What's New

Dolphins are one of the world’s most beloved animals, and now we are introduced to a new species discovered in Australia called Burrunan dolphins. The strangest thing about this discovery is that these dolphins were found in Melbourne, the second most populated city of Australia. After DNA tests were done on these bottlenose dolphin species, scientists were so surprise at the results that they ran the test again.

To their shock, the Burrunan dolphins were genetically very different from the two recognized bottlenose dolphin species. The Burrunan dolphins not only look very different from the other bottlenose species, but they also have a more curved dorsal fin, a stubbier beak, and a unique “tricoloration”- including dark gray, mid gray, and white.

How did researchers miss this species of dolphins for so long? In 1915, the Burrunan dolphins were almost discovered, but scientist concluded that the differences between the common bottlenose dolphins were due to one being a male and the other a female.  As a result of new technology and studies, researchers today were able to provide evidence making a strong case for this new species.

These species are now listed as endangered because there were very few Burrunan dolphins found, approximately 100. Kate Charlton-Robb, a marine biologist at Australia’s Monash University says "Given the small size of the population, it’s really crucial that we make an effort to protect them." Hopefully these beautiful new species of dolphins will be around for a while with the efforts of protecting them.


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Spooktacular Science Extravaganza

A fun, safe place to trick or treat for the whole family
Sunday, October 30, 12:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Orlando, FLOctober 21, 2011 - If you are looking for a safe environment for the little ones during the spookiest time of the year, look no further than the Orlando Science Center. Celebrate a family-friendly Halloween event at the Eighth Annual Spooktacular Science Extravaganza on Sunday, October 30. From 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., experience activities to captivate the entire family. Come dressed in your ghoulish (or cleverest) costume and roam the hallways in search of candy…and so much more!

Trick or treating will take place on every floor supported by themed activities. Keep an eye on the strange new creatures that emerge from the NatureWorks lagoon and watch out for the giant stilt walker towering over you. Get creative while decorating your own mask, enjoy face-painting or learn makeup tricks with fake scars and bruises or play a round of Bloody Bingo.  Channel your own mad scientist with demonstrations featuring liquid nitrogen and dry ice.


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Orlando Science Center Hosts Teacher Workshops on Life Science

More than 60 Orlando Teachers Learning How to Make Science Come Alive With Bugs!
Saturday, October 22

Sessions at 8:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. at the Orlando Science Center
Presented by Terminix, Audubon Institute and the Orlando Science Center

Who: Over 60 teachers from all over Orlando attending workshops with Brenda Walkenhurst, Director of Education at the Audubon Institute. They are learning a new life science curriculum with free lesson plans developed around the new exhibit, Harry’s Big Adventure: My Bug World!

What: Harry’s Big Adventure: My Bug World! is an exhibit developed by Terminix with the Audubon Insectarium that uses audio, video, live insects and more to give guests a better appreciation for the impact these tiny creatures have on our lives. Explore freestanding habitats such as a cropland, forest, meadow, swamp and even a house to see how insects impact their surroundings, the environment and ultimately human lives.

Terminix has developed a life science curriculum available for local teachers to use in collaboration with field trip visits to the Orlando Science Center to see this one-of-kind interactive exhibit. Plus, they will learn about opportunities to utilize insect experts that will bring live bugs to their own classrooms.


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What is a Mole?

A Mole can be a small insectivorous mammal of the Talipade Family, a machine used by miners to dig tunnels, a spy, a skin blemish, and even a sauce, but the Mole we are celebrating is a number called Avogadro’s Number (Not to be confused with the Avocado).  Named after Italian Scientist Amedeo Avogadro, Avogadro’s number is the exact number of atoms found in 12 grams of Carbon 12.



Since atoms are so very, very tiny… this number is Astronomical. In fact if you had a Mole (Avogadro’s number) of Moles (cute mammal), you would have a fuzzy ball the size of the moon.

