One fundraiser and one tweet at a time, a plan to create a hand-on classroom with wheels is picking up speed.
For one, the Western University students behind DHMakerBus have secured perhaps the most critical piece of the pie — a bus.
The retired school vehicle turned church van is expected to arrive in London this week, thanks to a somewhat successful attempt at crowd funding on indiegogo.com.
As for tricking the bus out with enough state-of-the-art technology to make your head spin, that might have to wait a bit. The indiegogo campaign —
which seeks to raise $10,000 — stood just shy of $4,000 on Sunday and comes to an end Friday.
No worries, though, says Kim Martin, one of the effort’s leaders.
“We will keep going,” she said. “The community has been amazing.”
The London Public Library, she said, is one of several community organizations that’s shown interest in having the bus join its programming lineup. The Boys and Girls Club is also on board, with leaders showing a special interest in seeing the bus teach special science lessons to kids, said Martin, 32, of London.
“Almost every time we talk to someone new about the bus, they have an idea of how it can be used,” she said.
The goal, Martin said, is to have raised enough money by the end of summer to start renovating the bus and buying equipment, including 3D printers, motion-sensing devices and open-source programs for things such as video games.
All in all, the bus aims to tap into digital humanities — a fairly new-age area of research, teaching and creation focused on mixing computing with humanities.
The bus, traveling to festivals or pretty much anywhere else someone wants it to stop, will promote creativity and teach children things they aren’t
learning in classrooms, Martin said.