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Hands-On Innovation Lab Comes to Inspire Big Thinking Tampa Kids

Aloha Melani

Fort Innovate - A travelling Stem Exhibit by USAA(USAA/USAA)

USAA's Fort Innovate, a STEM Lab will be Hosted at the Glazer Children's Museum for a Limited Time

USAA celebrates its 100th anniversary by bringing a free, traveling innovation lab to children and their families this summer to nine select cities.

Tampa's Glazer Children's Museum will be the third children's and science museum to host Fort Innovate. The military-focused lab will be held for three days starting June 24 and ending June 25.

The hands-on exhibits will demonstrate five key military innovations from the past 100 years.

5 Military Innovations & How Children Can Interact

US Military Night Vision(USAA/USAA)

Night Vision

The US Military first used night vision during World War II and it's still widely used today.

Explore thermal imaging in an interactive game by using a motion-sensing night vision controller.

Silly Putty

Silly Putty® was a replacement for rubber in World War II. Kids will receive their own Silly Putty to shape innovative molds and experience cool tricks.


Drones were invented in 1935 and were successfully used during the Vietnam War for the first time. Drones have come a long way and are used widely today.

At the Fort Innovate exhibit, you will get to simulate a search and rescue by navigating the radar-enabled map and taking snapshots of the targets on the ground.


Walkie Talkie(USAA/USAA)

The walkie-talkie exhibit will allow participants to decode a secret message hidden in Fort Innovate while communicating with a partner.

Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality(USAA/USAA)

In 1982 an early version of virtual reality was created to help train Air Force pilots.

VR headsets will immerse users into outer space where they will learn about space satellites.

"Innovative thinking provides the opportunity to reference personal experiences to create solutions for problems," said actress, producer and singer Miranda Cosgrove, who has teamed with USAA to promote Fort Innovate. "Whether it's in STEM or the military, big ideas can come from anyone and anywhere. USAA's Fort Innovate will provide kids with a fun, educational experience that showcases this and inspires their creativity."

Win a Chance to Go To Space Camp and $50K

Enter for a chance to win a trip for four to Space Camp® and $50,000 at the Fort Innovate Exhibit!

USAA launched the USAA Innovation Sweepstakes to provide participants with the opportunity to further explore innovation and their creativity.

Visitors to Fort Innovate can register onsite and those unable to make it in person can register at usaa.com/fortinnovate.

The Entire Fort Innovate Tour Schedule:

June 10-12: Children's Museum of Phoenix

June 17-19: The DoSeum, San Antonio

June 24-26: Glazer Children's Museum, Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, Tampa

July 4: Fort Bragg July 4th Celebration

July 8-10: Discovery Place Nature Center, Charlotte

July 15-17: St. Louis Science Center, St. Louis

July 22-24: Navy Pier, Chicago

July 29-31: Intrepid Museum, New York City

Aug. 3-4: Please Touch Museum, Philadelphia

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Tampa, FL

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