With the demand for STEM careers on the rise throughout Florida and an intense underrepresentation of women and people of color in STEM fields across the country, Orlando Science Center has joined the efforts to break down barriers and revitalize STEM education in our community.
Neighborhood Science is our new initiative providing high-quality STEM education for multiple days each week in afterschool programs and community centers within underrepresented neighborhoods. It is the bridge that connects these issues by offering opportunities focused on increasing confidence and interest in STEM concepts for youth in Central Florida.
We recognize that to have a substantial impact on youth in our community, we need to connect with them where they live. Not everyone can make it to Orlando Science Center to experience our offerings and true impact is not achieved by a museum visit once or twice a year. Our outreach has been refocused to engage students in their neighborhoods with an authentic and consistent presence.
Students will engage in hands-on STEM discovery and skill-building through multiple activities, including coding, robotics, virtual reality, engineering design challenges, 3D printing and more. Our team will nurture long-term relationships through frequent interactions several times a week. Neighborhood Science will expand our impact throughout Central Florida as we create a STEM-centered community that paves the way for access and opportunities for all.
- Create and facilitate culturally relevant STEM-focused learning modules, covering topics such as the Engineering Design Process, computer science, coding, robotics, virtual reality, and maker spaces.
- Provide increased number of high-quality STEM learning opportunities within targeted underrepresented communities through authentic partnerships facilitated throughout the academic year and summer.
- Collaboratively develop meaningful STEM curriculum focused on improving 21st Century Skills (communication and problem solving).
- Connect youth from our community to STEM careers opportunities in Central Florida.
- Improve confidence and interest towards STEM education and STEM career fields.
- Listen to feedback and learn from onsite experiences to improve offerings to better serve the needs of our community.