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Innovation is coming to Crowley Museum and Nature Center!

| Suncoast Post Staff |
Bubbles, a special pigeon who will be getting a new home, greets student Hailie Palmer.

Innovation is coming to Crowley Museum and Nature Center! Twenty high school students from the Suncoast Science Center/Faulhaber Fab Lab’s Student Community Innovation Program (SCIP) have partnered with the Crowley Museum and Nature Center to raise awareness about and improve local wildlife conservation initiatives. To modernize the farmstead established in 1878, students will leverage their youthful perspective and access to the Fab Lab’s state-of-the-art technology to build wildlife habitats on the property. They will also implement an educational component through a custom website and engaging signage. The website will host a permanent live stream and provide information about the variety of animals living at the nature center. 

The three habitats to be revamped on Crowley’s property include a permanent aviary and two soft release habitats for small mammals. The newly remodeled habitats will provide the animals with water, food, shelter and enrichment. On-site signs will be designed and created at the Fab Lab to inform Crowley visitors of the habitats and animals. 

“The Crowley Museum and Nature Center is excited to partner with the Suncoast Science Center’s SCIP to create new and innovative housing for permanent residents and soft release wildlife habitats. This immersive educational partnership will benefit CMNC & our visitors, SSC students and wildlife alike,” said Dixie Resnick, President and CEO of Crowley Museum & Nature Center.

The project aims to connect the community with local wildlife and emphasize the importance of conservation. Now in its third year, SCIP provides local students with an opportunity to give back to their community through a real-world learning experience. Throughout the summer, students build technical skills as well as critical leadership and life skills like collaboration, project management and problem-solving that will help prepare them for success in college and future careers.

“We’ve been working really hard so far this summer to research and begin developing the 3D plans for the habitats. I’ve already learned so much!” shared SCIP student Hailie Palmer, a sophomore at Riverview High School. “I can’t wait to welcome the community to come see the results of our project,” added SCIP student Olivia Lee, a freshman at Venice High School.

Suncoast Science Center/Faulhaber Fab Lab and Crowley Museum and Nature Center still need support in the form of monetary donations as well as lumber and other materials to bring the project to life. To make a cash or in-kind donation, please contact  

One of the soft-release enclosures that students will revamp at Crowley Museum.

View progress on the project and interact with the students through their social media accounts during Innovation projects this summer:


Instagram @fabcrowley


About the Suncoast Science Center/Faulhaber Fab Lab

The Suncoast Science Center/Faulhaber Fab Lab is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization founded with the mission to inspire and support tomorrow’s innovators through experiential learning in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. Through its fabrication lab and innovative programs, the Suncoast Science Center encourages people of all ages to explore ideas, build skills and confidence, and become lifelong learners. To learn more, visit Suncoast Science or connect with us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

About Crowley Museum & Nature Center

Crowley Museum and Nature Center is a 191-acre farmstead established in 1878. Site includes rare Florida habitat, pioneer buildings, and heritage farm animals. For 40 years Crowley has provided children’s programming that explores pioneer history, develops self-reliance, creates a connection to nature, and imparts practical skills for living like wilderness survival and farming in a real world setting.


Photo 1: Some members of the 2022 SCIP team visiting Crowley Museu

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