This is really about going to a place where you can "step up" your teaching and learning by solving, tinkering, exploring, and playing with STEM. To us STEM is not the sciences like chemistry but rather the acts of innovation, design, engineering, creativity, problem solving.
The STEP (Solve, Tinker, Explore, and Play) Lab is a space that supports the work of university faculty and students, regional preK-12 teachers and students, and other entities (e.g., government agencies, NGOs, corporate partners). This work allows individuals to understand the complex nature of STEM concepts to construct new understandings for themselves.
A priority for this space is to link the technology in the lab with COEHS course curriculum. As a “home base,” the STEP lab will serve as a central location for technology inside and outside the classroom. Additional labs will be continuously added to complete a constellation of labs across Northeast Florida to serve multiple constituencies. This arrangement will be non-hierarchical and function through iterative and exploratory feedback between all entities within the lab constellation to assure the needs of the broadest possible audiences (e.g., primary and secondary students, school faculty, UNF faculty and students) are being met. The lab will also serve as a space to examine emerging and new instructional technologies. This work can serve to demonstrate “proof of concept” of new equipment and practices through faculty research.