Virgin Hyperloop and the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) Launch Partnership to Bring Equitable STEM Education to the Next Generation
Author: Jaclyn Reynolds
Columbus, OH – Virgin Hyperloop, the category leader in hyperloop technology, and the Center of Science and Industry (COSI), the top-ranked science center in the country by USA Today, have joined forces for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) educational programming. Distance learning is needed now more than ever, and COSI and Virgin Hyperloop are forging a partnership that will leverage some of COSI’s exciting programs such as COSI Connects, the COSI Science Festival, the Color of Science, and the new COSI Learning Lunchbox to provide critical learning to underserved youth, breaking down barriers in education, and building a pipeline of diverse talent across the country.
A key pillar of the program is access. As evidenced with the COVID-19 pandemic, distance learning is not equitable across race nor income levels. The partnership between Virgin Hyperloop and COSI aims to tackle this issue head on by delivering physical STEM kits, called COSI Learning Lunchboxes to underserved youth; providing science activities through COSI on Wheels: Curbside that create community Wi-Fi hotspots; and ensuring that engaging STEM content is available for off-line download through the COSI mobile application.
“It is science, and the education around it, that will assist with the STEM workforce development pipeline issue, assist men and women get great paying jobs, and help elevate many individuals and families out of poverty,” said Dr. Frederic Bertley, President and CEO of COSI. “At COSI, we have always believed that ‘science is everywhere and for everyone’ – and it’s clear that Virgin Hyperloop shares this vision with us. As we navigate our current situation and beyond, we are excited to work with Virgin Hyperloop to create dynamic STEM opportunities that are truly accessible for everyone.”
“Hyperloop will not only transform the way we live and work, but it will also create an entirely new industry, with thousands of jobs at the forefront of science and engineering,” said Jay Walder, CEO of Virgin Hyperloop. “It is critical that these types of careers are accessible to everyone – and that starts with building a more inclusive applicant pool. We’re proud to be working with COSI to inspire and educate the next generation of diverse leaders.” Virgin Hyperloop and COSI collaborated on two new videos with activities for COSI Connects exploring friction and the intersection of art and science. COSI president and CEO Dr. Frederic Bertley will also do a livestream interview with Virgin Hyperloop CEO Jay Walder on Thursday, August 27, 2020 at 3pm EST. COSI and VH first teamed up in August 2019, when Virgin Hyperloop kicked off its U.S. roadshow at COSI’s campus for a STEM outreach day featuring VH’s test vehicle, XP-1.