Learn How To Code Like A Wizard, Make Stop-Motion Animation, and More During Otronicon Workshops!

Become the next great innovator at Otronicon with our engaging, expert-led workshops!

From creating your own bioluminescent 3D printed organism to learning how to set up a state-of-the-art home security system, you’ll leave these workshops with a newfound skill and appreciation for STEM. 

 

Workshop registration is available in the Club House on Level 1. Space is limited and is available on a first come, first served basis so please sign up upon arriving at Otronicon to guarantee your spot. Starting January 13, 2020, guests can reserve workshops in advance for a nominal fee of $5.00 by contacting the reservations department at classes@osc.org or 407.514.2112. Once you are registered we ask that you report to the Club House at least 15 minutes prior to your workshop time to be escorted to the classrooms.

 

Check out the exciting workshops you have to look forward to during Otronicon from January 17-20, 2020!

 


Aaron Cendan presents: Behind the Scenes of Integrating Sound in Games

Sunday, 1:30 p.m. (60 min – Ages 13 and Up)

Have you ever wondered how the sounds of your footsteps in a video game change depending on the surface you are walking on, whether you are crouched, or whether you are carrying a backpack full of jingle bells? In "Behind the Scenes of Integrating Sound in Games," you will get the opportunity to record, edit, and integrate sound in a video game that changes based on context.

 


 

Disney presents: Star Wars Hour of Code

Monday, 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. (60 min – Ages 6 and Up)

This interactive experience introduces coding and computer science in a fun and easy to learn environment for students ages 6 and up. 


 

Dragonfly CGArtwork presents: Dragonfly TITAN Simulation NASA’s mission to Titan

Saturday and Sunday 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:30p.m. (30 min - All Ages)

Dragonfly T I T A N. It is a simulation game of NASA’s New Frontiers mission to Saturn’s moon Titan schedule to be launch on 2026 and arrive in 2034. The rotorcraft will fly to dozens of locations on Titan looking for prebiotic chemical processes common on both Titan and Earth. Dragonfly marks the first time NASA will fly a multi-rotor vehicle for science on another planet; it has eight rotors and flies like a large drone. It will take advantage of Titan’s dense atmosphere to become the first vehicle ever to fly to new places around Titan.


 

Lockheed Martin presents: Production Methodology

Friday – Monday, 12:30 p.m., 1:30p.m. and 2:30 p.m. (60 min – All Ages)

The production methodology workshop will allow participants to work together to build a product, reading and understanding procedures, process improvement, and understand the importance of team communication.

 


 

Microsoft presents: Camp Know Where Rule The Arcade

Friday, 3:30 p.m. and Sunday, 12:30 p.m. (60 min – Ages 8 and Up)

It’s no surprise that the kids in Stranger Things spend a lot of time in the Arcade in Hawkins. Attendees will be told that Hawkins is putting in a new arcade, and they will get to be the ones to design the games to fill it. In the end, they will have a game based on the show that possibly even Mad Max can’t beat.

 


 

Microsoft presents: Literacy Skills for Emerging Readers

Friday and Monday, 10:30 a.m. (60 min – Ages 6 and Up)

Build your reading foundation with Immersive Reader in the OneNote app. Explore tools that help improve focus while reading, identify parts of speech, and read text out loud.

 


 

Microsoft presents: MakeCode Minecraft

Saturday and Monday, 2:30 p.m. (60 min – Ages 8 and Up)

Participants will create original coding programs in their own Minecraft world and learn new computer science concepts, such as events, coordinates, variables, and conditionals. They will practice using computational, problem-solving, and creative thinking skills. No prior experience with MakeCode or Minecraft is required.

 


 

Microsoft presents: Get Creative with 3D in Windows 10

Friday and Sunday, 2:30 p.m., and Saturday, 12:30 p.m. (60 min – Ages 8 and Up)

The world we live in is multidimensional, so shouldn’t our art be as well? Students will bring their imagination to life by learning new Paint 3D in Windows 10. In this high-energy collaborative environment, participants will fuel their creativity and learn key tools and features of 3D in Windows 10.

