Story re-posted from UCF College of Sciences Blog.

A first-of-its-kind mobile science laboratory recently received a big boost in funding thanks to a new community partner in IBM.

The GeoBus is a 42-foot bus filled with technology like mini-drones, an augmented reality sandbox and virtual reality goggles that bring the world of mapping and geospatial technologies to life for K-12 students. Geospatial technology encompasses a variety of mapping techniques like sonar, radar and satellites to provide everyday conveniences like GPS, and supply researchers with valuable insights into topics like flooding, disaster recovery and environmental pollution.

The donation from IBM establishes the technology giant as a bronze level sponsor and allows for the purchase of additional equipment. IBM has also committed to a strategic partnership between Citizen Science GIS and Corporate Citizenship Manager Beth F. Tracy and John Muller, IBM UX designer.

“GeoBus is a technology-focused partnership, and it is fitting that our first partner is one of the world’s most iconic technology brands,” said Timothy Hawthorne, Ph.D., assistant professor of geographic information systems (GIS) at UCF and GeoBus founding director.

IBM and GeoBus share a commitment to educating the public about the power of technology to improve disaster relief and recovery efforts. The partnership will include training for GeoBus teachers to use IBM’s Teacher Advisor With Watson Resources and IBM’s Teachers TryScience.

“IBM has a strong commitment for enhancement and augmentation of STEM programs. It is the strength of community partnerships that enable collaborative and successful outcomes,” Tracy said.

Said Hawthorne: “GeoBus is about connecting people with technology. People are the greatest assets at both IBM and GeoBus. We are thrilled to have innovative, technology leaders at IBM invest in the future of science through GeoBus, and we are eager to have IBM staff members volunteer their time as GeoBus mentors in future K-12 school stops.”

GeoBus is expected to be fully operational in 2019.

Click here to learn more about GeoBus.

Click here to support development of GeoBus.

 


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