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Science on Wheels program growing in popularity

A lack of bus drivers has meant an increase in requests for the Buffalo Museum of Science to bring its science programs to schools.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Instead of going on a field trip to the Buffalo Museum of Science, in some cases, the museum is coming to students instead. 

It's a way to keep learning fun during the bus driver shortage.

"We really bring science to life in front of the students and get them physically engaged in the science programming," said Amy Biber, Director of Marketing and PR for the Buffalo Museum of Science.

While the Science on Wheels program isn't new, its popularity is surging.

"We have heard that busing and busing challenges have been a barrier for schools to be able to come out for a traditional field trip experience at the museum, so we're just so thankful that we're able to provide this outreach to schools to make it a little bit easier for the area schools to participate in informal science learning," said Biber.

It means the schools don't need to find a bus driver, but it does still cost money to pull this off. National Grid is one of the sponsors.

"We all grew up attending assemblies that were often times put on by the school, and for the school, and by and with our classmates. This is a little bit different because the science is being delivered to the classroom, or in this case the gymnasium today," said David Bertola, spokesperson for National Grid.

Monday's assembly focused on physics and the laws and properties of matter and energy. 

Science on Wheels is so popular, requests have more than doubled in recent years.

"So pre-COVID, we were doing about 90 outreaches every year. This year we're just under two hundred already, and we only have a few slots remaining for the rest of the year," said Amy Biber.

If teachers want to book a date for this year, the museum says they should call with three dates in mind. If that doesn't work, they are already booking into the fall.

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