September 15, 2022 - Pittsburgh, PA—The Emerald Coast Science Center is proud to announce it has won the Roy L. Shafer Leading Edge Awards in Resilience at the 2022 Association of Science and Technology (ASTC) Annual Conference. Awards are presented to ASTC members and/or their staff and volunteers in recognition of extraordinary accomplishments that not only enhance the performance of their own organizations, but also significantly advance STEM fields. The Resilience Award recognizes organizations that have overcome a significant challenge with a focus on how the institution approached the hardship to achieve new life, mission, and potential.

“This award really belongs to our community,” said the center’s Executive Director, Diane Fraser. “We came close to permanently closing during the pandemic. Instead, we survived and expanded.  With the help of local businesses and military volunteers, we were able to create an entirely new outdoor exhibit space. None of this had even been on the drawing board before the pandemic.”

The center was able to win the Resilience Award because of the massive expansion of its outdoor space and improvements made possible by the support of its local community.

This year’s annual conference was held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at the Carnegie Science Center and the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. Emerald Coast Science Center staff attends this conference annually to discover the latest trends in exhibits and programming to incorporate into the museum for its public in Okaloosa County. This is the first Roy L. Shafer award for the center.

The Emerald Coast Science Center strives to inspire and grow a scientifically engaged community, and it has promoted STEAM education and public outreach in Okaloosa County and beyond for over 30 years. The museum is committed to serving children and families through excellent programming and exhibits that allow patrons to capture the difference a hands-on encounter with science can make. As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, the center is the leading science education museum in Northwest Florida. As an education provider, the museum also brings a number of science education programs to students in public and private schools throughout Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Bay, and Walton counties. To learn more about our programs, history, and museum, please visit

The ASTC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the understanding of and engagement with science and technology among all people. ASTC is a membership association based in North America that has supported the global science engagement field since 1973. ASTC creates strategic opportunities, develops intellectual capital, and assembles resources to support its members in realizing their missions and engaging their communities.

Diane Fraser, Executive Director: 850-664-1261;

Kate Fox, Development Coordinator:

Harley Peters, Community Affairs Coordinator:

Jacie Chandler, Social Media Coordinator:

ASTC Edge Awards Photos