Since early 2017, Kids Discovery Factory (KDF) has operated a mobile education outreach program, called the Mobile Factory. The Mobile Factory is a collection of innovative traveling STEAM exhibits that align with Indiana State Educational Standards and complement classroom learning for students in Preschool through 8th grade. A typical program consists of eight or more learning stations set up in a gymnasium, serving up to 100 students per hour. This outreach program travels to schools, libraries, YMCAs, and other community organizations in 8 counties in Indiana and Ohio, reaching over 29,000 people to date. Due to the large nature of the program, the Mobile Factory has relied upon rental trucks to visit regional schools and organizations- until now.
Thanks to grant funding from the Rising Sun Regional Foundation and the Decatur County Community Foundation, Kids Discovery Factory was able to purchase a used 16ft box truck to serve as a dedicated Mobile Factory vehicle. In January of this year, the Rising Sun Regional Foundation (RSRF) awarded KDF a $10,000 grant and challenged the organization to find matching funds to cover the costs of the needed truck. In April, KDF found that match, thanks to the support of the Decatur County Community Foundation (DCCF). The DCCF awarded KDF a $14,500 grant. The funds not only matched the RSRF truck contribution, but also supported a Mobile Factory visit for every elementary school in Decatur County at no cost to the school.
The truck purchase was made in August and has already traveled to several schools in multiple counties. That same month, Kids Discovery Factory received $5,600 from the Ripley County Community Foundation through the Hillenbrand Partnership with Possibility Grant. The funding supports exhibit revitalization and allows KDF to get the new truck custom wrapped. The custom wrap was designed and installed by Rowland Graphics. Rowland Graphics generously donated a portion of the wrap work, allowing more grant funds to be used for purchasing new Mobile Factory equipment.
Kids Discovery Factory’s Executive Director, Emili Uden, states, “This truck has been a dream of ours for six years. It’s incredible to see regional foundations coming together to support this project- we are so grateful for their support! Having a dedicated vehicle for our mobile programming is a game changer.” If you would like more information about the Mobile Factory program or would like to have Kids Discovery Factory visit your school or organization, please visit www.kidsdiscoveryfactory.org/mobile-factory or call (812) 932-5437.