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STEM Explorer

It's a 38 foot mobile science laboratory – and creative space – complete with the latest technologies.

Thanks to a $4 million grant from the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation, Delta College developed this program to reach out to middle and high school students in the Great Lakes Bay Region to provide information about the vast opportunities available in science, technology, engineering and math. And, to help keep kids engaged and enthusiastic about STEM topics.


What makes the Explorer cool?

  • Gets students out of the classroom and into a state-of-the-art lab
  • Strengthens partnerships with teachers to augment their lesson plans
  • Brings multiple topics together in project-based activities
  • Provides hands-on activities in exceptional learning environment
  • STEM Explorer student
  • STEM Explorer student with augmented reality
  • STEM Explorer students
  • STEM Explorer student
  • STEM Explorer students powering bus with bikes
  • STEM Explorer student with augmented reality
  • STEM Explorer student with augmented reality

How to schedule a visit

Scheduling requests for both the Summer 2017 community events school visits (both middle school and high school) for the 2017-18 school year are underway. Please submit the appropriate form below as soon as possible. Dates are filling quickly. 

For community event visits, complete the STEM Explorer community event request form.

For middle school visits, complete the STEM Explorer Surface Exploration form.

For high school visits, complete the STEM Explorer Deep Dive form.

Kids in the STEM Explorer
STEM Explorer in front of Delta's Main Campus

Exciting and educational activities are conducted on the STEM Explorer vehicle for scheduled middle school and high school sessions. In addition, you can expect to see the STEM Explorer at different Great Lakes Bay Region events throughout the year.

Middle School Surface Explorations

The STEM Explorer middle school programs are called “Surface Explorations”.  These programs are designed to fit into the standard 50-60 minute class period.  Teachers may choose from the following STEM modules:

Parachute Design: Students use our design kits to create their own unique parachutes. When the STEM Explorer visits they get to see how they work by shooting them out of our air cannons!

Wind Turbines: Students conduct experiments in small groups to determine the best wind turbine design that will yield the most energy.

Virtual Reality: Our virtual reality goggles will take students on a virtual tour of our known universe without leaving the confines of the STEM Explorer!

Delta Crime Busters: Students will examine microscopic forensic evidence to solve a fictitious crime.  Who broke into the Delta biology lab and broke the microscope?

Welding Simulators: Students will again get to experience virtual reality -- this time it is on a job site.  The Lincoln Electric welding simulators are a great introduction to a possible STEM career.

Augmented Reality: Students will step into the awe-inspiring realm of augmented reality by simply using an iPad and its camera. Elements 4D by Daqri is a great introduction to elements and simple chemical reactions.

3D Printing: Visitors to the STEM Explorer will experience first hand the creation of 3D printed parts on our state-of-the-art Stratasys Dimension printer.

Power through Pedaling: Students will race against time and each other to generate the most wattage and burn the most calories on our STEM Explorer Super Bikes!

Human-Human Neurotransfer: In this module students will be introduced to the exciting world of neuroscience. Students will have the opportunity to literally take control of another person’s hand using nothing but their minds, an Arduino, and a TENS unit.

Healthy vs. Diseased Lungs and Bronchioles:  Students will get to touch and feel the components of a real respiratory system.  They will see first hand the effects of diseases such as COPD have on this vital body system as they use a bellows to inflate and deflate the lungs (in development - expect completion for 2017-18 academic year).

zSpace Virtual Reality Respiratory System Dissection:  Students will dissect the components of the human respiratory system using state-of-the-art virtual reality technology by zSpace (in development - expect completion for 2017-18 academic year).

zSpace Virtual Reality Internal Combustion Engine:  Students will get their virtual hands dirty by assembling and disassembling the components of an internal combustion automotive engine in virtual reality (in development - expect completion for 2017-18 academic year).

Exercise and Blood Oxygen:  Students will use computerized sensors to measure heart rate and blood oxygen levels while pedaling stationary exercise bikes (in development - expect completion for 2017-18 academic year).

Delta Crime Busters II:  The Case of the Missing Exam:  Students will examine microscopic evidence from a crime scene to find out which student broke in to the Delta College classroom and stole the coveted final exam a week before the test (in development - expect completion for 2017-18 academic year). 

High School Deep Dive Modules

The STEM Explorer Deep Dive program is a discipline-specific design/engineering challenge for grades 9-12.  The challenge for the 2016-17 academic year involved building a cell phone case with a secondary purpose. Physics students built an enclosure to protect a cell phone in a collision. Chemistry built a case that is waterproof and buoyant in water. Biology built a case that attaches to a microscope to study and record microscopic organisms. And, Geoscience built a device to turn a cell phone into a modern day Brunton Compass.

Students used SolidWorks software, an industry standard in rapid prototyping, to design and print their creations on the STEM Explorer’s state-of-the-art Stratasys 3D printers.

Each participating school then presents their projects at the end of the year STEM Explorer Deep Dive conference scheduled for May 3, 2018.


40% of local economy is driven by STEM industries.

STEM Realted Programs

2/3 of Delta's programs are STEM related.


Estimated to reach 7,000 local students each year.