Tom McCormick's wish is that his 5-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son would one day change the world.
McCormick, a computer engineer from Palmetto Bay, hoped that taking his children to an innovation-focused event at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science would help.
"I have the chance to expose my kids to more science," said McCormick, a computer engineer, watching as his daughter, Mackenzie, talked with members of the University of Miami Society of Women Engineers. "The world needs more engineers, and they all don't have to be men."
As the new Frost Museum is slated to open in downtown Miami in 2016, an Innovation & Engineering Weekend began Friday night, celebrating the idea of “Building the City of the Future.”
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Smiling with excitement, 9-year-old Nicholas held a starfish in his hand. A giant tank with colorful fish, aimed at teaching children about the environment, was one of many interactive activities and exhibits at the event.
"My kids love science; I see how excited they are about it," McCormick said. "Being an engineer or a scientist isn't only a good job, but it changes the world. Society really doesn't seem to value it as much as it used to. I'm glad to see an event like this taking place."
Visitors had the opportunity to learn about architecture and design, energy, environment, and transportation challenges and solutions for cities where people are at the heart of the ideas. They also had the opportunity to share their thoughts and visions on how to improve Miami’s urban landscape.
Zachary Corbin, a kindergartner from Coral Gables, had fun playing with remote-control robots and planting green bean seeds.
“I love science more than mommy and daddy,” he said.
Guests also could plant seeds and discover urban gardening and hydroponics, compete in building challenges with local engineers, construct furniture out of recycled materials and explore the world of tomorrow with new research on immersive 3-D environments.
On display at the event were “Miami Cityscapes,” an exhibit by 10 Miami-based artists, each of whom has interpreted the weekend’s four themes: architecture and design, energy, environment and transportation.
The artists included: Jenny Brillhart, Pablo Cano, Leyden Casanova Rodriguez, Edouard Duval Carrie, Felice Grodin, Maritza Molina, Emmett Moore, Cesar Santos, TM Sisters and Agustina Woodgate.
Matthew Schreiber also showcased his work throughout the weekend by unveiling a laser installation inside the museum’s planetarium.
Innovation & Engineering Weekend continues through 6 p.m. Sunday.