Background

About XplorLabs

Designed to Inspire and Engage

UL XplorLabs is an educational platform designed to encourage students to “solve through science.” It is especially focused on engaging middle school students during a time in their educational lives when interest in science is shown to decrease dramatically. Through interactive videos, instructional experiences, hands-on classroom activities, and creative classroom challenges, this free, STEM-focused experience:

  • Builds scientific knowledge, passion, and commitment among students
  • Teaches key concepts related to the Next Generation Science Standards disciplinary core ideas, and crosscutting and connecting concepts
  • Makes it simple to implement hands-on exercises in the classroom
  • Shows students that by using scientific inquiry to ask why a phenomenon happens, they can solve real problems and help create innovative solutions for a safer world

And that’s not all. Expect new capabilities and prepare to investigate new topics as UL XplorLabs continues to evolve and expand.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Is UL?

As part of the overall mission of Underwriters Laboratories Inc. to work for a safer world, we’ve long been committed to increasing scientific literacy and student engagement. This has translated into many successful initiatives, from our Safety Smart program to the annual UL Innovation Education Award and now, UL XplorLabs. Learn more about UL and our work.

How should I teach an XplorLabs module?

Each UL XplorLabs module focuses on a specific topic like Portable Electrical Power, and has been designed to be flexible enough to complement science, engineering, and technology curricula. The elements of each module - the interactive video, online experience, classroom activities, or challenges - can be done individually and in any order.

Do these educational materials meet Next Generation Science Standards?

Yes, every UL XplorLabs component was carefully created to align with NGSS, including crosscutting concepts, application of science and engineering practices, and attention to disciplinary core ideas. The landing page for each module lists the specific standards covered.

Will additional modules be added over time?

Yes! As UL XplorLabs continues to develop, new topics, modules, and capabilities will be added. Sign up for email updates to stay informed.

Do I have to do the entire module with my students?

No, the module was designed to be done in sum or used in parts for different contexts (STEM lab, science classroom) or applications (engaging students with science and engineering or safety science).

Can my students do this independently?

Yes, the interactive videos and simulations can be done independently or as a class.

Did You Know?

73%

Of low-income teens have little or no exposure to pathways to careers in science

K-3

On average, K-3 students spend 19 minutes per day on science and 89 minutes per day on language arts

70%

Teachers who conduct hands-on learning activities on a weekly basis out-perform their peers by more than 70% of a grade level in math and 40% of a grade level in science