Learning at Home Resources From Orlando Science Center Partners

Learning at home can be a daunting task but these complimentary educational resources can help! 

Whether your STEM student is interested in outer space, engineering, or coding, there is something to pique everyone's interest in the list below. Some are more formal curriculum while others have you learn through game experiences. Either way, here are hours of ideas you can use when learning at home. 

 

For some more fun ideas tried and tested by Orlando Science Center staff, check out OSC at Home

Click on these links for external activities and resources to support learning at home.

Also For Educators

Don't miss these links of compiled activities and resources for use in your lessons.

OSC At Home Emails

Get a round up of our latest activities and ideas delivered straight to your inbox so you don't miss a thing!

Find out when we release new resources by following us on social media!

 

Follow us on social media for even more science fun including fun facts, games, behind-the-scenes photos, and more!

 

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Support OSC At Home

In these ever-changing times, it is our pleasure to adapt quality Orlando Science Center experiences to engage with everyone while they are safe at home. Please consider supporting our operating fund to ensure we can continue developing resources today and well into the future. Thank you for your generosity and support!

Renewable Energy Workshops — OUC Project A.W.E.S.O.M.E Lessons For Your Virtual Classroom

Project AWESOME is a collaboration between Orlando Science Center and OUC that has impacted over 100,000 students in Orange and Osceola counties over the past decade through renewable energy workshops.

 

These renewable energy workshops are typically delivered directly to the classroom, but since schools are currently closed due to precautions around COVID-19, this effort has shifted online. There will be 7 lessons available in the form of a voiced over PowerPoint. Each lesson will include science content, discussion questions, an activity for students to complete, and a reflection.

In 2009, Orlando Science Center created a STEM-based program on water conservation and alternative energy partnership with OUC - The Reliable One which has reached every 5th grader in OUC's service area. These hands-on renewable energy workshops stimulate STEM skills like critical thinking, communication and collaboration through projects that address real-world issues around water conservation and alternative energy.

 

Project AWESOME stands for Alternative Water and Energy Supply; Observation, Methods and Education. It brings science to life for thousands of students every year through inquiry-based instruction focused on renewable energies and water conservation. Students are immersed in real-world environmental problems that enhance their abilities to think creatively about sustainable solutions for today’s challenges. Additionally, the OUC Project A.W.E.S.O.M.E. includes curriculum content that reinforces concepts taught in-class and helps prepare students for Florida Standardized Assessment testing.

 

If you are not an educator or are looking for more at-home learning resources, view our resources page here.

Virtual Art Gallery: Experience UCF’s The Beethoven Project (A New Light)

Premiered February 14 in Orlando Science Center's FUSION: A STEAM Gallery

As Orlando Science Center closed in response to COVID-19 during the run of the exhibition The Beethoven Project (A New Light), we wanted to bring the artwork to you to explore as a virtual art gallery so you don't miss this phenomenal experience presented by the graduate students in the Animation and Visual Effects Master of Fine Arts program in the School of Visual Arts and Design at UCF.

This exhibit displays artworks by the 13-person team that includes surreal landscapes, imagined space phenomena and foreign worlds. Included are digital prints of an array of pre-production development imagery, several proof of concept images, early production stills as well as a work-in-progress reel. These elements represent the various stages of producing a hybrid 2D-3D animated short film.

 

The pieces will come together as an animated narrative featuring a story about a fearless young space explorer written to accompany the UCF Orchestra’s performance of the Second Movement of Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony debuting in 2020. The film features the story of a young explorer who dreams of space travel. Only after building a spaceship and living among the stars does she realize that she yearns for the comfort of her garden at home.

The Beethoven Project - Jade Asteroid
The Beethoven Project - Home Planet 169

Students: Indianna Alvarez-Sanchez, Ana Beltran, Savannah Berry, Clinnie Brinson, Christina Christie, Emma Cuitino, Imani Dumas, Hannah Huffman, Ira Klages, Desiree Rangel, Nate Shrage, Damian Thorn-Hauswirth, Dillon Williams

 

Advisors: Jo Anne Adams, Cheryl Briggs, Darlene Hadrika, Dr. Chung Park, Dr. Stella Sung

 

Special thanks:

Sam Flax for donation of frames and framing services.

