TDT Funding Means the Beginning of LIFE

Orlando Science Center is grateful to have received approval from Mayor Demings and the Orange County Board of Commissioners for a Tourist Development Tax grant of $10 million to fund the development and installation of LIFE, an all-new conservation exhibit. LIFE is Phase III of our ongoing $35 million comprehensive campaign to revitalize our educational content and renovate exhibits to meet the integral STEM learning needs of our growing community.


This exhibit will tell the story of conservation through the creatures that share our planet. By encountering live animals and learning more about their changing habitats, visitors will better understand how our actions affect all living things. LIFE will focus on three distinct world environments: Ocean, Rain Forest and Swamp. These areas will feature hands-on experiential learning that will vividly demonstrate our own interconnectedness with the natural world. Visitors will be engaged and empowered to take positive action to conserve our natural resources and protect our fragile planet.


Thanks to TDT grant funding, development can now begin on LIFE. The entire process will take approximately two years with an estimated premiere date in Fall 2021. Orlando Science Center will be working with ROTO, Inc, a world-renowned exhibit design firm, which previously designed and built our popular early childhood space, New KidsTown.


The approval of this funding request came after approvals and recommendations by the TDT Application Review Committee in January and the Tourist Development Council in March. The LIFE project received the highest score amongst the four other groups that had applied for funding through this cycle of the TDT grant program.

Orlando Science Center One Step Closer To Funding For New Exhibit

Orlando Science Center is proud to have received Tourist Development Tax Application Review Committee’s full support for our $10 million request for our new exhibit, LIFE, and astounded to have received the highest score amongst any groups that have applied for funding through Orange County Government’s Tourist Development Tax grant program.


LIFE, our new nature and environment exhibit hall is Phase III of our ongoing multi-stage $35 million comprehensive campaign, Unlock Science. This campaign is necessary to help revitalize our educational content and renovate our exhibits to meet the integral STEM learning needs of our growing community. We have raised over $10 million to date enabling us to complete Phases I and II of the campaign, which include renovations to our popular KidsTown and STEM Discovery Center spaces, respectively. Our next phase of exhibit design and renovations will be for LIFE.


LIFE will provide the Central Florida community with an essential resource for environmental education, as well as acting as a hub for visitors to make meaningful connections with their local ecosystem. New interactive experiences will be installed in three distinctive habitats to teach visitors about our shared environment and how we negatively and positively impact the ecosystems around us.


To help broaden Orange County’s tourism infrastructure and strengthen the local economy the Orange County Government established a competitive Tourist Development Tax grant application program to fund projects that will enhance the capacities of local arts and cultural organizations.


Orlando Science Center submitted a capital projects proposal for funding in fall and presented the $10 million project LIFE before the Application Review Community for Orange County Government’s Tourist Development Tax in January. Last Friday, Orlando Science Center’s project for LIFE, along with four other local arts and cultural entities, were evaluated and scored by the Application Review Committee.  The Application Review Committee’s recommendations will now move forward for the consideration of the Tourist Development Council and later to the Board of County Commissioners.


Initial development of the exhibit can begin once funding is approved and confirmed.