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.

 

Nothing describes mother natures’ persistence better than the way Barbara Kingsolver puts it in her popular novel, Poisonwood Bible, “this forest eats itself and forever lives.” The fierce forces of nature can be intense and enduringly unpredictable. A dust storm is no different.

Dust storms are not just desert phenomena. They can occur in any dry area where loose dirt is exposed to the elements and can easily be picked up. Heavier grains of sand generally fall back down to the ground after a few hours, but smaller particles can stay in the air for weeks at a time and can be blown thousands of miles.

With the recent wildfire activity out west, there are a lot of small smoke and dust particles already collected in the air, drifting and swirling with the wind currents. If the winds become strong enough, these particles form a wall-like structure and can suddenly loom over hundreds of miles and rise above 10,000 feet.

Usually these storms last only a few minutes, but that is long enough to hinder visibility on the highway, hinder air traffic and threaten the health of those with asthma and other respiratory diseases.

It is estimated that Australia spends an average of $20 million a year on medical bills because of asthma and other respiratory diseases exacerbated by the fierce dust storms.

During the 1960s there were eight dust storms that caused some serious damage; 13 more in the 1970s; 14 in the 80s and more than 20 in the 1990s. Although some storms are not as severe as others, even a mild dust storm is not a pleasant experience to walk through. It is recommended that you seek shelter when you see the wall of dust forming.

This week, a dust storm descended on Phoenix, Arizona, delaying flights and significantly reducing visibility.  Many longtime residents say it was the biggest they had ever seen.

This storm is only the first hint of the upcoming monsoon season, which typically starts in mid-June and lasts until the end of September. Below is a link to a video of the wall of dust that hit Phoenix on Tuesday, July 5.


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Scientists have discovered a way to take the temperature of dinosaurs. But how you ask? After all, they have been extinct for millions of years. As it turns out dinosaur teeth are good for more than just the act of chewing. Researchers were able to measure the dinosaurs’ temperatures because body temperature makes a difference in the amount of different types of carbon and oxygen that collect in the tooth enamel.

What is surprising is that the temperature of dinosaurs turns out to be almost the same as ours! They found a long-necked Brachiosaurus had a temperature of about 100.8 degrees F and the smaller Camarasaurus had a temperature of about 98.3 degrees F. People average around 98.6 degrees F. So, wouldn’t that mean that dinosaurs are warm blooded like us? Not necessarily.

When dinosaurs were first discovered, the theory was that they were lethargic and cold-blooded, but recent evidence suggests they may be more likely to be warm-blooded, which would allow them to be more active, like the velociraptors in the Jurassic Park movies.

Although the debate still remains whether or not dinosaurs were warm blooded or cold blooded, lead researcher Robert A. Eagle of the California Institute of Technology suggests, “our analysis really allows us to rule out that they could have been cold [blooded], like crocodiles, for example.” He also adds, “this doesn’t necessarily mean these large dinosaurs had high metabolism like mammals and birds…they could have been ‘gigantotherms’ and stay warm because they were so large.” Large body masses are good at keeping temperatures constant.

According to Roger Seymour of the University of Adelaide, Australia, the findings “confirm that dinosaurs were not sluggish, cold-blooded animals. However, the debate about dinosaur metabolic rate will go on, no doubt, because it can never be measured directly and paleoscientists will often seek evidence to support a particular view and ignore contrary evidence.” The verdict remains to be seen.


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Although the wildfires in Arizona have been almost completely contained at the moment, the Las Conchas wildfire in New Mexico rages on because of the red flag weather conditions (high temperature, high wind and low humidity.) As of June 27, 2011, 8:00 a.m., New Mexico time, the wildfire is approximately 1 mile southwest of the boundary of Los Alamos National Laboratory, famed nuclear research facility. Because of a similar incident that occurred 11 years ago, the Lab is prepared and has already accounted for all radioactive materials and has secured the site.

Currently, firefighters are using fires to fight fires. The hope is that if firefighters use prescribed burns to eliminate fuels in the path of the fire. Then the wildfire will have nothing left to feed on by the time it reaches the points where the prescribed fires were set and eliminated. For up to date information on the New Mexico fires visit this website.

DrippingSpringsPrescribedFire2011


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Up to 420 whale sharks recently gathered off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, forming the world’s largest known assembly of this species. With the largest whale shark ever measurring 40ft. long, with some thought to grow even bigger, this kind of gathering can be quite a sight!

Whale sharks can weigh more than 79,000 pounds and are solitary filter feeders that prefer to be alone in the ocean. The impressive shark assembly proves they will gather for the right reasons. Food now appears to be the draw.

Whale sharks are the largest species of fish in the world, yet they mostly feed on the smallest organisms in the ocean. In spite of their enormous size, whale sharks are not aggressive and move very slowly. Usually they’re seen in the ocean with their up to 5 foot wide mouths open, waiting for food to float in. Tests determined that the whale sharks were gathered feeding on coveted fish eggs from little tunny, a member of the mackerel family.

Whale_Sharks


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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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