COLUMBUS, Ohio — Columbus' Center of Science and Industry, or COSI, says during a pandemic, distance learning is needed now more than ever. However, it's not equitable across race or income levels.

What You Need To Know

  • COSI and Virgin Hyperloop are teaming up to bring STEM education to kids in grades K-12 

  • The museum is not currently open to the public, but offers several educational materials online at no charge

  • COSI's CEO says they plan to reopen in late fall


So, they've teamed up with Virgin Hyperloop, the leader in Hyperloop technology, to bring STEM kits called COSI Learning Lunchboxes to underserved youth — with hands-on components to make the technology come alive. 

“For us, Hyperloop One is that perfect ecosystem of STEM. That is because you're not just studying engineering or one type of engineering-mechanical engineering, you're studying 15 different kinds of just engineering. But you're also studying life science. We as COSI, can teach this whole spectrum of science stuff, not just for the K through 12 space, but for the average Joe and Jane out there,” said COSI CEO Frederic Bertley.

“The idea that COSI is creating content that can keep kids engaged and get them involved in STEM and give them the opportunity to understand that they have an opportunity to work in STEM, you know, I think is huge,” said Virgin Hyperloop VP of Marketing and Communications Ryan Kelly.

Virgin Hyperloop had previously done a road show at COSI.

Central Ohio is also one of the finalists Virgin Hyperloop is looking at for a six-mile testing track.

Hyperloop is looking for regulatory approval by 2025, and the goal by 2050 is a Chicago to Columbus to Pittsburgh Midwest Connect Route.

Kelly says Hyperloop is the infusion of the digital revolution with transportation and infrastructure and the STEM jobs of tomorrow are here today.

“Your civil engineering, you have your mechanical engineer. You have your infrastructure and construction folks. You have your software developers,” said Kelly.

Bertley says the COSI Learning Lunchboxes are currently in development, but should be out soon. 

In the meantime, kids in K-12 can take advantage of COSI Connects Digital universe-free content online on their website.

“Two Virgin Hyperloop videos are up supporting some of the stuff. We have all kinds of curriculum-correlated exercises for students to do, to access, stuff for parents to work with their kids. We also have 3D tours of our exhibits,” said Bertley.

COSI plans to reopen to the public in late fall.