Fresh Programming in Food Heroes Courtesy of The Pabst Steinmetz Foundation

The Pabst Steinmetz Foundation helps feed curiosity with fresh programming

At Orlando Science Center, we deliver awe-inspiring programs to encourage people to get hands-on with STEM and nurture their curiosity about the world we live in. Funding from The Pabst Steinmetz Foundation will enable OSC to create programming featured in our new Food Heroes exhibit sponsored by Orlando Health that melds the culinary arts with critical instruction on the impact of healthy food systems on our overall well-being.

Fresh programs include hands-on cooking demonstrations and farming workshops, reimagined live shows where visitors can step into the role of a soil scientist and conduct experiments, and expanded possibilities for speaking engagements with real-world experts.

We deeply appreciate this grant award from The Pabst Steinmetz Foundation as it makes it possible for us to create and pilot a fresh series of programs that highlight innovative technologies and STEM concepts related to our food and food systems.

Brandan Lanman
Vice President of Visitor Experience at Orlando Science Center
Guests controlling robotic arm to pick strawberries in Food Heroes exhibit

Orlando Science Center was one of six projects chosen from over 30 applications the foundation received from across the United States. “This year’s grant recipients have such range in the way they will impact the community.” says Chuck Steinmetz, Foundation co-founder and former Chair of the Orlando Science Center’s Board of Trustees. The Pabst Steinmetz Foundation placed special emphasis on funding new programming, or supporting ones in their infancy. Projects also possess the promise of sustainability and the development of models which can be replicated across Central Florida, the state, and the U.S.

Orlando Science Center is excited to present this programming to our students and visitors with support from The Pabst Steinmetz Foundation. To stay up to date on programming, be sure to follow us on social media and check our calendar of events!

Learn More About our New Exhibits and Dining Options

New Food Heroes Exhibit Presented by Orlando Health Puts Down Roots at Orlando Science Center

See how local partners are creating a more equitable, sustainable, healthy, and community-based food system in the all-new Food Heroes Exhibit presented by Orlando Health!

Orlando Science Center in collaboration with a host of community partners has developed an all-new hands-on exhibit illuminating the fascinating and complex world of our food system. The Food Heroes exhibit is presented by Orlando Health and is located on the first level of Orlando Science Center in the all-new 4Roots Cafe. Inspired by John Rivers of 4Rivers BBQ/4Roots and his passion for food and farming education, we enlisted a group of advisors, including 4Roots, to help develop an experience featuring food heroes making a positive impact in our community and how each of us can join them to make a difference.

“Food might be the true universal language,” said JoAnn Newman, President and CEO of Orlando Science Center. “We need it to sustain ourselves. We use it to comfort ourselves. It is often a singular reason for us to engage with one another. This exhibit promotes the interconnectedness of the food system, and spotlights those people fighting to make it more equitable, sustainable, and healthier for everyone. We are so grateful to our exhibit partners and to our presenting sponsor, Orlando Health, for collaborating with us to make this exhibit a reality.”

Through this integrated exhibit/dining experience, visitors participate with interactive stations, see videos, get cooking tutorials, and learn how to get involved with local efforts. Interactions include a robotic arm that “picks strawberries” as an example of farming automation and an interactive where visitors learn about pollinators as butterflies interact with their shadows. Visitors can also control the decomposition of fruits and vegetables using time-lapse video to understand the importance of composting. And a living wall highlights the importance of vertical farming in growing food as our population increases and we need to grow more food in urban environments, closer to the people who need it most.

Guests controlling robotic arm to pick strawberries in Food Heroes exhibit

“One of the main pillars of 4Roots as an organization is education. We strive to educate our community about the connection between food choices and individual health while helping students and farmers to grow fresh produce sustainably.” said John Rivers, Founder and CEO of 4Roots. “We are delighted to partner with the Orlando Science Center on the Food Heroes Exhibit and to honor those that are working to provide a healthy and accessible food system for our community.”

A demonstration area with a giant LED screen provides an opportunity for expert speakers from Orlando Health, 4Roots, and others to present on topics ranging from nutrition to soil science. This space will also be the setting for cooking demonstrations, where cameras will provide an intimate view of the process on the LED Display. When not being used for demonstrations, the LED Display will present a 30-minute video, featuring local food heroes. Fifteen different local organizations share their stories, ranging from hydroponic gardens to culinary medicine. Spotlighted organizations include 4Roots, Black Bee Honey, HEBNI Nutrition, Fleet Farming, O-Town Compost and presenting sponsor Orlando Health, among others. Their stories share the impact our community is making on the issues of sustainable farming and food security.

Person doing demonstration in Orlando Science Center Food Heroes exhibit

“Orlando Health is thrilled to be the presenting sponsor for Orlando Science Center’s new Food Heroes Exhibit,” said Antwan Williams, administrator for Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. “We believe that this will be a fun and engaging way to educate families in our community about the importance of proper nutrition as part of an overall healthy lifestyle.”

The Food Heroes exhibit, presented by Orlando Health, is included with paid admission to Orlando Science Center and access is free for annual members. Visitors are encouraged to explore the new exhibit and then enjoy a delicious and healthy meal of locally sourced food, prepared by the 4Roots Cafe. Coming soon, visitors will enjoy a web-enabled app experience that is being developed for future use. They will also soon be able to create their own digital plant, which will then be shared on the LED Display with other visitor creations.

Learn More About our New Exhibits and Dining Options