W.I.L.L. Bus Marks 10-Year Anniversary By Collaborating With Lilly Center

November 28, 2023 at 8:19 p.m.
Jefferson Elementary students Stefano Zaca and Neymar Meyo build water molecules as part of a Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams lesson on the WILL Bus. Photo Provided
Jefferson Elementary students Stefano Zaca and Neymar Meyo build water molecules as part of a Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams lesson on the WILL Bus. Photo Provided

By Staff Report

WINONA LAKE – After a short hiatus, Warsaw Community School’s W.I.L.L. (Warsaw Inquiry Learning Laboratory) Bus is back on the road bringing innovative STEM education to local elementary schools.
This fall, the Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams collaborated with the W.I.L.L. Bus to provide water-related science lessons to area fifth-graders, according to a news release from the Lilly Center.
The W.I.L.L. Bus is a tool to provide project-based and inquiry-learning-focused lessons to elementary schools in Warsaw. According to the Warsaw Schools website, “As Washington STEM Academy took off, the school board gave the administration a challenge to provide all eight of the elementary schools with STEM education.”
Warsaw Community School Corp. partnered with OrthoWorx in 2014 to fund the bus, an investment in professional teacher development, and STEM education in local schools.

    Pictured is Warsaw Community School Corporation’s WILL (Warsaw Inquiry Learning Lab) Bus at Jefferson Elementary School. Photo Provided
 
 
“The W.I.L.L. Bus had surpassed all goals and expectations and is deserving and worthy of celebration,” said Dan Graney, Warsaw Schools STEM instructional coach. “The current state of STEM instruction in Warsaw is exciting and involves collaborations with the Lilly Center and Kosciusko Soil and Water Conservation District. The future of STEM is the emphasis on integrating systemic STEM education into the overall curriculum rather than treating it as a separate entity. In keeping with the times, mobile STEM labs need to be reimagined to complement and enhance existing systemic educational programs and to meet the needs of all students, everywhere.”
Thanks to collaborations like Lake in the Library (K-6 grade), Lake Adventure Day (3rd grade) and other field trip opportunities, there are many ways for Warsaw Schools students to dive into lake science. This school year, the W.I.L.L. Bus and the Lilly Center provide special STEM education to fifth-graders through hands-on lessons in a unique environment, the release states.
Thanks to the technologically-equipped bus, students can follow along with visual aids, videos and instructions while seated in their small groups. Examples of lessons and experiments include building a water molecule and the surface tension of water.
“Warsaw Community Schools have been an incredible partner over the years,” said Sarah Baier, assistant director of education at the Lilly Center. “Together, WCS and the Lilly Center are creating a vision for the future of STEM education in our community. On a personal note, I’ve enjoyed creating a lesson for the 10th anniversary of the bus after my initial involvement all those years ago!”
To learn more about the W.I.L.L. Bus, visit the website at sites.google.com/warsawschools.org/will2024/home.
Learn about the Lilly Center’s award-winning educational programs at lakes.grace.edu/education.

WINONA LAKE – After a short hiatus, Warsaw Community School’s W.I.L.L. (Warsaw Inquiry Learning Laboratory) Bus is back on the road bringing innovative STEM education to local elementary schools.
This fall, the Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams collaborated with the W.I.L.L. Bus to provide water-related science lessons to area fifth-graders, according to a news release from the Lilly Center.
The W.I.L.L. Bus is a tool to provide project-based and inquiry-learning-focused lessons to elementary schools in Warsaw. According to the Warsaw Schools website, “As Washington STEM Academy took off, the school board gave the administration a challenge to provide all eight of the elementary schools with STEM education.”
Warsaw Community School Corp. partnered with OrthoWorx in 2014 to fund the bus, an investment in professional teacher development, and STEM education in local schools.

    Pictured is Warsaw Community School Corporation’s WILL (Warsaw Inquiry Learning Lab) Bus at Jefferson Elementary School. Photo Provided
 
 
“The W.I.L.L. Bus had surpassed all goals and expectations and is deserving and worthy of celebration,” said Dan Graney, Warsaw Schools STEM instructional coach. “The current state of STEM instruction in Warsaw is exciting and involves collaborations with the Lilly Center and Kosciusko Soil and Water Conservation District. The future of STEM is the emphasis on integrating systemic STEM education into the overall curriculum rather than treating it as a separate entity. In keeping with the times, mobile STEM labs need to be reimagined to complement and enhance existing systemic educational programs and to meet the needs of all students, everywhere.”
Thanks to collaborations like Lake in the Library (K-6 grade), Lake Adventure Day (3rd grade) and other field trip opportunities, there are many ways for Warsaw Schools students to dive into lake science. This school year, the W.I.L.L. Bus and the Lilly Center provide special STEM education to fifth-graders through hands-on lessons in a unique environment, the release states.
Thanks to the technologically-equipped bus, students can follow along with visual aids, videos and instructions while seated in their small groups. Examples of lessons and experiments include building a water molecule and the surface tension of water.
“Warsaw Community Schools have been an incredible partner over the years,” said Sarah Baier, assistant director of education at the Lilly Center. “Together, WCS and the Lilly Center are creating a vision for the future of STEM education in our community. On a personal note, I’ve enjoyed creating a lesson for the 10th anniversary of the bus after my initial involvement all those years ago!”
To learn more about the W.I.L.L. Bus, visit the website at sites.google.com/warsawschools.org/will2024/home.
Learn about the Lilly Center’s award-winning educational programs at lakes.grace.edu/education.
Have a news tip? Email [email protected] or Call/Text 360-922-3092

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