You might have heard the term STEM mentioned lately.

The acronym that has educators, businesses and politicians abuzz, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) is considered the cornerstone to our nation’s prosperity. It is an interdisciplinary approach to learning by combining multiple academic subjects and focusing on real-world lessons. It is about students applying science, technology, engineering and mathematics in contexts that make connections between school, community, work and the world around them while moving students forward – creating stronger problem solvers and more creative innovators to lead the global economy.

According to the National Academy of Sciences, innovation, largely derived from advances in science and engineering, is a primary driver of the future economy and creation of jobs. However, the percentage of science and engineering degrees awarded annually peaked in the 1960's. In Central Florida, we actually lag behind. Only 20% of the degrees awarded in Central Florida are in the STEM fields, compared to 30% nationally.

Students are finishing high school without being fully prepared for college. According to The Condition of College & Career Readiness 2013 report, only 19% of Florida’s class of 2013 scored “college-ready” on all four ACT exams. When compared to performance nationally, Florida ranked 41st in math and 48th in science on the 2013 ACT. In an increasingly competitive world, where innovation is the key to a flourishing economy, the need for us to educate ourselves and our children in STEM fields is more pressing than ever.

Orlando Science Center is taking a stand in the efforts to revitalize STEM education in our community. Whether you encounter us here in the facility with your family, with your Scout organization, on a field trip, or even through one of our off-site school programs, our goal is the same – to show people that exploring these critical areas in an informal way can be fun, exciting and even inspiring.

 

Our hope is that you’ll take the things you discovered as a result of your time with us and use them as a springboard to explore at home and in school too. Our ultimate goal is to create a STEM-centered community that paves the way towards excellence in science, technology, engineering and math.

If future generations don’t receive an adequate STEM education, they won’t have the opportunity for the highest paying jobs, compete in a global market or fill the STEM pipeline that leads to economic growth. We hope you’ll join us on this journey!

On March 5, 2014, Orlando Science Center and partners including Lockheed Martin, Florida State University's National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Museum of Science and Industry (Tampa), STEM Sim Ex, FIRST and Team Orlando converged in Tallahassee to facilitate discussion with state legislators; engage them in active participation of hands-on STEM activities; and promote the value of science centers and strategic partnerships as a tool to inspire and encourage our youth to pursue STEM careers.

In this video, Orlando Science Center President & CEO JoAnn Newman talks about the STEM crisis and what science centers, industry and education are doing about it; Tobi Allen, Community Relations Manager at Lockheed Martin, talks about the importance of getting kids excited about STEM careers; Science Center Educator Emily Duguid breaks down the life-size Angry Birds activity; and Rep. Charles McBurney of Jacksonville comments on the impact STEM learning can have on today's youth.

Special thanks to Dave Heller for shooting and editing this video.


Bookmark and Share

Whirl a cup of water over your head without getting wet:

KidsCorner Water Whirlers

Click to View and Download this PDF


Bookmark and Share

STEM Day at the Florida Capitol was a huge success!

On March 5, 2014, Orlando Science Center and partners including Lockheed Martin, Florida State University's National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Museum of Science and Industry (Tampa), STEM Sim Ex, FIRST and Team Orlando converged in Tallahassee to facilitate discussion with state legislators; engage them in active participation of hands-on STEM activities; and promote the value of science centers and strategic partnerships as a tool to inspire and encourage our youth to pursue STEM careers.

Collaboration between science centers, schools and industry are vital to filling the STEM pipeline with a comprehensive approach from cradle to career.

Among the legislators pictured are Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, Rep. Jason T. Brodeur, Rep. David Santiago and Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda.

Photo Credit: Roberto Gonzalez


Bookmark and Share

Learn about how we’re impacted by air pressure:

KidsCorner BeakmansCard

Click to View and Download this PDF


Bookmark and Share

On Wednesday, March 5, 2014, Orlando Science Center and partners will take to the Florida Capitol in Tallahassee to highlight the importance of science, technology, engineering and math education and how strategic partnerships can build the pipeline for tomorrow's technology workers today.

Joining Orlando Science Center is Lockheed Martin, Museum of Science and Industry (Tampa), Florida State University, First Robotics, STEM Sim Ex and Team Orlando. Participants will set up in the courtyard and inside the Capitol building with experiments, flight simulators and more. State legislators will be engaged in hands-on activities while discussing the importance of STEM learning in growing Florida's technological workforce.

Watch the video below to see how science centers, education and industry are crucial to building the STEM pipeline.


Bookmark and Share

777 E. Princeton Street • Orlando, Florida 32803 • Phone: 407.514.2000 • TTY: 407.514.2005 • Toll Free: 888.OSC.4FUN • Email: [email protected]
  Orlando Science Center is supported by United Arts of Central Florida, host of power2give.org/centralflorida and the collaborative Campaign for the Arts.
This project is funded in part by Orange County Government through the Arts & Cultural Affairs Program. Privacy Policy • Accessibility