About Us

About us

Our mission is to produce cutting-edge and rigorous STEAM education resources and programs for schools, homeschools, out-of-school programs, and self-motivated learners.

Founded in July 2019 by Isabel Mendiola and Peter Haydock, Gearbox Labs, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) / 509 (a)(2) public charity incorporated in the State of Wisconsin, United States.

Watch our Introduction Video on YouTube.

With over 45 years of education experience in the classroom, education publishing, K-20 education, and adult learning, as well as numerous awards for their work, the founders created Gearbox Labs to address an international shortage of STEM professionals. We are known for 

  • We are both former science teachers with a passion for engineering and coding.
  • We have a strong commitment to innovation and trying new approaches in our classrooms.
  • We have advised numerous students and groups to win local, regional, and national competitions.
  • We believe student learning should be guided by the standards but maximize real-world application.
  • Project and Problem Based Learning connects students to the real world.
  • The only failure is giving up.

Our Journey

We started Gearbox Labs in 2019 to address the shortage of STEM professional in the world. Our work as teachers, trainers, mentors, publishers, and advocates led us to start Gearbox Labs to share our passion and commitment to students, teachers, and self-motivated learners.

To date, our programs and resources are now in 41 states and 35 countries. Our work has impacted 1000s of students from our home state in Wisconsin, USA, to as far as Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Philippines.

In 2020 Gearbox Labs became the producing organization for two Maker Faires in Wisconsin.  ... view more


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Why Gearbox Labs Succeeds

We started Gearbox Labs just before a worldwide pandemic and succeeded. The quality of our work, the vision of the board of directors and support of our partners allowed us to pivot to virtual support and 

Some of our more notable accomplishments:

  • Helping one student win the Mexican National Science and Engineering Competition in 2017 and 2018.
  • In 2020 and 2021 we provided support for Omro High School for their ice thickness measuring devices. The school won Samsung Solve for Tomorrow in 2020 and was an MIT-Lemelson 2021 winner.
  • In 2022 we took on a special project and mentored nine students from two different middle schools. All nine students qualified for the Badger State Science and Engineering Fair. Six of the students qualified for the Broadcom Masters Science Fair.
  • We have provided workshops for Make Community (Make Magazine and Maker Faires) through its Learning Lab program and Maker Campus as well as dozens of schools.... view more

Our first curriculum, The STEAM Edition, features 25 projects with 135 project extensions for a STEM/STEAM classroom. Our curriculum integrates engineering design, coding in C/C++, and digital prototyping into STEM/STEAM content. We feature many data sensors in the book that can be used to collect data or control machines. We have written the book for grades 5 and up. The book can also be used in an afterschool or homeschool setting. We piloted the curriculum in Isabel's classroom in Monterrey Mexico from 2015 - 2019 with over 1000 students from grades 7 through 9. The projects are easy to use, but at the same time rigorous.LEARN MORE

Our third curricula is about to be released. The STEAM+C Classroom: STEM Data Edition will feature 26 projects that focus on collecting, storing, and presenting real-time and large data sets. Projects include connecting to Google Sheets, Excel, cellphone apps, and live graphing on TFT screens. We will also feature projects on collecting photo and video data.LEARN MORE

Our second curriculum, The STEAM+C Classroom: Internet of Things Edition is now available. This curriculum features 25 projects with over 110 extensions that use Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and GPS connected devices. There are new sensors and reporting capabilities in this curriculum. Skills include using apps, HTML, CSS for reporting data. LEARN MORE

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Gearbox Labs is also the producer of the Maker Faires in Milwaukee and Sheboygan (WI).