Unlock Science Campaign

Unlock Science Campaign

Our Past

In 1955, Orlando Science Center started its life as the Central Florida Museum, and looked much different from the institution it is today. Over the last 63 years, the Science Center has grown from a “museum on the move” that toured content to schools and other learning sites to the premier informal learning institution we are today.


Our Present

Recognizing not only the need to revitalize our physical exhibits, our leadership also recognized the growing importance and place that the Science Center occupied in the educational landscape of Central Florida. In order to both address our needed physical updates and the need for high-quality informal education, OSC began the Unlock Science Campaign. To date, our comprehensive campaign has made many critical improvements at the Science Center a possibility: 

  • In 2015, OSC finished renovating the lobby and science store, while also reclaiming space for our new KidsTown exhibit by performing an in-fill on the second floor.
  • In 2016, construction for new KidsTown completed in October, which helped increase attendance by 10% from the prior year with a 5-year attendance growth of 66%.
  • In 2017, construction started on the STEM Discovery Center, which entailed renovating our 7 learning labs within the Education department. By the end of the year, 4 of the learning labs were being regularly used for programming, classes, and winter break camps.
  • In 2018, we finished the learning lab renovations, while also debuting the new Flight Lab, made possible by a generous grant from the Office of Naval Research. The first half of 2018 also saw the completion of our new making and tinkering exhibit, The Hive: A Makerspace.

With the completion of so many exciting projects associated with the campaign, the end of FY18 brought us to another record-breaking year for attendance with over 670,000 visitors reached by OSC.

Additionally, based on these accomplishments the Science Center has been honored as an Institute of Museum and Library Services National Medal finalist for two consecutive years. This honor is only bestowed upon 15 museums each year, and represents the highest award for a museum or library in the nation.


Our Future

With the successful completion of Phase I and II of the Unlock Science Campaign, and as we look to the future, we will continue to innovate content and reclaim space with the focus on Nature and Environment, Health and Wellness, and by updating the CineDome to provide an immersive Fulldome Digital experience.

In Phase III, the current phase of the campaign, OSC is keeping an eye on the future from an organizational standpoint and from a conservation perspective by fundraising for Life, Phase III, in new nature and environment exhibit hall. In this space we will continue to inspire science learning for life by:

  • Connecting visitors to real-world environmental problems that impact their daily lives.
  • Empowering learners of all ages to see how they can impact the world through conservation efforts both big and small.
  • Facilitate stronger connections between our community and the natural world by offering hands-on environmental education opportunities to our visitors.

A. Friends’ Foundation

AdventHealth for Children

Amy and Chris Chapman

Anonymous Donors


Bert W. Martin Foundation

Betsy and Shelton Granade

Brandan Lanman

Bridgette and David Baten

Capt. Steve "Snak" Nakagawa

Carmen Burkhammer and Scott Wilson

Catriona and Mike Harris

Chesley G. Magruder Foundation, Inc.

Cindy and Bruce Anderson

City of Orlando

David Christensen

Demetria and Jeffrey Sloan

Dennis Nolte

Digital Assurance Certification, LLC

DiPasqua Enterprises, Inc.

Dr. Phillips Charities

Dr. Sarah and Allen Layton

Duke Energy Foundation

Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation

Embrace Families

Esther McKean

Event Network

Faith and Jeff Buhler


Florida Blue Foundation

Florida Division of Cultural Affairs

Gary Heath

Harriett Lake Family Trust

Heather and Samual Miller

James M. Cox Foundation

JoAnn and Rich Newman

Julie Tyk

Karen and Dennis Lind

Kingsley and Devin Elmore

Linda Avery and Janet Edwards
In honor of Marian and Bill Lacy

Linda Cadogan and Chuck Beverly

Lindsay Winter

Lisa and Michel Champagne

Lorraine and Jerry Sullivan

Marc Swanson

Margaret A. Cargill Foundation

Marilyn Moran

Massey Services, Inc.

Matthew Levine

Mila Smith

Office of Naval Research

Orange County Arts and Cultural Affairs

Orange County Government

Orlando Health

Orlando Utilities Commission

Paula Stuart

PNC Bank

Publix Super Markets Charities

Rita and Tim Flaherty

Seay Business Solutions, LLC

Shannon and Min Cho

Sharon and Marc Hagle

Sheila and Patrick Aland

State of Florida

Sue and James Cross

The Art and Phyllis Grindle Foundation

The Hearst Foundation

The Isaacs Family

The Joe & Sarah Galloway Foundation

The Martin Andersen-Gracia Andersen Foundation, Inc.

Tupperware Brands Corporation

Virginia and Robert Finfrock

Walt Disney Company Foundation

William John Slot, Jr.

Ying Family Foundation