Klages Kreations for donation of printing services.

UCF School of Visual Arts and Design

 

Software Used:

The Foundry Nuke, Autodesk Maya, Adobe Creative Suite, Procreate, Toon Boom Harmony, Pixologic ZBrush, Adobe Substance Painter, Solid Angle Arnold

Indoor Obstacle Course: Make Your Own Superhero Training Camp

OSC challenges you to make an indoor obstacle course Superhero Training Camp in your own home!

Through working together and using the Engineering Design Process to build your obstacle course, you may discover that you have superpowers of your own!

 

  1. Ask: Can you make a training camp that shows you what it takes to be a Superhero? What skills does a superhero need? How can you create challenges that highlight some of those skills?
  2. Imagine: Think about different things you could use around your home to make obstacles. Imagine how those objects can work together to make the best superhero course.
  3. Plan: Draw or write out your materials list so you can plan your course. Create layout of what you want your course to look like.
  4. Create: Assemble your course! Think about the different steps needed to bring your ideas to life. Adjust your diagram as necessary and make sure the course is safe!
  5. Improve: Once you’ve given it a try, think about if there are ways you could improve your training course. Can you make it more challenging? Did everything work the way you planned? If not, you can use the Engineering Design Process to help you improve your course!
Engineering Design Process Circle Diagram: Ask, Imagine, Plan, Create, Improve

Here are some suggestions to get started:

Item: Couch cushions or pillows

 

Uses:

  • Stand them up and weave around them
  • Climb over them
  • Jump on them
  • Crash through them

Item: Laundry basket

 

Uses:

  • Toss small items into them
  • Duck inside them
  • Use them as large obstacles to maneuver around

 

Item: Clothing

 

Uses:

  • Gear up with different clothing items throughout the course such as hats, jackets, gloves, scarves, etc.

Some of our other favorite prop ideas:

  • Cardboard boxes are great for tunnels!
  • Masking tape on the floor makes for an instant DIY balance beam.
  • Blankets make good tunnels and can separate one challenge from the next.
  • Chairs or stools are great obstacles that you can also drape blankets over.
Child in superhero costume navigating obstacle course at Science Center

More ways to conquer the obstacle course:

 

Spy Mission: Go through the course as quietly as possible! Shhh!

 

Save the Citizen: Grab your favorite stuffed animal and go through the course while keeping your citizen safely by your side.

 

Freeze Blast: Grown-ups can freeze their hero in training during different parts of the course to catch them off-guard.

 

“Superman Says”: Grown-ups can choose what actions their superhero in training does while going through the course.

 

Grown-ups can also act as a cheering section or blow bubbles while little ones conquer the course!

 

Share your design, results, and in-action photos with us!

 

OSC At Home Emails

Get a round up of our latest activities and ideas delivered straight to your inbox so you don't miss a thing!

Find out when we release new resources by following us on social media!

 

Follow us on social media for even more science fun including fun facts, games, behind-the-scenes photos, and more!

 

Facebook Logo Instagram Logo YouTube Logo Twitter Logo

Support OSC At Home

In these ever-changing times, it is our pleasure to adapt quality Orlando Science Center experiences to engage with everyone while they are safe at home. Please consider supporting our operating fund to ensure we can continue developing resources today and well into the future. Thank you for your generosity and support!

Make Avocado Dye to Upcycle T-Shirts

Did you know that you could make avocado dye at home out of your guacamole scraps?

Avocados have a special tannin, an acid present in plants, that turns fabric to beautiful a beautiful pale pink or peach color. This tannin acts as a mordant, or fixative, that helps the dye to stick to the fabric fibers. Learn how to extract tannin from the pit and skin of avocados to make your own fabric dye!  

