About the inspiration lab

IALR’s Inspiration Lab advances K-12 STEM education by providing quality, hands-on activities to students and educators within IALR’s service region. The 45-foot mobile lab hosts guests at IALR and visits schools, neighborhoods, organizations, community events and more.

Participants aboard the Inspiration Lab enjoy a high level of exposure to STEM and are amazed and excited by the presentations and hands-on educational activities. The Inspiration Lab is our means of delivering STEM education to Southern Virginia and beyond.

Meet Our

Program Coordinator

Bruce Waller

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Office: 434.766.6786
Meet The Team

The Inspiration Lab offers:  

  • 60-inch HD touchscreen ceiling monitor 
  • Surface Pro 4 touchscreen tablets with keyboards
  • MakerBot and Dremel 3D printers
  • Chemical fume extractor
  • Remote-operated handicap lift system
  • Robots, probes and other green technologies
  • Large assortment of hands-on learning supplies and equipment
  • Wireless internet access


(Advance reservation and planning required with Program Coordinator)

Kid Spark Education Kits

Kid Spark Education’s hands-on, easy-to-teach STEM program for kids will prepare your elementary and middle school students for a lifetime of interest in science and technology. The program is so much more than a STEM kit that teaches just one or two concepts—we provide you with a comprehensive preK-8 STEM curriculum, teacher training, and robust and reusable Mobile STEM Labs that encourage collaboration, creativity, and problem-solving from robotics to coding, applied mathematics to science, and technology to reality.

Simple Robotics (Engino Solar Pro Duo Kits)

Students build technical models easily and creatively so they can spend more time in experimenting, interacting, and learning about technology while “learning by doing.”

Weather Stations

Students build  “Green Science”  weather stations while learning about the climate and tracking weather changes and conducting experiments on the greenhouse effect.

Series/Parallel Light Circuits

Students use technology to learn how to construct complete light circuits: series and parallel and afterwards building (engineering) series and parallel light circuits with EIN-O’s Light Circuits Box Kit.

Digital Blue Microscopes

Students are able to view prepared slides at 10X, 60X, and 200X magnifications.


Students are able to use the wireless digital microscope to display and capture microscopic images, such as hair, skin, clothing, etc., on all Apple IOS devices.  This device is used in the fields of Science Education, Nanotechnology, Law Enforcement, Medical Fields, and Quality Inspections.

Digital Porta-Scopes

Students use the scopes to view different fingerprint patterns while discussing the three basic: arch, loop, and whorl.

Solar Power (Renewable/Nonrenewable Energy Sources)

Students get an opportunity to understand how solar energy is produced and build solar-powered kits.

Wind Power/Wind Generators

Students will see a high-velocity fan turned on in front of a wind turbine that is connected to a light panel.  When the blades from the wind turbine begin to spin, energy is produced causing the lights to function.

Glo Germ

Students get to use a lotion that glows a bright blue/white under ultraviolet light. Widely used for teaching proper handwashing and demonstrating how germs and viruses can be spread.

Hydrophobic Magic Sand

It is used to demonstrate hydrophobic qualities similar to how water and oil do not mix. Students have fun making shapes under water and the sand never gets “wet.”

Acids & Bases

Students investigate properties of acids and bases, test samples, and pH chart.

Hydro Cars

Students revolutionize the future of transportation through fuel cell technology.


Students mix poly-vinyl alcohol (PVA) and sodium borate (borax) to produce cool slime.

Makey Makey Kits

Students are able to create new technologies at the intersection of music, improvisation, play, and learning.

The Finch

Students are able to work in courses in which Java is the predominant programming language to tap into the native functionality of the computer, such as speech synthesis, video data, audio files, etc.

Cell/Cell Structures

Students are able to identify the structure of an onion under the microscopes as well as research the cell anatomy through iPad applications.

Electronic Snap Circuits

Electronic Snap Circuits makes learning electronics easy and fun! Just follow the colorful pictures in our manual and build exciting projects, such as FM radios, digital voice recorders, AM radios, burglar alarms, doorbells, and much more!

Who We Serve

We visit public, parochial or private K-12 schools or educational groups within the state of Virginia and part of North Carolina. We concentrate on grades 3-12 and are particularly interested in going to middle schools.


Inspiration Lab visits are at no charge to the schools visited in the cities of Danville and Martinsville and the counties of Pittsylvania, Halifax, Mecklenburg, Franklin, Patrick, and Henry. For schools outside of these areas, contact Bruce Waller.

How to Request a Visit

If you’re interested in having the Inspiration Lab visit your school or organization, click here or on the button below to complete our request form. We strongly urge you to complete the form at least a month prior to your desired date. Note that submission of the form does not guarantee a visit; it is merely a request and will be answered by our Program Coordinator with next steps. 

Contact Bruce Waller with any questions.

Bring Inspiration to Your Door Request a Visit from our Inspiration Lab