Reusing and Recycling is all the rage these days. Bags are being made from recycled plastic bottles, tables are created from wood scraps, and old jeans can be turned into purses. These are great ways to avoid creating more waste, but what about reusing things on a large scale. What if you could convert a large shipping container into a mobile tech lab?
Sean Maroni, the founder and CEO of Betabox, has come up with a great way to put old shipping containers to use for school children. A decrease in school funding has created a lack of proper supplies for technology labs around the country. Most schools can’t afford scanners, 3D printers, laptops or laser cutters. This is where Betabox steps in.
They take old shipping containers, refurbish them, and retrofit them to include whiteboards, laptops, and other types of technology. These are completely contained, come on wheels, use power from solar panels or batteries, only take up 200 square feet of space. This can fit somewhere between 8-15 students at a time. With about one week’s notice, a lab can arrive at your school and be ready to go.
The mobile labs cost somewhere between $800 and $4,000 a day depending on what’s inside. In just two years since their startup, Betabox has over 100 customers, most of which are K-12 schools. It allows school and other organizations to use new types of technology without having to purchase, maintain and house it on a full time basis. Betabox also plans to have on-demand Betabox labs all over the country within the next year. The more access kids have to STEM education, the better equipped they will be for the future.