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

Melrose Center 3D Printers Put to Work to Create PPE for Orlando Health

During quarantine, a team of makers from Orange County Library System has been using Melrose Center 3D printers and resources to create PPE.

In late March, Otronicon exhibitors Orange County Library System’s Melrose Center had their team investigating ways they could 3D print personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare professionals. Working from home with Melrose Center 3D printers from the Fab Lab (a makerspace in the facility that offers hands-on classes and equipment for DIY projects), the team has been hard at work making visors, ear extenders and tension release bands for medical face shields by 3D printing or molding with liquid acrylic. Budmen Industries, a company that designs and sells 3D printers, provided files to staff to help create these PPE.

Fab Lab Instructor Harold Singh, using supplies at his home makerspace, began the initial process of printing these needed parts. With the help of his daughter, who works in the ICU, he delivered them to Orlando Health. At the same time, Fab Lab Instructor Yesenia Arroyo connected with the Central and South Florida chapters of the nonprofit Open Source COVID-19 Medical Supplies, a group working to connect makerspaces with medical professionals in need around the world. Soon after, the group received information from Orlando Health with details on what equipment could be accepted and work began. 

 

“The Melrose Center’s Fab Lab team is really happy to be able to join the maker community’s efforts to help our health care workers,” said Jim Myers, Department Head of The Dorothy Lumley Melrose Center for Technology, Innovation and Creativity. “They are a focused and energized bunch, and glad to be in a position to make a small difference. I’m really proud of them.”

 

Orange County Library System man wearing 3D printed PPE equipment

In early April, Arroyo and fellow Fab Lab Instructors Jennifer Michalicek and Frank Mackey each took home a Melrose Center 3D printer, filament and other supplies from the Fab Lab. Melrose staff now have four printers creating face shield parts, which take around two hours each to complete. Singh has also created a rubber mold of the visor frame and can produce an additional four per hour using liquid acrylic.

 

After creating and preparing the final products, staff were directed to Orlando Health’s drop off center.  As of April, the team had made and delivered 426 face shield visors, 102 ear extenders and 40 tension release bands. Production is expected to continue, Orange County Library System is privileged to help community medical professionals in this small way.  

Orange County Library System woman works makes PPE equipment for Orlando Health