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Pint-Sized Philanthropists To Be Feted At MOSI

A unique group of donors will be honored at Tampa's Museum of Science and Industry this weekend.

There is little chance champagne will be served at Sunday's gala but there will be juice boxes. And dessert will be served before the main course.

The attendees all participated in MOSI's "Give Change to Make  Change" campaign.

For several months the museum has given away piggy banks so kids can collect coins for their peers who otherwise can't afford to go to the museum's summer science camps.

Museum spokesman Grayson Kamm says the young philanthropists are supporting kids who have a mind for science and technology but not the resources for tuition.

"Inside every kid's head is the same gray matter that's ready to go but some kids don't have the same opportunity,” he said. “This is the kind of cause that you can contribute to."

Kamm adds that the effort has inspired kids to make a difference. Many of then have accessorized their piggy banks and some have even given them names.

"We have Piggy deGrasse Tyson, there's Albert Einswine and we actually have a prize for like the best dressed pig and also the wealthiest, fattest pig with the most contributions,” he said.

But Kamm adds the museum hopes the takeaway for young donors is that small amounts of money can do as much good as a few people giving a lot of money.

"And along the way you learn that it's important to look out for people who are just like you but maybe a little different in terms of bank account or an opportunity in front of them,” he said.

MOSI's summer science camps include robotics, rocketry, costume design, video game design, and culinary arts.  Additionally, a new camp will have students build robots using a 3D printer.

The museum's director of education Anthony Pelaez thinks the interactive course will prove popular. " As you build this robot you're going to realize, okay I have to learn how to solder, I'm going to have to learn how to 3D print, ultimately the end result is that you've learned all these new skills and you get a really cool robot at the end," he said.

The museum, which is located across the street from the University of South Florida in Tampa, has struggled financially for the last few years.

Earlier this month its board voted to develop a plan to relocate to downtown Tampa.

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