Ryan DeVos, Orlando Magic's VP of Shareholder Engagement, and his wife, Michelle DeVos, present Orlando Science Center with $75,000 grant to add fuel to one of the OSC’s most innovative outreach programs.

DeVos Family Foundation's Donation Provides an Assist to Orlando Science Center's Outreach Programs

Dan Savage
Director of Digital News

ORLANDO – The Orlando Science Center (OSC) wants to be the spark that ignites innovation in Central Florida. For more than 60 years, the science museum’s award-winning and hands-on exhibits and programs have brought science to life for local residents and visitors from around the world.

With four floors of interactive exhibit halls, labs and workshops, theaters, an observatory, and experiences that change with the seasons, OSC strives to offer something new and exciting for their 670,000 annual visitors to see and do.

"The Orlando Science Center has been around since 1955," said OSC President and CEO JoAnn Newman. "Our mission is to inspire science learning for life. We aspire to reach people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities and help them understand how science impacts all of us and how it can benefit us."

The $75,000 donation from the DeVos Family Foundation, as part of their 30 Grants for 30 Years Initiative, will add fuel to one of the OSC’s most innovative programs. With the funding, OSC is expanding the geographic reach of their Neighborhood Science program, equipping them to inspire even more young people. The program goes beyond the walls of the OSC and out into the community, with a special interest in serving Central Florida’s historically underinvested areas.

"The difference with Neighborhood Science is we're going to establish a consistent presence with a partner that we already have in the community," said Newman. "In this case, our partner is the Boys and Girls Club. We're going to establish a presence within the West Lakes Boys and Girls Club to serve the youth from that club multiple days each week. The differentiator is providing a more consistent presence, two days per week for an entire academic year, to bring interactive, engaging STEM activities to the children of the club.”

OSC strives for a brighter tomorrow by encouraging dreams in the next generation, instilling the skills to achieve them, and preparing them for jobs that don't yet exist. Since the onset of the pandemic, their team has attempted to provide meaningful experiences that work in this new reality. They’ve created virtual learning opportunities, hybrid events, and activities for families to do at home while also adapting their visitor experience. Support such as the gift from the DeVos Family Foundation is paramount to helping OSC reach those goals and establish a consistent presence in neighborhoods throughout Central Florida.

"The timing on this funding is huge," said Newman. "During the pandemic, every organization was impacted, including us. So, being able to launch this initiative to get back out into the community (is perfect timing)."

OSC becomes the 12th grant announced as part of the DeVos family's 30 Grants for 30 Years Initiative. Others include the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation, the New Image Youth Center, Habitat for Humanity Greater Orlando & Osceola County, the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, Dress for Success Greater Orlando, ELEVATE Orlando, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida, Heart of Florida United Way, First Tee – Central Florida, Make-A-Wish Central and Northern Florida, and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Florida.

As part of the DeVos family's 30 Grants for 30 Years Initiative, a total of $3 million will be donated to 30 area nonprofit organizations over 18 months, investing in people and projects impacting youth, essential needs for families, and community enrichment across Central Florida.

"There are tremendous things happening in the Orlando community every day," said Orlando Magic Chairman Dan DeVos. "We wanted to mark this 30-year milestone by coming alongside nonprofits in the community to assist them in their important work."