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Front Page - Friday, November 1, 2019

Chattanooga Zoo officially launches mobile STEM lab

Amazon offers scientific gear, volunteers to launch program

Local students explored learning stations at the Chattanooga Zoo’s mobile STEM lab, using lab coats, microscopes and gear provided by Amazon. - Photographs by Elizabeth Stephenson Photography courtesy of Chattanooga Zoo

Amazon Chattanooga fulfillment center associates recently went on a field trip to lend a helping hand to the Chattanooga Zoo.

Associates volunteered to officially launch the zoo’s mobile STEM lab, a new, immersive educational program that Amazon donated equipment to earlier this year. Amazon donated lab coats, microscopes, slides, eye droppers and other gear to prepare the mobile STEM lab program for its launch.

Amazonians welcomed a group of excited children to the STEM lab at the zoo, helping them suit up in lab coats before partnering up on activities. Children analyzed slides of feathers and insect wings under microscopes at the Fantastic Flight station, tested water quality with litmus strips at the What’s Up with that H2O station, and more.

After the Amazon associates and children completed the activities, Chattanooga Zoo’s animal ambassadors brought over a python and fennec fox for an Animal Meet & Greet letting students interact with the animals face-to-face. Students spoke with the ambassadors and Amazonians about real-life applications of STEM at jobs within the zoo and at Amazon.

Chattanooga Zoo education specialist Peri Anne Edwards says the equipment Amazon donated would help the zoo expand its outreach program beyond the zoo.

“The Chattanooga Zoo believes that people are the key to conservation and that starts with getting students excited about science and showing them they play an active role,” Edwards says. “These mobile learning labs introduce students to academic scientific standards while also empowering them to see themselves as scientists. This program would not have been possible without the support of Amazon.”

Amazon Chattanooga Senior Ops leader Chris Brock says associates were thrilled to be part of the STEM lab’s launch.

“At Amazon, technology and innovation fuel our business,” Brock adds. “We are proud to encourage STEM learning by donating supplies to support the launch of the Chattanooga Zoo’s mobile STEM lab, so that children can develop real world skills that will prepare them for 21st century jobs.”

Interested parties can now book Chattanooga Zoo’s mobile STEM lab for hourlong labs at www.chattzoo.org/education/outreach. Each lab includes hands-on learning stations that meet school curriculum standards.