Materials you will need:

  • Skins and pits of two avocados
  • A large stainless steel pot
  • Heat safe container (bowl, basin, pot)
  • A strainer or sieve
  • A clean white t-shirt (you could also use a bandana, scarf, tank top, whatever you like – just make sure it’s a natural fabric for best results)
  • Optional: gloves for handling dyed fabric (you can also just wash your hands afterwards!)
Avocado skin and pit pieces on cutting board

Directions:

  • Rinse the avocado off your pits & stones. You don’t need to be too thorough with this - the strainer will take care of any avocado pieces that are left behind.
  • Heat water on low heat in your stainless steel pot, enough for your pits & skins to float in. Just heat – don't boil! Be very careful as boiling will turn your dye brown.
Rinsing Avocado Pit Piece
  • Drop the pits into the water. Tear up the skins & drop them in. Don’t forget to remove any stickers!
  • Cover & let the water simmer on low heat. Check on it frequently. If the water is starting to bubble, lower the heat.
Avocado Pieces In Pot
  • Check on the water for color. Because plants vary & tap water can have different minerals in it, the time you will need to extract the tannin will vary as well – somewhere between 30 & 60 minutes.

  • Once you’re happy with the color, strain the dye into a heat safe container.

Straining Avocado Pieces
  • Repeat steps 2 – 6 with the same avocado pieces to make another batch. Do this as many times as you need until you have enough dye to submerge your t-shirt.

Avocado Pieces Recooking
  • Submerge your white shirt into the dye. You can either put a lid on your container to keep it warm or leave it out in the sun.
Submerging T-shirt In Dye
  • Let it sit! Leave your shirt in the dye for at least an hour. You can leave it overnight if you want a deeper color.

Avocado Shirt Dyeing In Tub
  • Remove your shirt & rinse it in cold water. You can let it air dry or throw it in the dryer by itself.

Avocado Shirt Rinsing In Sink
  • Admire your handiwork! You now have a fabulous new shirt made with natural dye.

Dyed T-Shirt

OSC At Home Emails

Get a round up of our latest activities and ideas delivered straight to your inbox so you don't miss a thing!

Find out when we release new resources by following us on social media!

 

Follow us on social media for even more science fun including fun facts, games, behind-the-scenes photos, and more!

 

Facebook Logo Instagram Logo YouTube Logo Twitter Logo

Support OSC At Home

In these ever-changing times, it is our pleasure to adapt quality Orlando Science Center experiences to engage with everyone while they are safe at home. Please consider supporting our operating fund to ensure we can continue developing resources today and well into the future. Thank you for your generosity and support!

Sampling – Observing Animal Behavior

When scientists study animals, they observe their behavior through sampling, a special research technique that helps them notate what the animals are doing. They may be looking for information about the amount of time an animal spends doing something, how much space in the habitat an animal uses, what animals like to hang out together, or finding new behaviors. This technique can be used in the wild to learn about natural animal behaviors or in zoos to learn about the animals’ welfare.

 

 

Some different types of behavior sampling include:

 

  • Ad libitum sampling: writing down anything that seems interesting or important about one animal or a group of animals over a period of time.
  • Focal sampling: watching one animal for a set length of time and writing down everything the animal does with the time noted.
  • Scan sampling: watching one animal or a group of animals and writing down what they are doing at a certain interval of time (every 30 seconds, every 5 minutes, etc.)

 


 

Try observing your pet for a day! Here’s how:

 

You will need:

  1. Something to write on.
  2. Something to write with.
  3. An animal (or a few animals) – if you don’t have a pet, try observing an animal live camera feed on www.explore.org!

 

 

What to do:

  • Decide on what type of sampling you are going to try. Think about how much time you want to spend observing. To learn the most about your pet, you could try scan sampling – observe them once an hour all day and note their behavior.
  • Create a behavior key. You won’t have time to write everything down as it is happening! Create your own shorthand for the most common behaviors your pet or pets might do.
  • Start observing! Be sure to watch the clock to notate the time of behaviors.
  • Finished? Analyze the behavior you recorded! Does your dog spend most of their time looking out the window? Maybe you can set up their bed next to a window so they can enjoy it! Does your cat like to hide under tables? Maybe you can set up a sitting area with a canopy to make them feel safe!

 

 

What Next?

You can help animal researchers around the world by sampling behavior or even simply counting or sorting animals! Scientists ask for help by doing community (or citizen) science projects where anyone can help by following simple instructions and entering data.

 

Check out this search engine to find a citizen science project that’s interesting to you: https://scistarter.org/finder

 

OSC At Home Emails

Get a round up of our latest activities and ideas delivered straight to your inbox so you don't miss a thing!

Find out when we release new resources by following us on social media!

 

Follow us on social media for even more science fun including fun facts, games, behind-the-scenes photos, and more!

