Otronicon, one of the biggest event of the year for the Orlando Science Center, opens this Friday. The four-day ‘con’ event brings some of Central Florida’s biggest companies together with some of the latest technology for a celebration of interactive technology.
Central Florida Top 5 recently spoke with Mark Schaub, the Marketing Coordinator for Orlando Science Center, about Otronicon and all that goes into it.
CFLTop5- How would you describe Otronicon?
MS- Otronicon is a showcase of the newest and coolest technology, most of which is created right here in Orlando. Video games, robots, simulators and more encompass all four floors of the Science Center. Orlando is rising up the list of high tech cities in the U.S. and Otronicon highlights all the great work being done in our own backyard. Guests can go home inspired to pursue a technology career.
CFLTop5- What about it makes it so unique?
MS- Otronicon is unique in that you can’t knock on the door of Lockheed Martin and ask, ‘Can me and my kid jump in your flight simulators?’, or walk into EA SPORTS in Maitland and say, ‘Hey, what games are you working on and can you tell me how you make them?’ And Otronicon isn’t just a fun event full of hands-on interactive technology; it’s a rare opportunity to chat with the professionals who work on this stuff. At the end of the day, it might just inspire you to pursue a career in video game design, medicine or simulation.
CFLTop5- Many local businesses, such as Florida Hospital and Lockheed Martin, are involved in the event. Why does this event attract such high caliber local businesses?
MS- Orlando Science Center’s mission is to inspire science learning for life, and it shows throughout this event. Partners like UCF, Florida Hospital for Children and Lockheed Martin recognize the importance of inspiring the next generation of scientists, engineers and doctors. The best way to do that is to show them how cool these jobs are and how they’re accessible, especially in Orlando. This is a great place to go to school and find a job when you graduate. Businesses that partner with the Science Center realize the significance that this event has and that by showing the public all this cool technology, it can spark an interest that can carry someone through the rest of their life.
CFLTop5- Could you explain some of the events at Otronicon that locals may not have heard as much about?
MS- There are many unique offerings that comprise Otronicon. For instance, we’ve got Artronica, a video game-inspired art exhibit. The Game Jam is new to Otronicon this year and features about 20 budding game designers being locked in the Science Center for 48 hours while they create a video game from scratch. Guests can peer in to Dr. Dare’s Lab where this will be taking place and watch the genius unfold. Also new this year is the FilmSlam, in which dozens of local filmmakers have submitted short films for us to watch and vote on for the Viewer’s Choice Award.
CFLTop5- This year a new exhibit, Zoom into Nano, is opening at Orlando Science Center just in time for Otronicon. What was some of the reasoning in opening it at the same time as Otronicon?
MS- Orlando Science Center sports three to four traveling exhibits a year, and it’s around Otronicon that we’re moving one out for another. Generally, we keep a buffer between the load-out of the previous exhibit and the load-in of the incoming exhibit during Otronicon. But to have this exhibit available to us now and for it to be all about nanotechnology, it was clear this is a great tie-in for the event. So for an added bonus, guests can experience this brand-new exhibit in addition to the awesomeness that is Otronicon.
Check out this video of all the things we learned at last years event.