The TAME Trailblazers are STEM-museums-on-wheels that travel to schools and communities across Texas to bring exciting, hands-on exhibits to students. Trailblazer visits are designed to introduce students to STEM concepts and career paths, to provide interaction with local STEM professionals, and to encourage participation in STEM electives and extracurricular opportunities.
“On behalf of our faculty and students I would like to thank you and the members of your organization for the Trailblazer visit… Our students had a blast!!! I am confident that the exhibit was a powerful tool in making our students aware of the importance of engineering and its practical applications. It’s always good for students to realize how cool science actually is.”
— Gene Beyer, Science Coordinator, McMullen County ISD
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What can you expect from a Trailblazer visit?
- A boost for your STEM curriculum: The Trailblazer’s engaging, hands-on exhibits are mapped to TEKS for grades 3-8. Teachers receive pre-visit activities and follow-up lesson plans and curricula.
- Room for the whole class (or the whole family!): The Trailblazer is a 40-foot trailer that can accommodate 30 visitors at a time, 35-45 minutes per group – about 200 students per day.
- STEM excitement, delivered: A TAME Facilitator delivers the Trailblazer to you, trains volunteers, and manages the Trailblazer experience.
- A fun and rewarding volunteer opportunity: Recruit 6 volunteers (minimum age – 9th grade) to serve as docents. We’ll provide the training. No special experience is necessary.
- A great reason to throw a party: Ask us how one of our Trailblazers can anchor your Family STEM Event!
- No power, no problem: The Trailblazer brings its own generator, so we can power the exhibits anywhere we go.
- It’s not free, but it is a great deal: In order to keep the Trailblazer program both affordable and effective, we charge a fee. However, we can help you find local sponsors and other assistance for your Trailblazer visit. Contact the Trailblazer Program Coordinator at email@example.com or (512) 471-6100 to find out more.
Can you bring the Trailblazer to our library?
Absolutely! We offer several scheduling options for library visits, including full-day and STEM night plans, and libraries are eligible to apply for our Summer Library Program.
Can you come to our Family STEM Event?
We’d love to! Click here to learn more about our options for Family STEM events.
What about my special community event?
We’re excited about bringing the Trailblazer to all sorts of events! Whether you’re building a corporate-sponsored STEM-themed event, or throwing a community get-together, email the Trailblazer Program Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (512) 471-6100 to find out how the Trailblazer can be a part of it.
How many visitors can tour the Trailblazer in one day?
- On a typical school-day visit, where scheduled groups of 30 students tour the museum one at a time, the Trailblazer can serve up to 200 students each day. Scheduling groups allows each student to experience all the exhibits and has the greatest educational impact.
- On a normal public-day visit, where visitors trickle into the museum for roughly six hours, the Trailblazer can serve approximately 300 people each day. Hosting a “trickle-through” event allows for entire families and people of all ages to get a taste of what the program offers and build STEM excitement.
Can we book multi-day visits?
- Yes, you can bring the Trailblazer to your school, community, and event for multiple days! Some partners sponsor many visits in a row, allowing the Trailblazer to travel throughout a local school district many days or even weeks at a time. This kind of event can help launch a STEM initiative and boasts a community-wide impact.
- One effective combination is to bring the Trailblazer to one or more school day visits, then conclude with a Family STEM Event on an evening or weekend. Excitement builds for students, who inspire their siblings, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends to come tour the Trailblazer, too. This format offers the best of both worlds, allowing every student to experience all the exhibits during the school week, then bringing their loved ones to see their favorites–which often has the benefit of recruiting families to consider a STEM-career-track mindset.
To say that our 200+ fifth graders here at E. S. Richardson Elementary enjoyed the TAME mobile science lab would be an understatement. What a wonderful concept, a traveling field trip that comes to us. The benefits our children received are just too numerous to list, but the exposure to so many science concepts that were hands on made their time out of the classroom worthwhile. Anyone within a mile of our school probably wondered ‘what in the world was going on.’ Fun and excitement and all about science. Thank you again.
– Ms. Oreata M. Banks and the Richardson students & staff
“We especially appreciate the opportunity afforded to our students… Students were able to hear their heart beat for the first time… The electricity generator exhibit was very relevant to their current topic in class, namely energy transformation and forms of energy.
– Ms. O’Dell Thomas, Principal, Young Women’s College Prep Academy
Supporting this just started as an opportunity for me to get out of the box, however, it was much more than I expected. The trailer that you all are using was really well done (quality work), and a very comfortable environment for handling so many kids and adults. All of the stations were fully functional and interesting in terms of relevant/current technological interests. Mr. Willis was great to talk with; he’s very knowledgeable and made every one of us feel comfortable in presenting the stations. I was really proud to be a part of the TAME effort; to encourage kids when they’re young – possibly being part of a memory that influenced their moving along in a good direction.
– John Lumpkin, Boeing employee who volunteered as a Trailblazer docent
The Trailblazer was a breath of fresh air. We get so bogged down with teaching them to test that we miss the innovative hands-on-activities that make learning fun. This event was a great way for the students to see there are so many jobs out there that involve different aspects of study, but that these jobs are very interesting so it makes the student think outside the box.
– 6th Grade Math Teacher
The event was fantastic! From start to finish, it was a quality production, and I am SO glad we were able to offer this to our community. As they were coming out of the exhibit, I heard several kids discussing how cool it was. It is always heartwarming when kids spontaneously promote events to other kids. That’s when you KNOW it was a success! Thanks SO much to TAME and to all the underwriters. This is such a worthwhile investment!
– Librarian, from the Science Rocks! event
Follow-up Materials for Home and Classroom
TAME provides host schools, libraries, and organizations with digital follow-up curriculum for educators to use in the classroom. Funding from partner Shell Oil Company provides take-home bookmarks for students to share with friends and family. Each bookmark corresponds to one of the five different concept areas (Aerodynamics, Biotechnology/Medicine, Energy, Space, and Weather), highlights a STEM career, and shares a simple hands-on science activity to try at home.
Students are also encouraged to visit TAME.org/Play to explore in-depth science, play STEM games, view immersive 360° Virtual Reality videos, try engineering projects, and learn more about the Grand Challenges of engineering that humanity will face in the next 100 years.
Keep the excitement going!
Channel your students’ newfound love of STEM by registering a TAME Club for free during the Fall semester. Open to grades K-12, TAME Clubs with students in grades 6-12 can also participate in STEM Competitions. Please click here to see TAME Club benefits, deadlines, and free icebreakers and engineering activities for your group to try together.
Materials for Summer Library Visits
For libraries experiencing the Trailblazer this summer, please click here for supporting materials.
Program Overview, Poster, & Requirements
See below for a customizable Event Poster to get the word out about your Trailblazer visit, and a simple Overview Flyer to share with a school administrator, event manager, or local industry partner. We also offer a list of all the requirements needed for a Trailblazer visit, in one handy document.