 

Facebook Logo Instagram Logo YouTube Logo Twitter Logo

Support OSC At Home

In these ever-changing times, it is our pleasure to adapt quality Orlando Science Center experiences to engage with everyone while they are safe at home. Please consider supporting our operating fund to ensure we can continue developing resources today and well into the future. Thank you for your generosity and support!

Please Support: A Message From Captain

It’s your best friend Captain here!

A lot has happened since I last wrote you in November. I’m reaching out to you today because I miss you!

 

Orlando Science Center cares so much about me, our community, and our whole world. As you may know, for our safety, we have made the decision to close for the time being. While I definitely miss seeing your happy faces and the cheerful squeals you make when we meet, I know this is for the best. My friends and caretakers, Tori and Madison, still visit each and every day and are taking such great care of me.

 

You are amazing. I’m always so happy when you buy a ticket to visit, or an annual membership to visit even more. Sometimes you give donations because you believe in me and my Science Center. Wow, that’s the best! All of these contributions give me the opportunity to educate you and your families and share the many ways that you can make a difference in our big, beautiful world. As a nonprofit, we couldn’t do it without you!

 

I, along with all my friends at Orlando Science Center, are asking you to consider supporting our operating fund that helps my 350  animal friends and our staff who call Orlando Science Center home.

 

I do hope you’ll join us. After all, we have a lot of work left to do together!

 

I look forward to seeing you all again very soon.

 

 

With all my love,

Captain

Out-of-this-World At-Home Learning Resources from NASA

NASA At Home Activities

It is important to explore science outside our walls and thankfully our friends at NASA have developed tons of activities for you to do just that! You can check out their main site for lots of ideas at www.nasa.gov/stem, but scroll down to see some of our top picks!

 


 

Things You Can Make At Home

These are some fun and educational activities that you can make at home. Be flexible with your supplies, if you don’t have one of the recommend materials, just improvise!

 

 

Build a Rocket - This lesson is designed for a classroom but can be easily done in your home with some simple materials.

 

Build an Astronaut Lander - Design, build, and test a marshmallow astronaut lander. NASA has a great guide that takes you through the engineering design process.

 

Stained Glass Earth - Take a break from the engineering and put the A in STEAM. This guide will help you make an awesome earth model that looks like stained glass!

 

Greenhouse Gas Models - This activity teaches you how to build different greenhouse gas molecules out of gumdrops. Don’t have gumdrops? Try substituting marshmallows, clay, dyed cotton balls, anything you can think of!

 


 

Quick Educational Games

Games can be an amazing educational tool when they are created with intention and NASA has made quite a few easy-to-learn games that teach a range of topics like astronomy, earth science, engineering, etc. Here are some of our favorites:

 

 

Command a Martian Rover - Mars rover engineers can’t just control their rovers like a remote-controlled car because Mars is too far away. Instead, they send groups of commands in batches and now you can try your hand at making some simple commands as you virtually pilot the Curiosity Rover!

 

Comet Quest - Learn about the Rosetta Mission that explored a comet and see if you can gather enough data to send back to Earth.

 

Greenhouse Gas Attack - This is a classic brick-breaker game with a twist. Learn about how heat gets trapped under greenhouse gases and use your carbon-capture ball to break through those pesky greenhouse blocks.

 


 

Take a Break Activities

Sometimes we all need a break from the lessons. These simple activities are fun way to take a break while still keeping your brain engaged.

 

 

A-maze-ing Women of STEM - Mazes are great. Mazes that teach you about some amazing women in STEM are even better.

 

Space-Tech Funpad - NASA has developed several different activity books and funpads to keep you entertained and learning. All you need is a printer and a pencil!

OSC At Home Emails

Get a round up of our latest activities and ideas delivered straight to your inbox so you don't miss a thing!

Find out when we release new resources by following us on social media!

 

Follow us on social media for even more science fun including fun facts, games, behind-the-scenes photos, and more!

 

Facebook Logo Instagram Logo YouTube Logo Twitter Logo

Support OSC At Home

In these ever-changing times, it is our pleasure to adapt quality Orlando Science Center experiences to engage with everyone while they are safe at home. Please consider supporting our operating fund to ensure we can continue developing resources today and well into the future. Thank you for your generosity and support!