22 April 2010
Posted in Press and Media
Orlando Science Center, OUC Teach 5th Graders about Water Conservation
Partnership Reaches 8,000 students in Orange, Osceola Counties
ORLANDO - This school year the Orlando Science Center and OUC-The Reliable One teamed up to deliver an interactive alternative energy and water conservation curriculum to thousands of fifth graders in 58 elementary schools in Orange and Osceola counties. The Alternative Water and Energy Supply; Observation, Methods and Education (A.W.E.S.O.M.E.) Project helps students learn about alternative energy and water conservation and prepare for their first science FCAT with hands-on activities such as making a model aquifer, building a solar-powered car and testing low-flow showerheads and compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) against traditional fixtures.
The partnership with OUC enabled the Science Center to impact 8,000 students within OUC’s service area at no charge to the schools. The OUC A.W.E.S.O.M.E. Project is facilitated through a classroom workshop as part of the Science Center’s offsite program. Science Center educators visit classrooms with experiments and hands-on activities that stimulate informal learning tied to environmental education. Each activity was aligned to the Sunshine State Standards and academic benchmarks set forth by the Florida Department of Education.
“We’re energized about the impact that the OUC A.W.E.S.O.M.E. Project has on the educational communities and families served,” said JoAnn Newman, President and CEO of the Orlando Science Center. “It was an incredible collaboration because it expanded science learning while also empowering students with real-world tools to confront the issues of alternative energy and water conservation.”
The educational program, which concludes its inaugural year in May, plans to expand to more classrooms in the fall.
“We know that encouraging sustainable habits in children will have a positive impact on our efforts to conserve our natural resources now and in the future,” said Roseann Harrington, OUC Vice President of Marketing, Communications and Community Relations. “We wanted to promote the concepts of conservation and alternative resources in our community’s classrooms in a fun way that was appealing to today’s students.”
By partnering with OUC, the Science Center was able to enhance each school district’s science curricula and respond to adverse economic conditions by bringing a tangible experience to students who may not have the opportunity to participate in a field trip.
“Partnerships like this one have the power of constructing educational and social platforms that allow us to engage and inspire the greatest number possible,” Newman said.
About OUC-The Reliable One
Established in 1923 by a special act of the Florida Legislature, OUC-The Reliable One is the second largest municipal utility in Florida. OUC provides electric and water services to more than 313,000 customer meters in Orlando, St. Cloud and parts of unincorporated Orange and Osceola counties.
About the Orlando Science Center
Incorporated in 1955, the Orlando Science Center is one of America’s top hands-on science centers where learning is always fun. Interactive learning and discovery await within the center’s hundreds of exhibits, programs and labs, giant screen films and planetarium shows. The science center provides educational opportunities both within and outside the center’s walls, including field trips, family science nights at schools and community centers and other outreach.