Out and About: Otronicon 2018 at the Orlando Science Center Proves STEM is Fun

Otronicon 2018 at the Orlando Science Center Proves STEM is Fun

One of my favorite annual events in Central Florida is Otronicon at the Orlando Science Center. I mean who wouldn’t love to explore four floors of STEM-inspired exhibits, simulators, and games?

This weekend I popped in to spend a few hours at Otronicon, and there was so much to do and see!

I tried a racing simulator, listened to a talk by a NASA expert on virtual reality and augmented reality, literally lifted my weight on a pulley system, and played with low voltage Tesla tubes.

I even came face to face with the DaVinci Surgical System, which was used for my cancer surgery four years ago. It was interesting to see how it works.

My favorite exhibit was taking a virtual reality ride on the soon-to-open Slinky Dog Coaster at Walt Disney World. Based on the VR experience, I’d say the coaster will be a thrilling cross between Goofy’s Barnstormer at Magic Kingdom and Primeval Whirl at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I did the VR twice, and it’s got me so psyched to ride the real thing when Toy Story Land opens at Disney’s Hollywood Studios later this year.

I’m also enamored with a kinetic art sculpture Ripley’s Believe It Or Not brought for their exhibit. Play the video below to see it in action.

I loved how everything was set up to encourage people, especially kids, to touch and play and experiment and learn. Making STEM subjects fun is half the battle to getting kids interested in pursuing careers in these fields.

Who knows….this year’s Otronicon may have lit a spark in a future astronaut, engineer, game programmer, or scientist.

The event is over for 2018, but we’ll let you know as soon as we have dates for 2019. Trust me, you’ll want to go…maybe it’ll light a spark in you, too.

Disclaimer: CSO was given media passes to attend in exchange for this recap and social media posts. As always, this review is honest, and my own.

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