Orlando Science Center Celebrates Museum Advocacy Day!

Orlando Science Center Advocates for STEM Learning in Museums! 

For more than ten years, the American Alliance of Museums has been providing the essential training and support museum advocates need to meet face-to-face in Washington, D.C. with members of Congress. This year, National Museum Advocacy Day is February 22 and 23.

Being an advocate of our work is vitally important to promoting lifelong STEM learning. Teaching our nation’s leaders about the impact of federal government funding on our local projects helps Orlando Science Center garner funds to do exciting work. Many of our offerings have been supported by the federal government through grants. For example, construction of the Flight Lab and its public programming was supported by a grant from the Office of Naval Research (ONR). With their support, we were able to generate a unique learning experience using virtual reality to teach visitors about the science of aviation and US Navy/Marine Corps careers.

“The Flight Lab increases student exposure to STEM...in a way that is engaging and interactive through the use of virtual reality to understand STEM principles.”

— Office of Naval Research Representative
Visitors use virtual reality technology in the Flight Lab experience.

The Science Center has also been actively engaged in promoting inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA). Our IDEA efforts began with a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) in 2017.

What started with IDEA staff training branched into a new IDEA Council made up of employees from various areas of  Orlando Science Center charged with pursuing IDEA efforts and creating an institutional culture focused on IDEA. The council is also external-facing to better serve our diverse community.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has also contributed to our programming to reach underserved populations of children. The $1.2 million in funding for the program ensures chronically and critically ill, hospital-bound children ages 9 through 19 have access to high-quality STEM education resources.

 Orlando Science Center and our collaborators at the University of Central Florida, AdventHealth for Children, Nemours Children’s Hospital, Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital, and external evaluator from Illinois State University are working together to create mobile carts filled with educational STEM activities that educate and inspire learners to delve into the science and engineering behind NASA’s missions.

If you are curious to learn more about this project please visit  www.osc.org/learn/stem-satellites/.

A picture of a NASA-themed classroom

Did you know you can help advocate for OSC? Celebrate the day by writing letters to your local officials and state and federal representatives and senators to share our good news about OSC’s responsible use of taxpayer dollars to meet the needs of our community.

Armstrong Family Donation of Historical Artifacts Lands at OSC

SpaceKids Global Delivers Piece of Original Wright Brothers Flyer to OSC

Through the generosity of Mark Armstrong and Rick Armstrong, sons of Janet and Neil Armstrong, Sharon Hagle, founder of SpaceKids Global, has donated to Orlando Science Center fabric from the wing of the Wright Brothers’ first airplane which Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, took with him on the Apollo 11 Mission along with an original Apollo 11 mission patch. The pieces will be placed on display near the Science Center’s Flight Lab. SpaceKids Global and Orlando Science Center partner on opportunities to inspire the next generation of space explorers.

The Wright Flyer wing fabric accompanied Mark and Rick Armstrong’s father into space on Apollo 11. After returning to Earth, Armstrong delivered a portion of the wing to the Smithsonian Institute and was allowed to keep the remainder for his personal collection. Neil’s sons decided to donate this gift with others to spread a message of exploration and discovery. SpaceKids Global and the Armstrongs agreed that the donation would be permanently displayed at Orlando Science Center.


“We created SpaceKids Global to inspire elementary students and empower young girls in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and the Environment,” Hagle said.

“This fabric represents the beginning of flight, and the power of science. Neil Armstrong took these pieces of the wing with him on his trip to the moon which is so timely with all of Central Florida’s significant involvement in the space program historically and currently. Orlando Science Center shares our dedication to science and space so what better partner to help us engage tomorrow’s astronauts?”


SpaceKids Global donation to JoAnn Newman

The fabric being donated was excised from Armstrong’s own section of the wing cloth, certified and encapsulated that it has been flown twice: December 17, 1903 at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina and July 20, 1969 at Tranquility Base on the moon. The Apollo 11 Mission Patch was only issued to NASA and the Apollo 11 crew: Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins.

“Orlando Science Center is extremely grateful to Sharon, SpaceKids Global and the Armstrong Family for the donation of these amazing, historical artifacts,” said JoAnn Newman. “Both pieces dramatically represent the great strides we’ve made in aviation and space exploration. We will display them proudly and use these pieces of history to spark future generations’ curiosity and desire to pursue space exploration.”

SpaceKids Global donation of Wright Brother airplane wing piece of fabric
SpaceKids Global donation of Neil Armstrong Apollo 11 NASA patch