Exhibits

 

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.

 

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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Recently, the Science Center welcomed Dr. Jim Bell of Arizona State University. Dr. Bell is a key contributor on the Mars Rover projects, including the most recent project - Curiosity. In this video, Dr. Bell discusses what it's like to work on these projects.


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Whether we are singing “Old MacDonald”, or even “happy birthday”, we all partake in singing early on in our lives. Singing with your children can not only be a fun experience for the family, but also an educational opportunity for your child. Shown in a recent study by the University of California, it was found that out of the young 2nd graders who were given singing lessons, 27% scored higher on the various tests than those who did not receive lessons. As their brains develop, the use of singing allows more parts of the brain to function while continuing to grow.

Where there is singing, most likely instruments will follow. Your toddler will be having so much fun singing and banging on the drums that they won’t even notice they are multitasking. This is a great way to strengthen physical abilities. The singing and clapping will get them to dance, therefore building endurance.

One last important benefit to touch on is expression of emotions. When they are happy they will sing their hearts out, and pass the joy to the onlookers. Even when they have rainy days, it can be beneficial to pep them up with an encouraging and uplifting melody. And to think, some of these songs will stay with them forever. I learned a song about Alfred the Alligator seven years ago, I still sing about him today.

MusicalNotes

Image Courtesy of Valdosta State University


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Have you ever heard of Dr. Linda Webster? We hadn't either, but it turns out, she's the newest addition to the DinoDigs team. Dr. Webster is actually a fictional character who is adding a new take on the exhibit signs in DinoDigs. Recently, each sign panel was taken out and replaced by  Dr. Webster's field journals, notes and memos.

The signs give guests a new way of looking at the exhibits and include interesting facts about each dinosaurs such as where they lived and what they ate. More importantly, they provide an opportunity for critical thinking, asking guests questions that require them to use the knowledge they gained to form their own hypotheses.

According to Kim Hunter, Senior Director of Exhibit Development here at the Science Center, the new signs help play an important role in the visitor experience. "The new interpretations in DinoDigs allow guests to pretend they are an actual paleontologist," Kim noted. "Along with some interesting information about each dinosaur, you can see what the field of paleontology is like and the processes these professionals use through the eyes of a fictitious scientist."

So, the next time you're in DinoDigs, make sure you meet Dr. Webster. You'll be glad you did!

T_Rex_Photo


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Astronomers have found the brightest and youngest example yet of a fast-spinning star. This recent discovery has scientists believing that these versions of stars may be more common than they thought. The spinning star is a millisecond pulsar called J1823-3021A and is located inside a conglomeration of stars called a globular cluster which can be found 27,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Sagittarius.

Pulsars form when the remnants of massive stars from supernova explosions collapse into compact objects made only of particles called neutrons. When  a great mass, like that of our sun’s,  is packed into a space the size of a city, the conserved angular momentum causes the neutron star to spin very quickly and emit a ray of high-energy light that sends out a sweeping beam, much like that of a lighthouse. Because astronomers can only see the beam when it’s pointed at Earth, the light looks as though it is pulsing.

The pulsar emits intense high-energy gamma rays which researchers were able to study using NASA’s Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope. According to their findings this particular pulsar is only 25 million years old – a baby for these kinds of stars, who tend to be a billion years old or so!

youngest_spinning_star_blog


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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.
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