Orlando Science Center's exhibit halls feature a vast array of exciting interactive experiences! Learning has never been so fun with these hands on educational exhibits. From down to earth explorations in natural science to the high-tech world of simulation technology, everywhere you look, you'll find educational and entertaining opportunities to explore, experiment, and discover.
The Orlando Science Center is home to some of the most exciting traveling exhibits in the country. When these exhibits are in town they are only here for a limited time, so don’t miss the opportunity to see them!
As great as our traveling exhibits are, there are some exhibits that are the staple of the Orlando Science Center. NatureWorks will have you up close and personal with some of nature’s most fascinating reptiles. At DinoDigs, you’ll step back into the prehistoric age. Discover the dynamic forces and systems that shape our Earth, as well as other planets in Our Planet, Our Universe. Explore such concepts as electricity and magnetism, lasers, soundwaves, and nature’s forces in Science Park. No visit to the Science Center is complete without a trip to KidsTown, an interactive world dedicated to our smaller explorers.
Science Live! Programs
What’s the difference between a great visit to a Science Center and a memorable visit? Live programs. Our exhibits are designed to inspire curiosity and exploration, our Science Live! programs are designed to bring the exhibits to life. Whether it’s a show in the Digital Adventure Theater or a one-to-one interaction with a volunteer at the Crosby Observatory, our live programs create the kind of impact that can last a lifetime.
Looking for little more “hard science” in your next Science Center visit? Look no further than the Science Stations located throughout the facility. Science Stations are a cross between exhibits and live programs in that they’re exhibits that typically include a live program to truly bring the experience to life. Science Stations provide an in-depth look at their respective subject matter in an entertaining way. Be sure to check your program schedule to see which Science Stations are conducting demonstrations on the day of your next visit.
The aluminum-domed Crosby Observatory atop Orlando Science Center houses Florida's largest publicly accessible refractor telescope. This one-of-a-kind custom-built telescope, along with several smaller scopes, are available at selected times for solar and night sky viewing.
28 October 2011
WFTV Severe Weather Center 9
While most of us shudder at the thought of hurricane season, there is one colorful ocean dweller that actually benefits from these tropical cyclones. According to Derek Manzello, who studies the life of coral reefs at the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory in Miami, Florida, hurricanes can bring up cooler waters from the depths of the ocean and bring aid to coral reefs that are in danger of bleaching. This act of circulating cool water is known as upwelling.
Corals have tiny organisms called Coral Polyps that contain photosynthetic algae called zooxanthellae, which provide the coral with food and bright coloring. Coral bleaching takes place when zooxanthellae leave the coral, due to increased water temperatures or other stress factors. Because the coral has no way of feeding itself, it eventually dies. However with the help of hurricanes, water temperatures are brought down and the coral is able to recover in about 1 month.
In 2005, coral reefs in the Caribbean suffered the most damage and bleaching due to very high water temperatures. However, they recovered much faster than nearby reefs. The winds from all of the tropical cyclones that passed within 435 miles of the Florida Reef Tract east of the Florida Keys lowered the surrounding sea surface temperatures by as much as 5.8 degrees F.
Occurences like these are good reminders that, even under the most terrifying circumstances, Mother Nature has a way of finding something good.
26 October 2011
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.
10 October 2011
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.
17 October 2011
Dr. Dare's Lab
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:
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.
12 September 2011
Our Planet, Our Universe
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!