Mobile Learning Lab Opens at Fair Park

Mobile Learning Lab bus
Dallas Innovation Allliance

A Mobile Learning Lab will be stationed at Fair Park all summer, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. The lab is inside a converted school bus painted sky blue, located just inside Gate 5 at the corner of Second and Grand Avenues.

The Dallas Innovation Alliance (DIA) partnered with Dallas Independent School District (DISD), Fair Park First, and Spectra to launch its Mobile Learning Lab at Fair Park. The Mobile Learning Lab provides a variety of summer programs, along with a footprint of 200-300 feet of free Wi-Fi coverage.

“Digital inclusion is one of the most critical issues of our generation, impacting all areas of our lives, including education, healthcare, and access to opportunity,” said Jennifer Sanders, Executive Director of the Dallas Innovation Alliance. “This program is designed to aid in providing access to resources as organizations across the city work together to design long-term solutions.”

Operation Connectivity

When school buildings closed due to COVID-19 in March, an estimated 36,000 DISD households were stranded without Internet connections. Research shows over 40% of Dallas residents lack in-home connectivity, including almost 30% of students. Operation Connectivity hopes to provide internet connectivity to all DISD families.

“Having broadband internet is not a luxury; it is a necessity,” said DISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa. “Internet connectivity should join water, electricity, gas, and wastewater as an essential service.”

Summer programming for DISD students includes tutoring, experiential learning opportunities, financial and digital literacy, and more. For parents, job application assistance, access to online services, and workforce development are available.

“When we asked our neighbors what they want to see at Fair Park, one of the top answers was free Wi-Fi,” said Spectra’s Peter Sullivan, General Manager of Fair Park. “When the Dallas Innovation Alliance approached us with this initiative, we saw this as another opportunity to support our surrounding community.”

DIA Mobile Learning Lab

Hours and location in Fair Park for the DIA Mobile Learning Lab may vary, based on availability and weather conditions. Visit DIA Mobile Learning Lab website for updated information and a list of summer programs. Programs this week are Wed. and Friday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. with Project Still I Rise, about building and flying model rockets and airplanes.

Social distancing will be in effect, and masks are required. A mask will be provided for attendees who do not have one. Please visit Fair Park’s website for Fair Park’s safety precautions.

FlyBusFly generously provided the bus to DIA. Other partners include Santander Consumer USA Foundation, The Meadows Foundation, Cisco, Capital One, Netsync, and Presidio.

The Dallas Innovation Alliance (DIA) is a 501c3 public-private partnership dedicated to supporting the design and execution of a smart cities plan for the City of Dallas. The DIA defines a smart city as one that lives at the intersection of community, data and technology to improve quality of life, inclusive economic growth and resource efficiency. In 2017, the DIA launched the Smart Cities Living Lab, comprised of 10 integrated projects in downtown Dallas, and is the fastest-to-market smart cities initiative in the country.