Cade Museum Partnership Connects Eastside to the Innovation Economy
Connectivity and collaboration are essential for innovation. The Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention prioritizes community connections, reaching beyond the museum’s walls to engage curious minds of all backgrounds. The museum’s ongoing partnerships testify to the museum’s mission to transform communities through inspiring and equipping future inventors, entrepreneurs, and visionaries. The Invent Possible Project: Community Connectivity and Education is a joint effort coordinated by the Cade Museum working with the Gainesville Housing Authority, Cox Communications, and the Community Foundation of North Florida’s Connectivity Fund.
Invent Possible: One of the museum’s latest ground-breaking endeavors, The Invent Possible Project: Community Connectivity and Education, takes its inspiration from the museum’s pioneering namesake Dr. James Robert Cade, the inventor of Gatorade and a lifelong educator. In keeping with Dr. Cade’s legacy of community involvement, the project provides widespread internet connectivity through a partnership with Cox and the Gainesville Housing Authority (GHA), with support from the Community Foundation of North Central Florida. Additionally, all homes connected will receive additional online resources and training opportunities.
“While no technology provides the total value of face-to-face interaction, in 2021 internet connectivity is fundamental to accessing basic educational resources and career opportunities. This Cade Invent Possible Project brings an entire community of families into the 21st Century through the combination of connectivity and educational resources.” said Stephanie Bailes, the Cade Museum’s President and Executive Director.
The current Invent Possible pilot project comprises homes in Woodland Park, where, for one year, the Cade will pay for residents’ Connect2Compete service through funding made possible by the Community Foundation’s Connectivity Fund. Cox Communications’ Connect2Compete program provides internet access for $9.95 per month to households with school-aged children. For just under $15,000 per year, the Cade can help provide this internet service at no cost for 136 households. If successful, the vision is that the museum will expand the program to connect all other GHA communities.
“The Gainesville Housing Authority believes in the power and impact of public and private partnerships and collective collaborations,” said Pamela E. Davis, GHA’s CEO. “The Cade Museum has rallied to support the technology needs of our residents and has cultivated an amazing partnership.”
Cox Central Florida Market Vice President Aimee Pfannenstiel said collaborating with the Cade, Community Foundation, and GHA to ensure that every family in Woodland Park will have the access, training and tools needed to become digital citizens is the type of partnership she thinks will become the model for successful public-private internet access initiatives.
“We are fully committed to continuing our own initiatives to bring access to every family, and we are especially excited about this opportunity to partner with organizations that are equally committed to bringing the resources, energy and creativity needed to bridge the digital divide,” Pfannenstiel said.
Besides offering the Connect2Compete program, Cox has partnered on other local initiatives to connect children. Working with a Digital Divide Task Force, Cox contributed more than $250,000 to help Gainesville Housing authority upgrade its internal wiring, which enabled speeds of up to 1 gigabit for residents. Last year, it funded an Innovation Lab at the NW Boys and Girls Club to facilitate learning during afterschool hours and will soon complete an upgrade of the Woodland Park Boys and Girls Club computer lab. Cox will donate an additional $5,000 to support technology needs in public housing.
The Cade on the Road: The museum’s collaboration with the GHA has sparked young minds since 2019, when the Cade Museum opened a Maker Space in the Lake Terrace Community. The Maker Space hosts science activities one week, followed by Cade Tech Educators teaching tech skills the following week. In 2020, the museum expanded its work with the housing authority to also include a traveling program.
The Cade leads hands-on activities at the GHA’s Health and Wealth Pop Up Expo, which takes place every Thursday at different GHA communities. The expo includes HIV testing, health screenings and resources, job opportunities, credit repair services, tax filing and other social services resources. The Cade Museum travels with the pop-up expo from site to site providing fun experiments for children while they wait for their parents. The activities have elicited oohs and ahhs aplenty, sparking young imaginations. Cade Educators have helped children make rainbow viewers while talking about light wavelengths, gravity kaleidoscopes while explaining gravity and light, and sun putty (goo that changes color in the sun) to demonstration chemical reactions. The Cade’s outreach efforts and participation are sponsored by Infotech.
“GHA’s children and youth truly have had a blast over the past year exploring the world through the lens of invention and science,” said GHA’s Resident Services Manager, Tina Folston-Hayes. “GHA is extremely grateful to the Cade for the opportunities that they have provided our families. COVID-19 posed so many obstacles but leave it to the Cade to continuously develop innovative ways to provide creative learning experiences!”
For more information on how to donate to the Cade’s impactful programs, visit cademuseum.org/impact. For more information on the Gainesville Housing Authority, visit gainesvillehousingauthority.org. For more information on Cox’s Connect to Compete, visit www.cox.com.
About the Cade Museum
In 2004, Dr. James Robert Cade and his family established the Cade Museum Foundation to build the Cade Museum for Creativity & Invention in Gainesville, Florida. The Cade’s mission is to transform communities by inspiring and equipping future inventors, entrepreneurs, and visionaries. Dr. Cade, a physician at the University of Florida, was best known as the leader of a research team that invented Gatorade in 1965. The Cade Museum is open to the public and located at 811 South Main Street, Gainesville, FL 32601. An independent 501(c)(3) public foundation, the museum receives no operational funding from federal, state, or local governments, or the University of Florida.
About Cox Communications
Cox Communications is committed to creating meaningful moments of human connection through broadband applications and services. The largest private telecom company in America, we proudly serve six million homes and businesses across 18 states. We're dedicated to empowering others to build a better future and celebrate diverse products, people, suppliers, communities and the characteristics that make each one unique. Cox Communications is the largest division of Cox Enterprises, a family-owned business founded in 1898 by Governor James M. Cox.
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