Emerald Coast Science Center
The mission of Emerald Coast Science Center is to inspire and grow a scientifically engaged community, and our vision is to be the recognized leader for scientific exploration, encounters, and education in Northwest Florida.
The Emerald Coast Science Center (ECSC) would like to request funding to renovate our two (2) existing classrooms into an immersive, interactive learning environment capable of running SMALLab Learning technologies. SMALLab is cutting-edge, transformational programming that utilizes motion-capture technology to track students’ 3D movements as they learn various concepts like physics, chemistry, and even language. This innovative and advanced software would allow ECSC to completely transform how students learn by immersing them in a completely hands-on, hi-tech lab. Students can use SMALLab to experience science, mathematics, and language arts in an environment unlike any other available to them in Northwest Florida. This embodied learning blends knowledge with human-computer interaction and would revolutionize how the ESCS teaches its educational programming.
This Technology Upgrade Project will enable ECSC to improve our facility and our curricula radically. It will enhance learning through our Field Trip lessons, Lego League program, Home School Academy, Summer Camp, workshops, and Museum activities and stations. The Boys and Girls Club of the Emerald Coast, another nonprofit, has partnered with the ECSC in order to utilize the labs for their field-trip programming as well. The SMALLab would require upgrades to the existing classrooms that will include installation of new flooring, furniture, plumbing, HVAC, ceiling, lighting, and electrical improvements. An asbestos survey was completed on the property in June of 2016 in preparation of these improvements. Both classrooms will require asbestos abatement work prior to the start of renovations; however, each room can be completed independently of the rest of the Museum and shouldn’t affect normal operations.
Additionally, this project heavily impacts students across the region. Currently, ECSC works within 5 local counties. In 2016/17, over 14,000 students were impacted by ECSC programming. Okaloosa County students make up the bulk of our constituents. Renovating our facilities to include SMALLab will allow us to make large changes in our educational programming to reach children of all ages and engage them in a completely unique experience with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education. By including SMALLab technology, we can positively impact our students and continue to help improve Florida Standards Assessment test scores with participating schools and encourage students to pursue STEM careers.