Since 2009, OUC and the Orlando Science Center have partnered together to introduce Orange and Osceola County fifth-graders to energy and water conservation, through hands-on workshops and labs.

Project Alternative Water and Energy Supply; Observation, Methods and Education (A.W.E.S.O.M.E), is a STEM-focused educational outreach program sponsored by OUC and taught by Orlando Science Center educators. The program’s goal is to introduce students to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and inspire them to explore STEM careers throughout their academic journey.

Students created a “green roof” in this year’s workshop.

Through 90-minute workshops and classroom labs, Project A.W.E.S.O.M.E teaches students about energy and water conservation during the fall and spring school semesters. The first workshop allows students to learn about renewable energy, while students explore alternative water sources in the second. The curriculum also includes pre- and post-lab activities, all of which meet Common Core Standards.

This year’s program included two components. In the energy workshop, students were tasked with designing solar powered, fair-style rides. The goal was to learn how renewable energy works as well as the importance of energy efficiency measures.

During the water conservation workshop, teams of students created a heat- and water-efficient “green roof” made of plant materials for an urban apartment building. The goal was to demonstrate water conservation techniques.

For the 2022-2023 school year, Project A.W.E.S.O.M.E reached nearly 10,000 students through 497 workshops at 69 different schools. Since its inception, more than 113,000 students have participated.