Most people look at the Science Center as a fun and educational place to go on a Saturday afternoon...

What they might not realize is that we’re also trusted partners to the school systems of the areas we serve. Our educational programs supplement traditional classroom learning with a valuable informal education and serve to build on the foundation of knowledge kids gain in school. Most importantly, they further the mission of increasing competency in S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) competency.


Our educational programs include:
  • Field Trips
  • Off-Site Programs
  • School Break Camps
  • Summer Camps & Academy
  • Science Competitions
  • Homeschool Programs
  • Scout Programs
  • And much more


These activities enhance classroom experience and provide students with a different way of looking at science, math and technology.

17 Year-old Neel Patel Wins 14th Annual Orlando Science Center Competition

Plus All Finalists Take Home Cash Prizes


Orlando, FL - (April 30, 2011) – Neel Patel, a 17 year-old senior from Seminole County’s Oviedo High School, walked away with the top prize in the Dr. Nelson Ying Science Competition, an annual event hosted by the Orlando Science Center. Patel takes home a trophy, a $5,000 cash scholarship plus $1,000 awards for his science teacher and his school. In addition, cash prizes were distributed to all finalists, including a second prize award to 16 year-old Sarah Van Sickle from Brevard’s Satellite High School.

Since 1999, Philanthropist, Scientist and Entrepreneur Dr. Nelson Ying has worked with the Orlando Science Center to encourage the outstanding scientific accomplishments of our community’s teens. Patel’s research was a multi-year effort that focused on delivering information through sound rather than with graphs or charts to aid visually-impaired scientists or other professionals, like fighter pilots, who are overloaded with visual information. He discovered that people could comprehend data delivered through auditory patterns as accurately as they could through visual displays.

Involved with science research since sixth grade, Patel is also a dual enrollment student at the University of Central Florida, won multiple national and international awards served as lead author on multiple research papers. Outside of research, he enjoys competing in water sports and has earned the rank of Eagle Scout through the Boy Scouts of America. He is planning on attending Harvard University in the Fall.


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Sarah is a junior at Satellite High School in Satellite Beach, Fla. Her favorite subjects include music, math and science. She plays guitar, piano and alto sax in her spare time and enjoys playing violin in the Satellite High School symphonic orchestra.  She also volunteers every week at the Satellite Beach Library and participates in beach cleanups. Sarah hopes to grow up to be an engineer.

Sarah is a straight ‘A’ student who has been competing and placing in science competitions since first grade. Last summer, she was chosen by NASA to spend two weeks at Virginia Tech as part of their Collegiate Experience Program. Recent accomplishments include: 2012 Second Place Senior Physics Florida State Science Fair; 2012 First Place Physics Orlando Science Challenge; Senior Physical Best in Show 2012 Brevard Intracoastal Regional Science & Engineering Fair; 2012 First Place Physics Brevard Intracoastal Regional Science & Engineering Fair; 2012 National Society of Professional Engineers Innovative Engineering Award; 2012 Best Presentation Senior Division Brevard Intracoastal Regional Science & Engineering Fair; and 2012 Naval Science Award. Additional accomplishments include 2011 Excellent Solo Brevard Solo Ensemble Competition and 2012 Superior Symphony Orchestra District Assessment.

Sarah also holds club memberships and affiliations with: NASA INSPIRE Online Learning Community; Satellite High Academic, Business Ethics, First Robotics (RoboScorps) and Math Teams; Beta Club; National Honor Society; Harry Potter Club; and Mu Alpha Theta. Sarah also serves as the president of Mu Alpha Theta.


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777 E. Princeton Street • Orlando, Florida 32803 • Phone: 407.514.2000 • TTY: 407.514.2005 • Toll Free: 888.OSC.4FUN • Email:
  Orlando Science Center is supported by United Arts of Central Florida, host of and the collaborative Campaign for the Arts.
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