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Sparking STEM Passion

UCF’s Office of Research and Orlando Science Center partner for a STEM showcase that engages children and the community in scientific explore.

Hundreds of people of all ages celebrated science and discovery during the Orlando Science Center’s annual Spark STEM Fest, presented by UCF’s Office of Research. The three-day event engaged and inspired curious minds about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) with dozens of interactive exhibits, hands-on workshops and art displays. It also included exciting demonstrations led by STEM experts and community partners from Disney, NASA, Save the Manatees, UCF and more.

Attendees learned about everything from identifying different shark species to the 2024 total solar eclipse to UCF’s new semiautonomous robot dog, TapeMeasure. Through engaging sessions and meet and greets with some of the greatest innovators in Central Florida, the event not only aimed to ignite passion for STEM careers and bridge the literacy gap in these fields, but also explore how science is making the world a better place.

“We believe in serving our Central Florida community through outreach, and with Spark STEM Fest we’re able to stimulate conversations and promote curiosity in kids who’ll grow up to be our future leaders.”

— Crystal Maraj, research assistant professor at UCF’s Institute for Simulation and Training and presenter at Spark STEM Fest

Years of UCF partnering with the Orlando Science Center to inspire innovation and build community with Spark STEM Fest
UCF-related exhibitors participated in the event this year, including UCF’s Institute for Simulation and Training, Florida Space Institute and Marine
Projected growth of jobs in the STEM field by 2029 — with positions in computing, engineering

A child holds a wash bottle while working with a researcher

A researcher works with a child at an exhibit.

A robot dog in a black and yellow wrap

TapeMeasure, UCF’s semiautonomous robot dog.

Kids looking at an exhibit with light bulbs

Attendees explore an exhibit on electricity.