OSEP Receives Grant from Google for Mobile Computer Labs for Schools

OSEP Receives Grant from Google for Mobile Computer Labs for Schools

iLabs

The Office of STEM Education Partnerships (OSEP) received a grant from Google to enhance its mobile computer lab loaner program, called Project ACCESS. The project provides much-needed technology to middle and high school STEM classrooms and labs throughout the Chicago area.

These mobile labs provide computers to students that they can use in the lab or classroom to access online science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) curricula and cyberlearning resources offered through OSEP and other providers. For example, OSEP’s iLabs project offers online access to remote laboratories and related curriculum activities.

With the grant from Google’s Chicago Office Community Grants program, OSEP will purchase 34 Google Chromebooks to add to the mobile computer lab loaner program and be able to reach more classrooms and students in the Chicago area each year. The Chromebooks are new low-cost laptops made by Samsung using Google's cloud-based operating system.

Since 2011, Project ACCESS has reached nine schools, 14 teachers and approximately 1,140 students. However, the demand from Chicago-area teachers for this program exceeds OSEP’s equipment inventory and capacity.

Through Project ACCESS, OSEP is working to help close the “digital divide” for schools that do not have easy access to technology and are therefore limited in their ability to provide high-quality STEM teaching and learning resources to their students. Mobile computer labs allow OSEP to broaden student access to and deepen their experience with technology and online STEM programs and resources. 

The new grant supplements grants from the Hewlett-Packard Catalyst Initiative and the National Science Foundation that helped Northwestern University acquire HP tablet laptop computers and Fourier sensors for Project ACCESS. All are available for temporary loan to Chicago-area schools.

By Office of STEM Education Partnerships
Last Modified: 11/26/12