the same technology used on a daily basis by Lakota students, including iPads, Chromebooks, a light table and interactive monitor. A range of programmable robots and even a set of virtual reality goggles give visitors access to different engaging learning tools. 

“When you experience technology as an extension of the learning experience, you quickly realize that it’s simply a tool we’re using to facilitate learning and keep students engaged,” said Lakota’s Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction Keith Koehne. “That’s what we hope the Wonderbus will bring to light for our parents and community visitors.” 

The actual bus was donated by Lakota’s transportation provider, Petermann, while other costs of the transformation were supplemented by the generous donations of three local business sponsors, including Dayton Cincinnati Technology Solutions (DCTS), Performance Honda Fairfield and Performance Kings Honda. 

It’s only fitting that the Wonderbus will debut at the district’s largest display of family-friendly, hands-on STEAM learning tied to science, technology, engineering, applied arts and mathematics. This year’s Lakota Pi day on March 6 at Lakota East High School will include a ceremonial ribbon cutting to dedicate the newest learning space.

The bus, cleverly named “Wanda the Wonderbus”, already has a jam-packed schedule of community events it will visit in the coming months, including these:

  • Pi Day (March 6, Lakota East)

  • State of the Schools (March 11, Lakota West) 

  • Coffee Chat with the Superintendent (April 8, Einstein Bros. Bagels)

  • Lakota Earth Day Celebration (April 18, West Chester Square)

  • Summer lunch program (Daily throughout summer at select locations) 

  • Summer bus tours (Dates and locations TBD)

Follow the adventures of Lakota’s new mobile classroom on social media by searching #WandatheWonderbus and #WEareLakota.