To be precise the number is:

Avogadro’s Number


One mole of any pure Element has a mass (in grams) equal to the atomic mass of the atom. For example, the Carbon molecule has an atomic mass of 12, therefore one mole of Carbon weighs 12 grams. In general, one mole of any substance contains Avogadro's Number of molecules or atoms of that substance. This relationship was first discovered by Amedeo Avogadro (1776-1858) and he received credit for this after his death.



Celebrated annually on October 23 from 6:02 a.m. to 6:02 p.m., Mole Day commemorates Avogadro's Number. Mole Day was created as a way to foster interest in chemistry around the world. Come visit us on Sunday, October 23 and help us Celebrate.

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Recently Orlando Science Center has welcomed Harry the Praying Mantis into Science Park for our new Harry’s Big Adventure exhibit which has brought many curious inspectors checking out all our multi-legged friends. This has created a question among many. What has happened to the earthquake room? Do not worry my friends, the earthquake room, along with the chess board, will be returning in January after Otronicon.

The earthquake room is a favorite among many, allowing visitors to experience a 5.6 earthquake. It has been with us since the beginning of Orlando Science Center making it 15 years old. The earthquake room is therefore in much need of a makeover, which is exactly what is happening. When the room returns it will be gleaming with new paint and fresh carpet. Not only is the earthquake room returning in January with a fresh new face, it is bringing along some new activities!

Everyone enjoys racing their friend’s cars down the 70ft pinewood derby track and now they can enjoy personalizing their own car with wheels and weights. This build-it-yourself pinewood derby activity will add a whole new level of excitement while racing your cars down the track. Science Park will be introducing a new exploratory activity with wind tubes, allowing visitors to observe how different objects move through air. The Gravitron ball wall will also be expanding to twice its current size. Come and explore these new and improved activities in January.

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World Premiere Exhibit Extends Its Stay at Orlando Science Center

GUITAR: The Instrument that Rocked the World on Display until January 2

Orlando, FLSeptember 13, 2011 – The National GUITAR Museum and the Orlando Science Center have reached an agreement to extend the stay of the world premiere exhibit GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked The World. The 5,000 square foot display explores the history and evolution of the guitar and shows how the instrument became the cultural symbol it is today.

Since its premiere on June 10, 2011, the exhibit has been driving strong attendance and getting raves from guests which encouraged all parties to keep it on display through the end of the year. GUITAR will wrap up its run in Orlando on January 2, 2012 and then head to the Louisville Science Center. The exhibit is part of a national tour of 15 cities in five years before it settles into its yet to be determined permanent location.

“We have been thrilled with the performance of GUITAR,” says JoAnn Newman, President and CEO of the Orlando Science Center. “Our attendance this summer was up over 20% as compared to the prior year, plus the exhibit constantly provided opportunities for events and promotions. It offers a unique combination of music and science. ”


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Nearing the 10 year anniversary of the September 11th attacks, planet Mars serves as a memorial to those lost that tragic day in 2001. Two aluminum shields were fashioned out of scraps of metal from both tower 1 and tower 2 of the World Trade Center, and attached to NASA’s Spirit and Opportunity Rovers in 2003. The shields are adorned with an American flag and are designed to protect cables on the Rover’s rock abrasion tools, also known as RAT’s.

The Rover’s new tribute tools were made by Stephen Gorevan, founder and chairman of Honeybee Robotics whose offices are actually located less than a mile away from ground zero.  “It’s gratifying knowing that a piece of the World Trade Center is up there on Mars,” says Gorevan. “That shield on Mars, to me, contrasts the destructive nature of the attackers with the ingenuity and hopeful attitude of Americans.”

Fellow Honeybee engineer Tom Myrick hand delivered the scrap pieces to a shop in Texas that had already been working on other RAT components. There, the scraps were turned into the shields that are no larger than a credit card.

The Honeybee team never intended to publicly announce the memorial when it was launched back in 2004. Gorevan stated, “It was intended to be a quiet tribute. Enough time has passed. We want the families to know”

NASA believes that even after the Rover’s stop functioning, the memorial pieces could remain in good condition for millions of years!


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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: [email protected]
  Orlando Science Center is supported by United Arts of Central Florida, host of power2give.org/centralflorida and the collaborative Campaign for the Arts.
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