Exhibit Hall

Now Open on Level 2

A visitor favorite, Science Park’s eclectic array of interactive exhibits lets you explore such concepts as lights & lasers, sound & waves, electricity & magnetism, fundamental forces, and simulation. Make "waves" at the giant 56 foot echo tube or tap out a tune on pipes of pan.

Race your friends on the 70ft pinewood derby track or take to the air on our flight simulator. Discover the power of light, and make your own mini-laser show. There are also new open-ended exhibits that invite visitors to imagine, create, and construct various inventions from paper flying machines to structures from PVC pipe.

Science Park also features a variety of live shows and demonstrations that complement and enhance the topics in the exhibit. We’re always creating new exhibits for Science Park, so check our website articles for news.

 

National Geographic reported that radioactive material from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, disabled by the March 11th earthquake and tsunami in Japan, continues to enter the ocean and endanger marine animal life. In the beginning of the month, seawater samples taken near the nuclear power plant, on Japan's eastern coast, showed elevated levels of radioactive isotopes. The presence of radioactive isotopes alone is not bad since all life on Earth, and in the oceans, lives with exposure to natural levels of ionizing radiation. Although we are all in contact with high frequency radiation strong enough to change DNA most genetic damage heals because the damage is coming from a natural source of radiation. However, the addition of human-made radiation can make it harder for the body of humans or animals to repair broken genes.

Radiation concentrations in the Japanese seawater samples have peaked at around 3,355 times the legal limit for seawater, which shows that this radiation exposure is far beyond any natural radiation marine life comes in contact with. Once the radiation enters the seawater it can hurt marine life, either killing, creating genetic mutations in offspring, or passing along the radiation up the food chain. Joseph Rachlin, director of Lehman College's Laboratory for Marine and Estuarine Research in New York City, feels that, "there will be a potential for a certain amount of lethality of living organisms, but that's less of a concern than the possible effects on the genetics of the animals that become exposed,” and that the main problem is the radiation, “altering the genetics of the animal and interfering with reproduction.” However, according to chemical oceanographer Bill Burnett, “The good news is the half life [of iodine, one of the radioactive isotopes] is only eight days,” and, “if they stop the source of the radioactive leakage, this is going to be a short-term problem."


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Here's a great spotlight on the Energize Video Game we helped develop!



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Wondering why you always feel hotter when wearing black instead of a light color? Try this experiment to prove that there are valid reasons for this to occur. This experiment looks at different types of colors reacting to the sun and which one will generate and capture more heat. Check it out!

What You Will Need:

  • 2 Identical Drinking Glasses or Jars
  • Water
  • Thermometer
  • 2 Elastic Bands
  • White Paper
  • Black Paper

Instructions:

  1. Wrap the white paper around one of the glasses using an elastic band or sellotape to hold it on.
  2. Do the same with the black paper and the other glass
  3. Fill the glass with the exact same amount of water
  4. Leave the glasses out in the sun for a couple of hours before returning to measure the temperature of the water in each.

What is Happening?

Dark surfaces such as the black paper absorb more light and the heat than the lighter one such as the white paper. After measuring the temperatures of the water, the glass with the black paper around it should be hotter than the other. Lighter surfaces reflect more light, that’s why people with lighter colored clothes in the summer keep cooler.


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Did you know that talking on a cell phone for a prolonged period might actually increase brain activity? Cell phones emit energy in the form of electromagnetic radiation and scientists are on a mission to figure out what effects this can have on the brain.

According to Science News, a recent experiment took place where 47 participants had two cell phones strapped against each ear. The phone on the left ear was turned off and the phone on the right ear played a 50-minute message, but was set to silent. Their goal was to study brain activity from the phone itself, not brain activity from listening and engaging in conversation. Scientist used a PET (positron emission tomography) Scan to study the brain activity. The test allows us to see what is going on inside of the body using injections of radioactive material to measure chemical reactions in the brain and creating three-dimensional pictures.

The results of the PET scan showed that the left side of the brain had no changes from the experiment. Conversely, the right side of the brain was using large amounts of glucose, almost as much as a person talking. Glucose is a sugar that provides fuel to the brain. These results allow scientists to conclude that brain cells are active even when the participants hearing nothing. The activity was most likely set-off by the radiation from the cell phone.

The experiment arose from the question “Are there any health risks involve with cell phone usage?”  There is still considerable debate, but scientists who believe there are give a few suggestions to be on the safe side:

  • Do not talk for long periods of time with a cell phone pressed against your head.
  • Keep your conversations short and sweet or use speakerphone.
Brain_Activity
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The traditional laser has been turned inside out, producing what scientist like to call an “anti-laser”. This device is actually called a coherent perfect absorber and has the capabilities to absorb rather than release a stream of light.

In a traditional laser, energy is injected into a medium that is transferred between two mirrors while stimulating photons, which are then reflected back through the mirrors, resulting in an amplification of light. The anti-laser works in a similar fashion, except the medium contains an absorptions component instead of amplification one. Scientists believe the anti-laser has the potential to be used in fields such as computing and medical imaging; leading to instrumental advances in technology. This innovational physics device was discovered by scientist at Yale University and has been noted as a surprising and exciting achievement in the science community.

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777 E. Princeton Street • Orlando, Florida 32803 • Phone: 407.514.2000 • TTY: 407.514.2005 • Toll Free: 888.OSC.4FUN • Email: gservices@osc.org
  Orlando Science Center is supported by United Arts of Central Florida, host of power2give.org/centralflorida and the collaborative Campaign for the Arts.
This project is funded in part by Orange County Government through the Arts & Cultural Affairs Program. Privacy Policy • Accessibility