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Curiosity Cube visit

The Curiosity Cube will be open to young visitors June 14 and 15 in Bellevue. Photo courtesy

This Curiosity Cube holds hands-on science fun  in a shipping container

The mission: To inspire future STEM careers

You see them every day here in Seattle, Tacoma, and other Washington port towns: row after row of shipping containers. They carry products, food, cars … and hands-on STEM education?

Inside the box

You heard that right. The Curiosity Cube is a 22-by-10-foot, retrofitted shipping container turned interactive mobile science. Its mission is to increase worldwide access to science, technology, engineering, and math education. The Cube will visit Bellevue and Kirkland between June 10 and 15, bringing enjoyable STEM learning to local students.

The container lab was born at MilliporeSigma, the U.S. and Canada Life Science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. MilliporeSigma has a facility in Bellevue, which is why the Curiosity Cube is making six of its 2024 U.S. tour stops in east King County. Its developers hope the traveling lab will inspire kids and help increase interest in STEM careers.

Curiosity Cube visit

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Why the cube?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that STEM occupations will grow twice as fast as non-STEM occupations by 2031. That means more young scientists will be needed to fill those roles.

However, Cube creators worry that the current generation of students doesn’t recognize the breadth and depth of career possibilities in STEM.

“According to research conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of MilliporeSigma, 64% of students have dreamed about a career that uses science or math, but 48% find it hard to see themselves as a scientist, despite having a curiosity for STEM.”

The Cube’s goal, inside which students can conduct three interactive experiments led by scientists, is to show students that “science is all around them.

“The Curiosity Cube is designed to spark scientific curiosity and passion early—paving the way to a future filled with innovative breakthroughs and encouraging students to pursue careers in STEM fields,” Cube officials wrote.


Visit the cube June 14 and 15

When they visit the Cube, students will use modular electronics, digital microscopes, and other scientific tools to learn about sustainability. The Curiosity Cube will make two stops on its tour of King County that are open to the public:

  • June 14 at the Bellevue Police Department Safety Fair, 2 to 5 p.m. The event will take place in the parking lot of Factoria Square Mall, 4004 Factoria Blvd. SE, Bellevue  
  • June 15 at Bellevue’s KidsQuest Children’s Museum, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The museum is located at 1116 108th Ave. NE. 

The Cube will also make stops at Ardmore Elementary School, Kirkland Boys & Girls Clubs of King County, and Lake Hills Elementary School, which are closed to the public.

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