 


 

Microsoft presents: Understanding Cyberbullying – Be kind to everyone online

(In English) Friday and Saturday, 12:30 p.m. | (en español) Monday, 12:30 p.m. (60 min – Ages 8 and Up)

Participants will learn what cyberbullying is and why it happens, the best strategies to deal with cyberbullying and how to be kind and inclusive online.

 


 

Microsoft presents: Connect, create, and achieve more with Windows 10 and Office 365

(In English) Saturday, 10:30 a.m. and Monday, 3:30 p.m. | (en español) Sunday, 10:30 a.m. (60 min – Ages 8 and Up)

This workshop will show you how to collaborate on the go, keep your family safer online, stay organized with OneNote, and more. Participants choose topics of interest and leave understanding how to get empowered with Microsoft apps and tools like Windows 10, Pen and Windows Ink, Mobile Apps and more.

 


Aaron Cendan presents: Behind the Scenes of Integrating Sound in Games

Sunday, 1:30 p.m. (60 min – Ages 13 and Up)

Have you ever wondered how the sounds of your footsteps in a video game change depending on the surface you are walking on, whether you are crouched, or whether you are carrying a backpack full of jingle bells? In "Behind the Scenes of Integrating Sound in Games," you will get the opportunity to record, edit, and integrate sound in a video game that changes based on context.

 


 

Disney presents: Star Wars Hour of Code

Monday, 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. (60 min – Ages 6 and Up)

This interactive experience introduces coding and computer science in a fun and easy to learn environment for students ages 6 and up. 


 

Dragonfly CGArtwork presents: Dragonfly TITAN Simulation NASA’s mission to Titan

Saturday and Sunday 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:30p.m. (30 min - All Ages)

Dragonfly T I T A N. It is a simulation game of NASA’s New Frontiers mission to Saturn’s moon Titan schedule to be launch on 2026 and arrive in 2034. The rotorcraft will fly to dozens of locations on Titan looking for prebiotic chemical processes common on both Titan and Earth. Dragonfly marks the first time NASA will fly a multi-rotor vehicle for science on another planet; it has eight rotors and flies like a large drone. It will take advantage of Titan’s dense atmosphere to become the first vehicle ever to fly to new places around Titan.


 

Lockheed Martin presents: Production Methodology

Friday – Monday, 12:30 p.m., 1:30p.m. and 2:30 p.m. (60 min – All Ages)

The production methodology workshop will allow participants to work together to build a product, reading and understanding procedures, process improvement, and understand the importance of team communication.

 


 

Microsoft presents: Camp Know Where Rule The Arcade

Friday, 3:30 p.m. and Sunday, 12:30 p.m. (60 min – Ages 8 and Up)

It’s no surprise that the kids in Stranger Things spend a lot of time in the Arcade in Hawkins. Attendees will be told that Hawkins is putting in a new arcade, and they will get to be the ones to design the games to fill it. In the end, they will have a game based on the show that possibly even Mad Max can’t beat.

 


 

Microsoft presents: Literacy Skills for Emerging Readers

Friday and Monday, 10:30 a.m. (60 min – Ages 6 and Up)

Build your reading foundation with Immersive Reader in the OneNote app. Explore tools that help improve focus while reading, identify parts of speech, and read text out loud.

 


 

Microsoft presents: MakeCode Minecraft

Saturday and Monday, 2:30 p.m. (60 min – Ages 8 and Up)

Participants will create original coding programs in their own Minecraft world and learn new computer science concepts, such as events, coordinates, variables, and conditionals. They will practice using computational, problem-solving, and creative thinking skills. No prior experience with MakeCode or Minecraft is required.

 


 

Microsoft presents: Get Creative with 3D in Windows 10

Friday and Sunday, 2:30 p.m., and Saturday, 12:30 p.m. (60 min – Ages 8 and Up)

The world we live in is multidimensional, so shouldn’t our art be as well? Students will bring their imagination to life by learning new Paint 3D in Windows 10. In this high-energy collaborative environment, participants will fuel their creativity and learn key tools and features of 3D in Windows 10.

