(West Palm Beach, Fla.) – Students are getting MAD about science! The MAD (Making a Difference) Scientist Awards at the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium recently brought together 40 top middle and high-school student regional science fair winners for an evening of recognition and celebrating achievements in STEM.
From a 3D printed water quality monitoring device, to an equation predicting the animal population in Florida, to an app to help assist the blind and visually impaired, to the discovery of a drug to treat breast cancer cells, the students’ science fair projects spread the spectrum, filling gaps in our society and all making a difference by expertly solving problems faced by many.
“The goal of the MAD Scientist Awards is to bring together bright young minds in STEM research and provide them opportunities to network with each other and with professionals in their fields,” said Kate Arrizza, CEO of the Science Center. “We’ve also brought together coaches to mentor these regional winners. The Science Center is the perfect hub for this activity, and we are proud to partner with the school districts, Junior Achievement and the Stiles-Nicholson Foundation to make it happen”
The MAD Scientist Awards event is the result of a shared vision between the Stiles-Nicholson Foundation, Junior Achievement of the Palm Beaches and Treasure Coast, the School District of Palm Beach County, the Martin County School District and the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium.
The Stiles-Nicholson Foundation’s mission is to improve and enhance education to help students succeed in the real world, especially through STEM initiatives. “The Stiles-Nicholson Foundation is proud to have initiated and to sponsor the annual recognition of young scientists who have won their STEM category competitions at the Annual South Florida Regional Science Fair,” said David Nicholson, BSc., LLD, CFA, chairman and founder of the Stiles-Nicholson Foundation. “These young scientists have the potential to Make A Difference and we award them with the designation of ‘M.A.D. Scientists.’ Hopefully, this acknowledgement of their early progress and potential will help inspire them to follow their passion for STEM and make meaningful discoveries in the future to improve the quality of life for all of us. I encourage others to step up and join us in supporting STEM education and the South Florida Science Center. Remember: even though kids are only 23 percent of the population, they represent 100 percent of our future.”
The mission of the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium is to “open every mind to science” and the indoor/outdoor venue features more than 100 hands-on educational exhibits, a 10,000 gallon fresh and salt water aquarium- featuring both local and exotic marine life, a digital planetarium, conservation research station, Florida exhibit hall, Pre-K focused “Discovery Center,” an interactive Everglades exhibit and the 18-hole Conservation Course – an outdoor putting course with science-focused education stations. . The newest addition includes a $2.5 million permanent exhibit, “Journey Through the Human Brain” and features the most advanced neuroscience research and technology in the world. Hall of Heroes runs through April 19, 2020.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Science Center is temporarily closed. However, the learning does not stop as the nonprofit is taking its mission virtual. Educators are offering live aquarium programs, science demos, story time, biology lessons and more. These programs will be offered until the Science Center reopens. Admission to the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium is $17.95 for adults $15.95 for seniors, $13.95 for kids ages 3-12 and free for members and kids under 3. Planetarium shows and mini golf are not included in general admission pricing.
For more information on Science Center programming, call 561-832-1988 or visit www.sfsciencecenter.org. Like the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium on Facebook and follow them on Twitter and Instagram @SFScienceCenter.