RALEIGH – Betabox Learning, an education startup based in Raleigh, is set to launch an NC STEM education pilot program to assist North Carolina’s K-12 students from rural and underserved schools in the state mitigate learning loss.
Funding for the pilot program came from the North Carolina Biennium Budget, the company announced in a blog post on its website this week.
“We believe the equitable democratization of cutting edge technology and evidence-based STEM education is one of the highest-leverage public investments available,” said Sean Newman Maroni, CEO of Betabox Learning in the statement. “The challenges of the past two years have disproportionately impacted students and teachers in our most under-resourced communities, and have compounded existing resource disparities in low-property tax areas throughout North Carolina.”
The company maintains what it calls on its website “a fleet of advanced mobile technology labs that visit schools throughout the southeastern US.” According to the statement, now, some North Carolina school districts will be able to set up onsite visits backed by state funding.
And, to provide the pilot program to schools, the company is set to hire. There are five listed openings on the company’s jobs board.
WRAL TechWire previously archived a video of the company’s mobile shipping container outfitted as a STEM lab.
Hands-on STEM learning
According to the company, the pilot project will “deliver hands-on learning STEM curricula in the form of in-person Onsite Field Trips via mobile learning labs.”
Such learning labs will also be supplemented by the company with professional development and coaching for teachers, completed through an online portal.
Maroni shared a post on LinkedIn, noting that he “grew up in a county that afforded me a wonderful, resource rich education,” which he saw as “very lucky.”
Equitable democratization of technology education positively impacts the economy, Maroni wrote.
“The hard truth is that the kids are NOT alright,” said Maroni. “They need our support.”
The pilot program will require an application and the enrollment of school districts, a coordination and program planning process with the company, and four onsite field trips for participating schools for up to 120 students each day, the company’s blog post noted.