Alliance for Iowa State
-Make Your Voice Heard-

Interactive circuit building with ISU industrial design grad student Dan Neubauer at Stratford Elementary.

Iowa's current K-12 population is certainly tech savvy, but students have more to learn before applying advanced technology to solve real-world problems in design and manufacturing.


To make the latest design and STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) technologies more accessible, an Iowa State University industrial design graduate studio developed a mobile classroom to provide outreach to Iowa schools.


Forward Learning Experience

Called the Forward Learning Experience (FLEx), the 16-foot trailer full of high-tech workstations can be taken on the road to provide K-12 students and teachers with hands-on experiences with virtual reality, immersive visualization, interactive circuit building, and 3-D printing. Modules can be customized to accommodate different age groups and emerging technologies.


The FLEx lab debuted last fall at the Science Center of Iowa's Mini Maker Faire. Since then, the FLEx team has traveled to a dozen locations throughout Iowa, engaging more than 3,700 students, educators, and families in activities to help them develop STEM and design thinking skills. Acting as a catalyst to inspire future entrepreneurs and innovators, FLEx bridges the gap between ideas and opportunity.


The FLEx team is creating curricular materials and resources for teachers to integrate advanced technologies into the classroom. And it plans to expand its outreach to public libraries, community colleges, and industry partners throughout the state, enhancing technology literacy and the employability of Iowa's workforce.

FLEx is a collaboration of the Colleges of Design and Engineering with ISU Extension and Outreach, funded by Iowa State's Strategic Initiative on Interdisciplinary Design Research and Education and the industrial design department.


Did you know? The FLEx lab will visit Manson Northwest Webster Elementary School March 24-26, Rock Creek Elementary School in Ankeny April 9-10 and Edwards Elementary School in Ames April 13. FLEX is available to travel to your school or event, too! Contact David Ringholz or Pete Evans to schedule summer or fall dates.

 Iowa State's Mission:
Create, share, and apply knowledge to make 
Iowa and the world a better place.

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The Alliance for Iowa State is maintained by the Iowa State University Alumni Association. 


The Alliance for Iowa State is a coalition of Iowa State University alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff, and friends.

The Alliance advocates Iowa State University's land grant mission throughout Iowa while focusing its advocacy on

state legislators and public policy makers.