Orlando Science Center Volunteers Inspire No Matter Where They Are

Orlando Science Center Volunteers Inspire Science Learning For Life!

 

Volunteer Appreciation Week may have been in April but we want to thank our devoted volunteers all year round for the amazing impact they have on everything we do! Despite the unusual circumstances we face surrounding COVID-19, Orlando Science Center volunteers continue to donate their time and energy to helping inspire science learning for life remotely. Volunteers are the backbone of the Orlando Science Center, and we would not be where we are today without their hard work, enthusiasm, and dedication.

Every day,  Science Center volunteers make a connection with someone which will last a lifetime. Whether they are explaining Newton’s Laws in Kinetic Zone, performing a science-based magic trick to an audience, or helping out behind the scenes — volunteers are the driving force behind our mission to inspire science learning for life.

Over the past year, 2,075 individuals volunteered at Orlando Science Center. These include Event Volunteers, Collegiate Interns, Adult Volunteers, and Catalyst Youth Volunteers. Each team brings their own unique skillsets, experiences, and authenticity to their service. You’ve probably seen them around the building wearing their various colored T-shirts!

 

These volunteers donated a total of 58,084 hours within the last 12 months. That’s 2,420 days worth of service! In that amount of time, you could read Charles Darwin’s On The Origin Of Species 4,323 times if you read at an average of 250 words per minute. Because alligators have been recorded swimming upwards of 20 miles per hour, an alligator could swim over 1 million miles if it had 58,084 hours to do so (and if it never got tired)!

Orlando Science Center loves tracking data. It helps us define our goals, gives concrete perspective on our impact, and we also find it interesting and exciting! But data doesn’t truly get to the heart of what our volunteers do on a daily basis. Data has a hard time defining the joy on someone’s face when a volunteer helps them create something new. Data doesn’t always show the benefit of admin work completed by our volunteers behind the scenes. And it certainly doesn’t evoke the delight we get working every day with a wonderful team of volunteers.

 

Our volunteers are committed to making the world better able to tackle complex problems by thinking creatively and collaborating, and helping us move toward a more equitable future by striving for growth.

 

It is a privilege to work with so many dedicated, hardworking, and amazing volunteers. We hope you will join us in thanking them the next time you interact with someone! You can learn more about volunteering here.

Central Florida PPE Maker Movement Needs YOU to Join the Cause!

In Central Florida, PPE shortages have brought local Makers together even though we're all staying apart. 

In times of crisis it’s admirable to see how many people are eager to step up and lend a hand. But with so many needs to fill for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), it can be difficult to know where to start, or what you can do to help fill the Central Florida PPE pipeline. Don't get overwhelmed! Everyone is capable of becoming a PPE hero. You just need the right tools and direction. Here are some tips on helping the cause.

Join an existing organization!

There are many organizations that have pulled together and are successfully optimizing their resources. The Maker Effect Foundation and Orlando Face Mask Strong are local responses for Central and South Florida. They work directly with healthcare providers and first responders to ensure they’re creating the supplies that are most in demand and are front line worker-approved designs. Find an organization near you!

Donate!

There are more way to donate than you think. While financial contributions and face masks are consistent needs, there are many way to contribute to the Central Florida PPE makers.

 

  1. Loan or donate equipment.
    Many large organizations are accepting equipment such as sewing machines, 3D printers and filament, and laser cutters.
  2. Donate materials.
    Extra fabric, elastic, printer filament, and more can all go to use. If you have materials lying around that may work for PPE, contact the groups above to see if they need them or can point you in the right direction. 
  3. Donate your time and skills.
    Can't sew? No problem! Many nonprofit organizations are in need of volunteers to help with project management  and running materials to keep their operations moving smoothly.
  4. Share it on social.
    Simply spreading awareness can go a long way! Sharing this article or the needs of your local groups on your personal social media outlets can work wonders. You never know who has the skills, equipment, or time to make a huge difference!

Stay Informed!

As situations and supply chains change, the needs of an organization may change as well.

 

It’s always a good idea to ask what supplies are most in demand.  GetUsPPE.org along with Open Source Medical Supplies and Nation of Makers are working together to have a single national database of PPE needs and suppliers to enable more rapid response at scale: https://getusppe.org/makers

 

Please remember that not all Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is created equally and to do your research to ensure your masks will be as effective as possible.

 

Here are some medically reviewed PPE Design sites:

Thank you to all of our Central Florida PPE heroes!

Volunteer Appreciation Week

April 7–13 is National Volunteer Appreciation Week!

To celebrate our incredible volunteers and their contributions, we're highlighting the different types of volunteers at OSC. From working one-on-one with guests to learning about the Science Center behind-the-scenes, our volunteers work to ensure our guests always have a memorable experience at the Science Center. We’d like to take the time to showcase the extraordinary work our volunteers do each and every day.

 
Adult Volunteer Program

Have you seen one of our many team members wearing a blue volunteer T-shirt? These fantastic adult volunteers have donated more than 54,900 hours of their time to the Science Center in just one year! Our adult volunteers have diverse backgrounds and unique roles at the Science Center, but they share one important trait: they’re dedicated to inspiring science learning for life. Their guidance and enthusiasm have helped shape the lives of thousands of guests who’ve visited the Science Center.  

 

Catalyst Youth Volunteer Program

Young community members also shine at the Science Center! Our Catalyst Youth Volunteer Program helps youths develop collaboration and teamwork, critical thinking, cultural awareness, and many more skills for college and career success. Visit The Hive: A Makerspace to learn new skills from these future leaders, or wave to them as they help facilitate our exhibits!

 

Internship Program

Our Internship Program provides college students with the in-depth experience and skills they need to succeed in their future careers. From animal care to special events, interns work closely with museum professionals to gain valuable experience that can’t be found inside a classroom. Their innovative ideas, enthusiasm and desire to forward the Science Center’s mission, not only in themselves but in every guest that walks through the doors of the Science Center.

 

To learn more about any of these volunteer programs, or to apply, click the button below.