I am so excited to share today’s volunteer story with you guys. My friend Allie emailed me when I first put out a call for volunteer stories and I loved that her story involved volunteering at a place I absolutely adored in Orlando: The Orlando Science Center.
I visited the Orlando Science Center a handful of times with Ryan to check out a traveling Titanic exhibit, catch one of their awesome movies in the CineDome and attend a special work function for Ryan’s previous job. It’s such a neat place and I had so much fun reading about Allie’s involvement with the OSC.
I also thought her story might appeal to those of you out there who might be interested in volunteering with a science center or museum in your hometown. You could teach kids about what bugs taste like certain children’s cereals. (Seriously! See below.)
For more information about the Orlando Science Center, you may click the link below:
Orlando Science Center Volunteering
My parents have always referenced that a degree is a degree. You might begin your educational journey with one idea and end up doing something completely different. During college, I had expectations of graduating and finding a job that I was passionate about within in my field of study. Well, things didn’t turn out quite as I planned.
I received my degree in Elementary Education and now work for an Internet Marketing company as a Project Manager, something I would have never guessed for myself in a thousand years.
I love my job and am so happy with how things have worked out for me, but I always felt something was missing. I wanted to find an outlet to use my creativity and put to use what I learned in college. I found the perfect answer, volunteering at the Orlando Science Center.
Previously, I visited OSC with a group of co-workers and their children on a weekend fieldtrip. I was amazed at all the center had to offer for individuals of all ages; KidsTown which is geared towards the younger kids, Science Park which is very interactive and my personal favorite, NatureWorks where you get to see numerous reptiles and insects, DinoDigs which showcases dinosaurs, and even an IWERKS Theater which continually changes shows. Volunteers get to pick and choose exactly what they want to do at OSC and they are very flexible with your requests.
It’s been almost 9 months since I began this opportunity and believe each day gets more and more fun. I started with Harry’s Big Adventure, a traveling exhibit which is all about bugs. They needed my help to assist the Bug Chef and the Cricket Spitting Contest. Yes, a chef dedicated to cooking insects and having the visitors eat them. At first I tried to resist even touching any of the insects, but when you continuously hear kids tell you, “I’ll eat one if you eat one,” you can’t help but have a good time with them. When the exhibit left, I was a professional at being able to compare the insects to different tasting cereals.
The majority of my time now is spent in KidsTown doing arts and crafts with the little ones. It’s the best feeling when the children recognize you and run over to your table to work with you again. I’ve also had the privilege to help with several Early Childhood Holiday Workshops, such as Gobble It Up!, Be My Valentine, and Santa’s Christmas Workshop. Parents get to work on activities with their children, be creative and hands on, as well as learn mini science lessons that are related to the holiday. All the activities are so fun and interactive, I stash away the lesson plans so I can use them when I have a family.
One thing I didn’t realize in joining OSC is that they really take you in as family. They give back to all the volunteers that help out, including a Volunteer Appreciation Week, complimentary tickets, and discounts through out the center. Aside from the goodies, I get so excited to work with the staff and learn new ways to make education fun and spend time working with children. I couldn’t be happier with my choice of volunteering at OSC and everything I’ve been able to experience. I feel very honored to work with such an amazing organization that offers so much to the community.
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