Miranda Cosgrove Dives Into Science at Fort Innovate – and Dishes About Her Love of Bugs

Miranda Cosgrove, star of Nickelodeon‘s iCarly, never met a bug she didn’t like. And even though she pursued a career in acting, Cosgrove has a serious passion for science and innovation.

“When I was little, I used to go to bug fairs,” she recalled to Showbiz Cheat Sheet. “I actually had a millipede when I was like 10 years old named Millie. And I’d wear the millepede on my wrist sometimes.” Cosgrove said her early love of bugs – and science – came from going to interactive science exhibits with her mom.

Most recently, Cosgrove partnered with USAA during its 100th anniversary to announce a traveling kid’s interactive science lab, called Fort Innovate™ that will tour the U.S. this summer.

Miranda Cosgrove talks about interactive science fun this summer

According to USAA, Fort Innovate, is a free, traveling innovation lab, which will arrive in nine cities throughout the nation. The interactive exhibit is designed to “help inspire the next generation of big thinkers.” Cosgrove couldn’t be more excited about the lab.

Miranda Cosgrove at the 2022 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards
Miranda Cosgrove | Michael Tran / AFP/ via Getty Images

She said Fort Innovate brings her back to going to bug fairs with her mom. “Most of the exhibits are based on military innovations. Like one of them is Silly Putty, which is going to be really fun. There’s a night vision one and it’s a really fun experience. And I feel like kids never forget those things, and who knows what they’ll come up with in the future because of this experience.”

Science made friendly and fun, Miranda Cosgrove says about Fort Innovate

As a big advocate for encouraging kids to explore STEM, Cosgrove said Fort Innovate delivers science and innovation through fun. “I think this is an awesome way to get kids involved and make it not so scary because it’s really just about having fun with your family and learning new things. So I think this is hopefully going to help for sure,” she said about Fort Innovate.

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“And then I actually host a show on CBS. It’s called Mission Unstoppable, and it’s all about showcasing women in STEM and getting kids into it and realizing all the different STEM opportunities that are out there,” she continued. “So I just think if kids can see it, they can be it. So just having those awesome experiences and those memories.” Mission Unstoppable, which airs on Saturday mornings, explores science-based experimentation and shows kids how science is fun.

Cosgrove said her love of science came from her mom. “I would say my mom taking me to do cool things,” she said. “Like taking me to little tar pits and taking me to the bug fair that I talked about, that stuck with me my whole life. I’ve never thought bugs were gross. I always thought that they were really cool because of that. So yeah, it kind of just stays with you.”

Kids and families can win big – even a chance to go to space camp

Cosgrove said Fort Innovate is a science experience the whole family can enjoy. “You’re learning a lot while you’re in there,” she said. “Even with the Silly Putty, I was learning that in World War II, there was a lack of rubber. So that’s how Silly Putty even came to be, it ended up being more of just a kid’s toy. But yes, it’s an opportunity to learn a bunch of fun little facts and new things like that.”

The learning doesn’t stop at the lab. “There’s a sweepstakes and you can sign up for it at the actual Fort Innovate,” she said about those who can visit the exhibit in person. But anyone can also sign up online at usaa.com/fortinnovate. “You can enter up until August 15th,” Cosgrove added.

Plus, “And then with the sweepstakes, it’s pretty cool because you might actually win a trip to space camp,” she exclaimed. “Which when I was a kid, I feel like that would have been so much fun to get to experience that. And you can also win $50,000. So that’s just another exciting part of it.”

USAA’s Innovation Sweepstakes offers a chance to win a trip for four to Family Space Camp® at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL, along with $50,000.

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