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NASA grants Orlando Science Center US$1.2m to develop STEM scheme for critically-ill

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NASA has awarded the Orlando Science Center in Florida a US$1.2m (€1.1m, £930,000) grant to develop a programme using mobile exhibit carts to educate critically-ill children in hospitals.

Partnering with planetary science experts and a team of researchers from the University of Central Florida (UCF) headed by Megan Nickels, the STEM-driven activities will be used to help shorten the learning gap created during hospitalisation.

According to NASA, the project will incorporate data and artefacts from the space agency, as well as UCF science collections and resources from Kennedy Space Center, with the experiences replicating current and planned NASA missions, while also tackling engineering problems in space exploration.

“Children with critical illness can struggle with formal education due to the fact that their hospitalisation keeps them from engaging in active study and attending classes” said Orlando Science Center president and CEO JoAnn Newman.

“These engaging mobile exhibits will help motivate these children to pursue STEM learning and careers. Providing high level engaging and authentic STEM activities to this audience through mobile exhibits is unprecedented.”

Aimed at children aged between 10 and 18, the exhibit carts will debut in Q3 2018 at the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, Nemours Children’s Hospital and the Florida Hospital for Children.

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NASA has awarded the Orlando Science Center in Florida a US$1.2m (€1.1m, £930,000) grant to develop a programme using mobile exhibit carts to educate critically-ill children in hospitals.
VAT,HAM
Megan Nickels – assistant professor of STEM at the University of Central Florida – is creating the mobile science and technology carts in partnership with the Orlando Science Center / University of Central Florida

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