Local teacher’s at-home STEM spy kits address need for education & entertainment during pandemic
Kids will use items from their subscription box to complete video missions for secret agents
By: Tim Studebaker
CRANSTON, R.I. (WLNE) – When Brian Kampper, a Pawtucket teacher with a passion for hand-on STEM learning, opened the MobileQuest STEM Center in Cranston in 2019, he had no idea that a few months later the pandemic would force the center to temporarily close.
Kampper says, “We were hosting workshops. We did drop-ins, birthday parties, all types of different events.”
Like so many other teachers and parents, Kampper was left trying to come up with ways to keep kids involved in STEM learning, at first turning to virtual lessons. Then it hit him.
Kampper says, “One of our goals is to kind of combine entertainment and education into that “edutainment.” I think anybody who has kids knows that their attention span is very small.”
From that need came a new idea: a STEM spy kit subscription service. Each kit contains dozens of items kids will use to complete video missions for secret agents, learning along the way. After a successful Kickstarter campaign and some grant money, the first kits are ready to ship out next month.
Kampper says, “That’s actually what we’re using the STEM center for, is our distribution center.”
And every three months, subscribers will receive another shipment, as well as a step up.
Kampper says, “They move up from a junior agent to like a secret agent, stuff like that. So they’re moving up the ranks of the MobileQuest spy agency.”
It’s all to keep the learning going through the pandemic. The staff at MobileQuest STEM Center are working on their reopening plans. Meanwhile, their spy kits are available to order online here: https://www.mobilequestadventures.com/stemspy
© WLNE-TV / ABC6 2021