Mobile Learning Lab Gets Fresh, Updated Exterior

A new mobile learning lab focused on geospatial technologies like maps, apps and drones just edged closer to its public debut with a brand new look.

The GeoBus is the vision of Citizen Science GIS, an international research organization led by UCF researchers to enhance public knowledge and application of mapping with geographic information systems (GIS), drones, virtual reality and other technologies. Their team, for instance, flies over coastal and island communities in Belize to identify areas that need hardening against flooding. They also emphasize education, which is the purpose behind GeoBus.

When completed in late 2019, GeoBus will feature technology like an interactive geovisualization wall, mini-drones, an augmented reality sandbox and virtual reality goggles. The goal is to teach K-12 students the power of geospatial technologies to glean insights into social and environmental challenges in society, including sustainability, natural disaster recovery, social inequalities and environmental pollution. While the interior lab of GeoBus is still in the works, the outside just received a fun, kid-friendly facelift, courtesy of bus donor LYNX.

Matt Friedman, director of marketing and communications for LYNX, said the transit authority believes in investing into the community. The 40-foot GeoBus represents the perfect mesh between community responsibility and advancing science, Friedman said.

“We see this as a way to excite, inform and educate all in one,” Friedman said.

“We are thrilled to have the LYNX partnership. They are the transportation leader in Central Florida, and their partnership allows GeoBus to become a reality,” said Timothy Hawthorne, Ph.D., founder of Citizen Science GIS and GeoBus. “This new look for the bus created with LYNX has already generated so much excitement, and we can’t wait to see how youth react when it pulls into their schools.”

To help build the interior lab of GeoBus, interested community partners can donate to Citizen Science GIS through tax-deductible gifts through the UCF Foundation here.

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