Perot Museum and Dell Announce New Mobile Innovation, TECH Truck

Sigue a La Opinión en Facebook
  • Perot Museum of Nature and Science and Dell announce a mobile
    innovation truck to take “science to the streets”
  • Dell to provide $1.13 million to power new TECH Truck – which will
    expand youth access to the Perot Museum – to “Tinker, Engineer, Create
    and Hack” in science, technology and arts

ROUND ROCK, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Rolling into neighborhoods soon! Through a generous $1.13 million grant
over three years from Dell, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science has
created a mobile innovation truck that will bring science, technology,
engineering, art and math (STEAM) learning to a broader and more diverse
audience in the Dallas/Fort Worth region and beyond. The Perot Museum
TECH Truck, powered by Dell, will provide more opportunities for the
community to engage in museum experiences through free, out-of-school
educational and interactive programs, including drop-in sessions and
workshops, using no- and low-tech activities as well as high-tech
experiences. The program is designed to reach people who – for a variety
of reasons – do not or cannot engage with the Museum at its physical
location.


“We know there are families who never or rarely have an opportunity to
visit museums, so we want to bring technology and digital literacy
directly into their neighborhoods,” said Colleen Walker, Eugene
McDermott Chief Executive Officer of the Perot Museum of Nature and
Science. “This tremendous gift from our longtime friend, Dell, allows
the Perot Museum to deliver meaningful, engaging and inspiring
educational content in a unique way outside the four walls of our main
building.”

The super-cool, custom-outfitted van has been nicknamed TECH Truck, an
acronym based on the program’s mission to inspire youth to “Tinker,
Engineer, Create, and Hack.” Specially trained Perot Museum educators
will work on a full-time basis to instruct children to solve design
challenges through hands-on making, tinkering and creative problem
solving. Activities will include soldering, squishy circuits, coding,
robotics, wind-tube challenges, 3D printing, laser cutting and stomp
rocket design, to name a few.

“According to the Brookings
Institution
, there are 26
million
science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) related
jobs in the U.S. today,” said Mona Charif, Vice President, Marketing and
Communications, Dell Services. “The TECH Truck fosters the future
success of underserved youth in those types of roles. Dell is thrilled
to continue our strong relationship with the Perot Museum as we work
together to find innovative new approaches to address critical skills
gaps.”

The TECH Truck will debut this fall, operating 300 days per year and
reaching an estimated 20,000 people annually at community centers,
libraries, public areas and parks, community events and schools. Plans
are to launch a second TECH Truck in 2016. Each TECH Truck will be large
enough to accommodate two staff members plus necessary materials and
equipment. A pop-up awning will allow outdoor programming to take place
adjacent to the vehicle.

Target audiences include economically disadvantaged neighborhoods, where
most students attend Title 1 schools, and outlying areas in the
Dallas-Fort Worth region. The Museum will leverage existing
relationships with organizations such as the Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts,
Girls Inc. and Boys and Girls Clubs along with city recreation centers
to reach target populations.

The curriculum may involve “no technology” (such as the paper stomp
rocket design challenge or creating rubber stamps), “low technology” (as
in soldering and squishy circuits) or “high technology” (including 3D
printing, computer coding and laser cutting) using equipment provided by
Dell and others. Programs will be a mix of one-time drop-in sessions
where there is no prerequisite attendance along with multiple-session
mini-camps that dive more deeply into design thinking, processes and
higher-order skills such as coding and programming. One-time sessions
will correlate thematically to the mini-camps and serve to encourage
further participation in mini-camps, providing transition from curious
experimenter to engaged, interested participant.

The curriculum for the TECH Truck program has been developed by a team
of expert Perot Museum educators. Two full-time staff members have been
hired to guide and manage the program, with the support of the Museum’s
education staff and trained volunteers. Most educators involved with the
TECH Truck will speak both Spanish and English in order to best serve
communities in the DFW area with large Spanish-speaking populations.

The Perot Museum has had a strong relationship with Dell for the past
three years. In 2012, Dell Services donated $6.5 million in technology
and services to the Perot Museum to power its IT operations and help
support its goal to advance youth education in science, technology,
engineering and math (STEM). The investment included Dell products and
services, along with initial technology implementation for the Museum
build-out as well as outsourced technology operations, support services
and data center hosting. Dell team members also donate their time and
energy as volunteers, creating and manning a station at one of the
Museum’s monthly Discovery Days and participating in the annual
Engineering Week.

For more information about the TECH Trucks, go to
perotmuseum.org/techtruck.

About the Perot Museum of Nature and Science

A top destination for North Texans and tourists alike, the Perot
Museum of Nature and Science is a nonprofit educational organization
located in the heart of Dallas, Texas, with campuses in Victory Park and
Fair Park. With a mission to inspire minds through nature and science,
the Perot Museum delivers exciting, engaging and innovative visitor and
outreach experiences through its education, exhibition and research and
collections programming for children, students, teachers, families and
life-long learners. The 180,000-square-foot facility in Victory Park
opened in December 2012 and is now recognized as the symbolic gateway to
the Dallas Arts District. The Museum features 11 permanent exhibit halls
on five floors of public space; a children’s museum; a state-of-the art
traveling exhibition hall; and The Hoglund Foundation Theater, a
National Geographic Experience. Future scientists, mathematicians and
engineers will find inspiration and enlightenment through breathtaking
collections, interactive exhibits, multimedia presentations and vivid
contextual displays that expose visitors to a hands-on world of ideas
and concepts. Designed by 2005 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate Thom
Mayne and his firm Morphosis Architects, the Victory Park Museum has
been lauded for its artistry and sustainability. To learn more, please
visit
perotmuseum.org.

About Dell

Dell Inc. listens to customers and delivers innovative technology and
services that give them the power to do more. The company seeks to apply
their expertise and technology in underserved communities to help 3
million youth directly and support 10 million people indirectly to grow
and thrive by 2020.

For more information, visit www.dell.com/communities.

Contacts

for TECH Truck
Becky Mayad, 214-352-1881
cell: 214-697-7745
becky@mayadpr.com
or
Dell
Carly
Tatum, 512-728-1236
Cell: 817-727-5648