Technological Overload

High School Students Visit The Orlando Science Center For Otronicon


Victoria Filippi

Students practice using the AI robot at Otronicon.

Victoria Filippi, Chief Editor

Otronicon is a convention that is held at the Orlando Science Center that showcases booths relating to science, technology, engineering, and mathematical fields (STEM). The shortened name is derived from (O)rlando Elec(tron)ic (I)nteractive Entertainment (Con)vention which mirrors the content displayed at the convention.

The convention has four floors each featuring different types of technology, some of which was booths with robots others were businesses explaining what their machines do. For some students, meeting with professionals in these fields opened their perspective on future careers and occupations even if it was not something they anticipated on doing.

“I enjoyed the whole aspect of them being kid-friendly and instead of it just being adults or people that wanted to work in that system they just let teens or students from schools to have an earlier experience,” sophomore, Daniella Pena, states. “I’m not sure yet if I want to work in that area but they had a lot of artwork there and I like drawing and they had gaming stuff and I like gaming, it was just a little eye-opener. It makes me think more, it gives me more options into the future and more of an idea of occupations I can have.”

Students who went to Otronicon were able to speak with colleges who specialize in technological fields. The colleges that went gave flyers with information about their campus and students spoke with representatives from each college.

“I spoke with Full Sail University, I actually introduced myself and told them that I was interested in their programs. I actually just got a phone call from them the other day offering scholarships, if you’re into STEM science, technology, engineering, and math then Otronicon or the Orlando Science Center is a great experience for any young aspiring STEM student,” junior, Asa Joyner, said.

The fourth floor mainly comprised of medical technology and simulations that students could try hands on. One of the stations offered allowed students to apply sutures (stitches) to a foam mat mimicking patients skin. Another station allowed students to use medical equipment typically used in hospital settings such as a mask for MRI scans and the Da Vinci robot for surgical procedures.

“It was amazing there was technology everywhere, I liked the medical stuff and the robots, there was one called the Da Vinci Xi where you move the robot arms with your thumb and middle finger and you squeeze them together to push down and it was really smooth with no lag,” freshman, Kirk Collins, said.

Students who went on the trip spoke with other students who brought their inventions to the convention. Many of the students that were at the convention were involved with robotic and programming groups, for some students seeing others the same age creating these machines was an inspiration.

“The field that I’m going into is not really involved with Otronicon but I was really interested in the robotics part, I even took a flyer. They constructed robots and showed them off to us, I was kind of surprised that people my age were able to build something like that, it kind of inspired me to get into that,” sophomore, Tarik White, states.

Otronicon is an annual event held at the Orlando Science Center for all ages, and students can go with their family outside of school hours. The convention is typically held between 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for four days in January and the admission price is dependent on age.