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.

 

Traveling Exhibits

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!

 

Exhibit Halls

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.

 

Science Stations

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.

 

Crosby Observatory

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.

 

Suppose you’re out in the Everglades watching a six-foot alligator when out of the reeds springs an even bigger python that suddenly latches on to it and attempts to devour it whole! The non-venomous Burmese python’s natural habitat may be Southeast Asia but due to human intervention these reptilian creatures are coming to the Everglades near you! It became a startling phenomenon a decade ago not only due to owners releasing their pets and accidental escapes but breeding among the freed pythons as well. A female Burmese python can lay up to 100 eggs with an average of about 36 eggs. That’s a lot of pythons from even one snake! Especially for a breed that can grow up to 23 feet long and weigh upwards of 200 lbs.

According to a recently published study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, their arrival has heralded a severe decrease in the population of several native mammals including raccoons and opossums. Researchers are having a more difficult time monitoring the effects of the python’s presence on endangered animals such as the Florida panther. Even if they don’t interact with the panthers, they are still affecting them by consuming their food source of small mammals.

It’s difficult to estimate how many pythons are slithering free throughout the one and a half million acres of the Everglades. In an interview with PBS, Shawn Heflick, President of the Central Florida Herpetological Society, says he believes “that the true number is closer to between 5,000 to 10,000 animals. The 100,000 plus numbers are inflated and sensationalized by politicians and some of the local media, but no one has the real answer to exactly how many are out there.”

Park personnel have taken preventative measures with Ivegot1.org where visitors can report sightings and learn about the species as well as offensive measures such as using detection dogs to sniff out the snakes. Recently the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made it illegal to import these pythons into the U.S. as well as transport them across state lines. Even with these efforts only time will tell as to whether the situation can be contained.

Python

Image Source: The Nature Conservancy.


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It’s hard imagine the Florida of millions of years ago until you’re walking on a beach and stumble upon an enormous prehistoric shark tooth. What once roamed these lands? Was Tyrannosaurus rex tromping through the woods hunting for prey while brachiosaurs munched leaves off nearby trees? Actually no, back then Florida was underwater.

Once Florida as we know it emerged from the receding waters about 25 million years ago it became inhabited by various types of creatures. I wasn’t kidding about those enormous shark teeth, there was Megalodon whose name literally means “giant tooth,” with teeth about seven inches long. Moving into the woods, there were giant sloths called Megatherium hanging about that happened to be bigger than Woolly Mammoths. Running free on the plains were horses ranging from the size of deer to the size of a modern Clydesdale. They would have had to outrun several types of large cats ranging from the lion-like Barbourofelis to the saber-toothed Smilodon (which would go so far as to pounce and prey on Woolly Mammoths).

So who knows someday as your standing on a riverbed you may reach down to find fossilized alligator poop or giant beaver tooth incisors. Here in Florida the chances of finding fish fossils are higher than finding those of a bird (as they’re more fragile). Most fossils will tend to be five to ten feet under the surface whether they be embedded in the sand at the beach or stuck in a river bed.

Make sure to research the laws regarding fossil hunting and purchase a yearly permit for five dollars as well. Know before going into the field that depending on where you find your fossil and its scientific significance your finding may be confiscated by the state. Not every type of fossil hunting is regulated; one may search for shark teeth and plant fossils without a permit.

Happy fossil hunting!

megatherium


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Recently, a team from Universal Orlando Resort donated their time and talent to help us renovate the Orange Grove in KidsTown.  Here are some photos from their time here.  Some of the work they did included:

  • Repainting the scenery
  • Fixing the mechanics of the grove
  • Changed the bike with a John Deere tractor

To our friends from Universal and everyone that contributed to the 5 for the Grove campaign, we can't thank you enough!


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The first video ever taken of the far side of the Moon was recorded by the twin GRAIL Probes, Ebb and Flow, and released on February 1, 2012. The GRAIL probes were launched aboard the Delta II rocket on September 10, 2011 from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The only people to have seen the far side of the Moon have been the astronauts of the Apollo missions and robotic spacecraft. Why do we never see the other side of the Moon? The Moon is tidally locked with the earth; therefore the same side of the Moon always faces the earth.

The twin GRAIL probes are on a mission lead by Maria Zuber, the principal investigator at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The purpose of the mission is to further explore the Moon’s gravity fields.

“My resolution of the new year is to unlock lunar mysteries and understand how the Moon, Earth and other rocky planets evolved,” Zuber said.  Part of her resolution came true when Ebb (GRAIL-A), reached the moon’s orbit December 31, 2011 and Flow (GRAIL-B) reached it on January 1, 2012. “Now, with GRAIL-A successfully placed in orbit around the Moon, we are one step closer to achieving that goal,” Zuber said.

Zuber has been working to create a program geared toward school children in the fifth to eight grade. The GRAIL probes are equipped with a MoonKAM, Moon Knowledge Acquired by Middle school students, a program designed to spark children’s interest in space and science in hopes some becoming scientists and engineers. The students will be able to direct the MoonKAM to take pictures of specific areas of the Moon. The image will then be sent directly back to each classroom giving students the great opportunity to study craters, highlands and future landing sites.

Teachers: if you are interested in signing up your class for the MoonKAM program, please visit www.Moonkam.ucsd.edu/register.

Here's a video from the mission...

Embedded video from NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory California Institute of Technology


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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

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