Science Station

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Everywhere you look, the human-made world surrounds us. But engineering marvels such as skyscrapers, airplanes and even your smartphone are under threat from a process known as corrosion.

The Science Center’s newest exhibit explores what corrosion is, why it happens, how we can prevent it and how you can join the effort to conquer this silent menace.

  • 3D Mapping: Thanks to projection technology, visualize how corrosion affects infrastructure including steel, pipes and signage.
  • Cracking Under Stress: Test beam and truss shapes by applying weight and looking at them from polarized glass to see where they are most affected by stress and therefore more likely to corrode.
  • The Case of the Cracked Crawler Shoes: Investigate real NASA artifacts and walk in the footsteps of a corrosion engineer to determine the cause of a corrosion incident.
  • Careers in Corrosion: Hear from professionals in the field of corrosion engineering about their experiences and how they got inspired to address these problems and ensure our safety.
  • Little Plates Reveal Big Secrets: Act as a corrosion scientist investigating samples of materials exposed in a corrosive environment to determine which materials and coatings provide the best protection from corrosion.
  • CORRSim Junior: Take an (inter)active role in preventing corrosion by painting your bike and protecting it from the elements in this Kinect experience.

Exhibit Encourages Youth to Solve Puzzles on Infrastructure Preservation

Orlando Science Center and partners have been recognized in the team creation and development of Corrosion: The Silent Menace.

The National Training and Simulation Association presented a team award for training to the Department of Defense Corrosion Policy and Oversight Office, the University of Akron, Bruno White Entertainment and Orlando Science Center during the 2013 NTSA Modeling and Simulation Awards ceremony held on Dec. 4 at the Interactive/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference in Orlando.

Reinforcing science, technology, math, and engineering (STEM) skills at the middle and high school level using 3-D mapping technology, Corrosion: The Silent Menace spotlights the natural phenomena that lead to corrosion and material degradation. Visitors can choose from a menu of virtual experiences that graphically depict the science of corrosion, while also performing interactive experiments that show how engineers preserve drinking waterways, bridge and highway systems, and vital forms of public and private transportation.

"The causes of corrosion on our bridges, highways and pipelines are rooted in complex scientific processes, and this corrosion science exhibit unlocks the secret of those processes and how they can be mitigated," said Daniel J. Dunmire, director of the DoD Corrosion Office.

Besides the principal installation developers, Dunmire credited several DoD partners for their contribution to the exhibit, including Battelle Memorial Institute;; MVE Systems, Inc.; NASA; Reading Rainbow; NACE International; NACE International Foundation; SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings; Ninjaneer Studios; and Echo Artz.

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Andrea Hart, Exhibit Developer at Orlando Science Center, and Dan Dunmire, Director at the Corrosion Policy & Oversight Office of the U.S. Department of Defense, give us an inside look at Corrosion: The Silent Menace, currently on display at the Science Center.

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If you've been following our weekly installments about “Corrosion: The Silent Menace,” you already know that corrosion is a serious issue in the U.S. America’s infrastructure gets a report card every year, and its current grade is a D!

This problem is met with dire consequences. The corrosion that is attacking America’s infrastructure is causing more than 25 percent of our bridges to fail. 800,000 corroded water pipes are ready to burst, and these rusty pipes are leaking seven billion gallons of drinking water every day! Sadly, these issues aren't even the half of it.



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“An essential element in developing improved corrosion control and management practices throughout the national infrastructure is better education of the nation's engineers.” - Committee of Assessing Corrosion Education of the National Research Council (2009).

The corrosion crisis in America is growing faster than we can fix it. Corrosion endangers our nation’s safety and economy, causing broken infrastructure, oil leaks and even one-half of power outages. More than one-fourth of the bridges in the country are structurally deficient due to corrosion.



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As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This is certainly true when it comes to corrosion prevention.

The correct approach to keeping corrosion at bay helps save both money and lives. Although many corrosion prevention techniques are costly, they more than pay for themselves by increasing the safety of our infrastructure and lowering maintenance costs.



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  Orlando Science Center is supported by United Arts of Central Florida, host of and the collaborative Campaign for the Arts.
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