 


 

Microsoft presents: Understanding Cyberbullying – Be kind to everyone online

(In English) Friday and Saturday, 12:30 p.m. | (en español) Monday, 12:30 p.m. (60 min – Ages 8 and Up)

Participants will learn what cyberbullying is and why it happens, the best strategies to deal with cyberbullying and how to be kind and inclusive online.

 


 

Microsoft presents: Connect, create, and achieve more with Windows 10 and Office 365

(In English) Saturday, 10:30 a.m. and Monday, 3:30 p.m. | (en español) Sunday, 10:30 a.m. (60 min – Ages 8 and Up)

This workshop will show you how to collaborate on the go, keep your family safer online, stay organized with OneNote, and more. Participants choose topics of interest and leave understanding how to get empowered with Microsoft apps and tools like Windows 10, Pen and Windows Ink, Mobile Apps and more.

 


Orlando Science Center presents: Makey Makey

Sunday, 2:30 p.m. (60 min – Ages 8 and Up)

Explore circuitry and conductivity through the Makey Makey - an invention kit for everyone! Turn everyday objects into touchpads and create your own video game controller in this fun hands-on workshop.

 


 

Orlando Science Center presents: Scratch Game Design

Sunday, 12:30 p.m. (60 min – Ages 8 and Up)

Start programming in a snap using Scratch! Create games and digital art using this collaborative platform from the MIT Media Lab.

 


 

Orlando Science Center presents: Stop Motion Animation

Sunday, 10:30 a.m. (60 min – Ages 8 and Up)

Bring your imagination to life using stop motion animation technology! We’ll learn how to use a green screen to create movies that take place anywhere in the world. We will use a stop motion app that can be downloaded on your own smartphone so that you can continue creating at home!

 


 

Society of Women Engineers presents: Catapults!

Sunday, 2:30 p.m. (60 min – Ages 8 and Up)

This workshop teaches any person how to create a catapult using everyday items. Participants will be able to test accuracy, power, and tower during this event.

 


 

Techpays Foundation presents: Code a home security camera with Raspberry Pi

Sunday 10:30 a.m. (60 min – Ages 8 and Up)

Feeling safe is a basic human need. Coding and creating a home security camera and app can be the first line of defense. Attendees will learn how to operate a Raspberry Pi microcomputer and create a security system in this workshop!

 


 

UCF CREATE presents: Glorganisms

Friday and Saturday, 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and Saturday, 2:30 p.m. (60 min – Ages 8 and Up)

What are Glorganisms? No, it’s not an alien lifeform here to take over the planet. Glorganisms are bioluminescent (glow in the dark), 3D printed organisms. In this workshop, you will create a plant or an animal using a 3Doodler pen. There will be a black light so you can see your Glorganism glow in the dark. We will learn a little science and a little tech, but we will have A LOT of fun!

 


 

UCF GaIM presents: Maker Space Laser Cut Design 

Monday, 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. (90 min – Ages 8 and Up)

The UCF Games and Interactive Media Maker Space is presenting this workshop where visitors can participate in designing a project to be laser cut, which can be taken home. These designs can be wearable pendants, unique keychains, or small art works.

 


 

UCF Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy presents: Game Development Card Game

Friday, 12:30 p.m. and Sunday, 2:30 p.m. (90 min – Ages 8 and Up)

Game Dev Game is a 1-4 player card game that teaches about how video game development works. Players take on the roles of programmer, artist, designer, and producer to cooperatively build games based on random rolls of the dice for genre (like platformer, MMO) and theme (aliens, animals, etc.)

 


 

Women in Animation at UCF presents: The Principles of Animation – Flipbooks!

Friday, 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. (60 min – All Ages)

Women in Animation will be explaining the 12 principles of animation and demonstrate how to create a traditional flipbook animation with movement and secondary action.

