Mobile science lab teams up with PAL to help at-risk youth
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CHARLOTTE – A partnership between a North Carolina children's museum and an after-school police activities program helps students learn critical science skills and keep them out of trouble.
Jeff Bassett's passion is bringing science to life for kids who don't get to explore it inside the walls of his workplace.
“We bring Discovery Place's wonder outside the building,” said Jeff Bassett, of Discovery Place ScienceReach.
The ScienceReach team runs a learning lab on wheels, and a new partnership between the museum and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department's Police Activities League brings the lab to students in select schools.
Jeff Hood, of PAL, says no child is turned away from the program, which is helping at-risk kids stay out of trouble.
“This time of their lives, where most kids are at-risk, what we call them is youth of promise. These are kids that can always use another helping hand to uplift them to show them other enrichment opportunities and to help them with their grades and just be there for them,” he said.
Basset says once students are engaged, they start thinking critically.
“When they start asking questions, that means the wheels are turning. They're not just a bump on a log, they're actually getting it,” he said.
Hood says the program gives children a positive way to spend their out-of-school hours, and he hopes the lab on wheels will drive students to success in the classroom.