Big Red Keno gift helps students think, make, create

A grant from Big Red Keno to Beyond School Bells and implemented by Civic Nebraska allows Lincoln and Omaha students access to a STEM-promoting mobile makerspace. You're invited to our rollout parties starting in April.


Thanks to a recent gift from Big Red Keno’s 2018 Science & Math Program, Lincoln and Omaha students will soon lay their hands on the city’s first Think, Make, Create lab — a mobile makerspace that enriches STEM education.

One mobile lab each for Lincoln and for Omaha will be in Civic Nebraska’s hands to add to its after-school programs, as well as other community opportunities.

Kent Day, Civic Nebraska’s director of civic engagement programs, with one of two Think, Make, Create mobile makerspaces Civic Nebraska will deploy in Lincoln and Omaha neighborhoods starting in April.

“Big Red Keno’s Science & Math Program is now in its third year, and we are impressed once again at the resourcefulness and creativity of Nebraska educators in their strategies to engage youth in science and math,” said Dan Pankow, Big Red Keno president and CEO. “It’s important to us to support these activities that enhance STEM education and ultimately strengthen our communities.”

The labs are inspired by traditional brick-and-mortar makerspaces, those areas inside schools, libraries or other facilities stocked with high-tech to low-tech to no-tech tools that emphasize building, learning, exploring and sharing.

Civic Nebraska partner Beyond School Bells was among six awardees of the $57,000 Big Red Keno grant. Primarily, the mobile labs will support students at two Lincoln schools and three Omaha schools; each school’s launch party will present visitors a first look into what the mobile makerspaces offers.

Dawes Middle School, 5130 Colfax Ave., will host a launch party on from 4 to 5 p.m. April 19. A second launch party will take place at Campbell Elementary School, 2200 Dodge St., from 4 to 5 p.m. April 24.

Also, Omaha’s Think, Make, Create lab will be introduced to Sherman Elementary, 5618 N. 14th Ave., at 4:30 p.m. April 10; Lothrop Elementary, 3300 N. 22nd St., at 4:15 p.m. May 3; and Lewis & Clark Middle School, 6901 Burt St., at 4 p.m. April 12. All of the events are free and open to the public. We hope to see you there!

“The (Think, Make, Create labs) will provide a mobile platform able to serve any group or organization for any length of time with high quality, engaging, hands-on activities,” said Kent Day, Civic Nebraska’s director of civic engagement programs. “It is a dynamic unit with the capacity to hold customized programming for extended learning opportunity programs of all kinds and for all ages.”

Content in this blog post is courtesy of our friends at Big Red Keno. To read Big Red Keno’s full news release on Lincoln’s two launch events in April, click here.

Students get a sneak peek of Civic Nebraska’s mobile Think, Make, Create lab earlier this month at the State Capitol. A series of public rollout events will take place in Lincoln and Omaha starting in April.

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After School Programs

  • Sherman Elementary School

    5618 N 14th Ave.
    Omaha, NE 68110

  • Lewis and Clark Middle School

    6901 Burt St.
    Omaha, NE 68132

  • Lothrop Magnet Elementary

    3300 N. 22nd St.
    Omaha, NE 68110

  • Campbell Elementary School

    2200 Dodge St.
    Lincoln, NE 68521

  • Lincoln High School

    2229 J St.
    Lincoln, NE 68510

  • Lincoln Northeast High School

    2635 N. 63rd St.
    Lincoln, NE 68507