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.
The following is the second of a three part series on wildfires...
High winds only serve to exacerbate the problem of wildfires due to its unpredictability and the fact that wind supplies oxygen to fuel the fire, further dry the fuels and push the fire to spread across greater distances. Did you know that wildfires alone can produce winds that are ten times stronger than the winds surrounding them? For this reason, fires are a formidable force.
Not only do high winds promote fire growth, the presence of a fire can actually increase wind speeds. These winds can throw embers into the air and spread them causing “spotting.” Not only that, but strong gusts can hurl the embers into tree tops creating a “crown fire.” For example, the Las Conchas wildfire in New Mexico is currently running, crowning and spotting up to a half mile from the head of the fire.
Here's a look at the Las Conchas fire from KRQE in New Mexico:
Wildfires are a product of temperature, wind and moisture. High temperatures, high winds and low humidity are conditions that are of concern, especially to those in the West now. These are what can be called red flag conditions. Conditions like these contribute to intense fire behavior and rapid fire growth much like what has been seen recently with the Arizona and New Mexico wildfires.
High temperatures are what serve to induce the first spark to the fire. The ground, including plants, sticks and underbrush, absorbs radiant heat from the sun, which serves to heat and dry potential fuels. Warmer temperatures combined with low humidity or dry air allow for fuels to ignite and burn faster, adding to the rate that wildfires spread. For this reason, wildfires tend to rage in the afternoon, when temperatures are hotter. In New Mexico, the Las Conchas wildfire grew to cover over 43,000 acres in a little less than a day.
Note: This is the first in a three part article describing the recent wildfirs in the Western US and what causes wildfires in general. Check back for the second part on how wind adds to the dangerous mix.
Humans hear millions of sounds everyday. For many people, an alarm clock begins the morning. A trickling coffee pot may filter a hot cup of Joe. And as you start your car, the engine roars as you drive to work or school. Some sounds are pleasant, like birds singing in the trees. But there are plenty of other sounds that drive people crazy. What sound makes people cringe the most? According to an article in Time Magazine this week, whining is one of the most bothering sounds ever.
Researchers for the Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology had participants do math problems as various sounds were played in the background. Levels of concentration varied as they heard silence, talking, “motherese” (aka baby talk), whining and a high-pitched table saw. To make sure participants weren’t distracted by the words themselves, the researchers played foreign language recordings. In the end, whining affected participant’s productivity on their subtraction equations more than the other sounds. According to the study’s co-author and professor of psychology at SUNY New Paltz, Rosemarie Sokol Chang, people of both sexes did fewer problems and did those worse when they heard the whines. Scientists tend to pay more attention to the effect of the other three sounds on humans, so Chang hopes this study will result in further research on whining.
Florida is home to 45 snake species and 6 of those kinds are venomous snakes! There are two types of venomous snakes in Florida, the Crotalidae, or pit vipers, and the Elapidae. Included in the family of pit vipers are the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake, Canebrake Rattlesnake, Pigmy Rattlesnake, Cottonmouth (or Water Moccasin), and the Copperhead. The venom of these snakes is hemotoxic, that is, it destroys the red blood cells and the walls of the blood vessels of the victim and degenerates organs and tissue. The Elapidae, represented in Florida by the Eastern Coral Snake, have neurotoxic venom. This attacks the nervous system of a victim, bringing on paralysis.
With all these venomous snakes just in Florida it would be a good thing to have some of the new ointment being developed by scientists in Australia. Quickly applying a nitric oxide-containing ointment near the bite slows the spread of some venoms. While still only in research stages, this treatment might someday be the difference between dying on the road and getting to the hospital in time.
Worldwide, snakebite causes approximately 100,000 deaths and 400,000 limb amputations each year. Foot-to-groin venom travel times increased from an average of 13 minutes without ointment to an average of 54 minutes with the ointment applied. For now, especially in the United States where death from snakebite is much more rare than the rest of the world, the most proven and effective first aid for venomous snakebite is a call to 911 or a set of car keys. In the future, the combination of ointment and pressure treatment might be the best way to slow the spread of snake venom!
To learn more about snakes, check out our NatureWorks exhibit! Not only do we have plenty on display, but enthusiasts who are eager to share their time and knowledge!
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a dinosaur! LiveScience.com reports that a small adult dinosaur fossil has been found in the southern U.K. At roughly 15.7 inches long, the new fossil could belong to the world’s tiniest dinosaur.
Many of us think dinosaurs were all large creatures that roamed the Earth. But there were actually many smaller groups of dinos that existed as well millions of years ago. University of Portsmouth paleozoologist Darren Naish explained the tiny neck bone belonged to a creature from the maniraptoran group that lived in the Cretaceous period 145 million to 100 million years ago. It is this group that is thought to have led to modern day birds. Because only one vertebra has been found, researchers are unable to say what the dino ate and how long it truly was.
Two techniques were used to estimate the size of the maniraptoran. One method involved fitting a digital model of the dinosaur's neck into a body of a generic maniraptoran. The other method used neck-to-body ratios of other related dinosaurs to estimate the maniraptoran's length. Both methods estimated the size of the dino to be 13 to 15.7 inches.
The new dinosaur has not been named yet, but it’s being referred to as the “Ashdown dino,” based on the location where it was found. If the Ashdown dino is found to be the smallest on record, it will beat out Anchiornis, another birdlike dinosaur that lived in what is now China 160 million to 155 million years ago. It would also be smaller than North America's smallest known dinosaur, Hesperonychus elizabethae, a velociraptor-like predator that was about a foot and a half (50 cm) tall and weighed 4 pounds (2 kilograms).
A newly-discovered maniraptoran dinosaur may have looked like the feathered dinosaur seen here, about to become a snack for the larger Darwinopterus modularis. CREDIT: Mark Witton/University of Portsmouth
A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION FOR ORLANDO SCIENCE CENTER, A FLORIDA-BASED NONPROFIT CORPORATION (REGISTRATION NO. CH2342), MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE OR VISITING THEIR WEBSITE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.