Recognizing the 60Th Anniversary of Orlando Science Centerby Representative Daniel Webster
Posted on 2016-01-12
in the house of representatives
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Mr. WEBSTER of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to recognize
Orlando Science Center as it celebrates 60 years.
Orlando Science Center has undergone many transformations over the past 60 years. In 1955, the Central Florida Museum, the original namesake of the Orlando Science Center, was officially chartered. The ``museum without walls'' borrowed spaces in bank lobbies, clubs, and the public library to host exhibits. Interest in the museum grew after the arrival of the Glenn L. Martin Company, now known as Lockheed Martin, sparking the Central Florida community's interest in science and technology.
On July 2, 1960, the museum opened the first planetarium in Florida. The planetarium [[Page E39]] was a technological feat in its day; NASA astronauts used it for briefings. On March 23, 1970, the museum displayed a moon rock brought back by the crew of Apollo 11. The rock drew over 4,200 visitors making it the museum's largest single-day attendance to-date. Over the past 60 years, Orlando Science Center has achieved significant growth and continues to inspire learning.
Today, Orlando Science Center hosts workshops to engage students in the Central Florida community. In partnership with Orlando Utilities Commission, Project AWESOME hosts STEM workshops for fifth grade students in Central Florida. The in-classroom workshops, focusing on renewable resources and water conservation, immerse students in real- life scenarios. Since 2010, Project AWESOME has reached 48,779 fifth graders. Sponsored by Siemens, Universal Studios, Bright House Networks and Northrop Grumman, Destination STEM is an 18-week program for middle school students focusing on STEM disciplines and career paths. The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!), a year-long program for middle and high school students, teaches them the tools and skills needed to start and manage their own business. In partnership with Orlando, Inc., Orlando Science Center is the first and foremost science center in the nation to facilitate such a program.
On behalf of the people of Central Florida, it is my pleasure to recognize and congratulate Orlando Science Center on this momentous occasion. May their 60 years of dedication to inspire science learning in the classroom and the community inspire many to follow in their footsteps.