 

Admission: Otronicon is free for OSC members, $21 for adults, $19 for seniors and students, and $15 for youth (ages 2-11). Click here to purchase Otronicon tickets.

 

Otronicon Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. daily.

 

Science Night Live Featuring Otronicon: Saturday, January 18 from 8:00 – 11:30 p.m., Science Night Live is a 21-and-up event, and requires a separate ticket. Click here to purchase Science Night Live tickets.

 

For more information, please call 407.514.2000.

Cool Reindeer Facts You Didn’t Know

Eenie meenie miney doe, how many reindeer facts do you know?

You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen. But do you recall, the biology of them all? You’ve probably heard this song before, but have you heard the science behind Santa’s fluffy helpers?

 

A reindeer by any other name could still pull a sleigh

What exactly is a reindeer? These animals are part of the deer family, or Cervidae, which includes deer, elk, moose, and wapiti. Reindeer are also commonly known as caribou. This classification is primarily based on location, or habitat. Reindeer refers to the domesticated animal, while caribou refers to the wild animal.

Female reindeer are slaying it!

Scientists have observed that male reindeer shed their antlers in early December after mating season, while female reindeer keep their antlers all year. This means that if the reindeer spotted pulling Santa’s sleigh on December 24 have antlers, they must be females, as males would have already shed their antlers.

The cold never bothered them anyway

Why does Santa have a reindeer-drawn sleigh instead of a horse-drawn carriage? Reindeer are native to cold climates like Alaska, Canada, and Scandinavia and have adapted to the cold. A reindeer’s fur is made up of hollow hairs that trap in air and keep them well-insulated. They are also the only animal to have hair completely cover their noses. This helps warm up the cold air they breathe before it reaches their lungs.

The real red-nosed reindeer

You may remember Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and his shiny schnoz. Scientists say that having a rosy nose is not only possible but common in Santa’s furry friends. Reindeer have 25% more blood vessels in their nose than humans. This helps keep their noses warm, which allows them to warm up the frigid air before they breathe it in. Exposure to extreme cold, or exercise increases blood flow, and with so many extra blood vessels in their noses, they can turn a light rosy color.

Eye on the prize

Reindeer have also adapted to see ultraviolet light. While humans are no strangers to ultraviolet light, we are unable to see it. UV rays are commonly known to cause sunburn or snow blindness by reflecting brightly off of the white snow. Reindeer, however, have adapted the ability to these wavelengths. This not only protects their eyes but allows them to better see food or other animals camouflaged in the snow.

So next time you hear the pitter-patter of hooves on your roof, remember it’s no coincidence that Santa uses these gentle giants to pull his sleigh. Reindeer have adapted to weather their frosty environment and help deliver Christmas cheer all over the world.

5 Way To Go Green This Holiday Season

'Tis the season of red and green, but how green are you actually being? Americans create 25% more waste from Thanksgiving to New Year’s than any other time of year. That’s an extra 1 million tons of trash per week! Here are a few ways you can go green this holiday season without looking like the Grinch!

That’s a wrap on wrapping paper!

 

It’s a common misconception that wrapping paper can be recycled simply because it’s paper. However, coated, glittery, and textured paper materials cannot. When these unrecyclable materials get mixed in with recyclable products, it can result in the whole lot being thrown away. Instead, try using paper materials like newspapers, old maps, comics, or make your own!

Out with the old and in with the new

 

When you upgrade to new tech, don’t just toss out your old devices, recycle them! A United Nations study reported that 44.7 million tons of e-waste was discarded in 2016, and only 20% of it was disposed of properly. Here are some easy ways you can recycle, or donate and make a difference:

 

Call2Recycle is a nationwide organization that recycles old devices and batteries. You can simply mail in old tech without leaving your house, or enter your zip code to find a convenient location near you!

 

Does your old phone still function? The World Computer Exchange is a nonprofit organization that works to get developing countries into the digital age. They accept everything from computers to graphing calculators.   

Sew what else can I do?

 

Handmade gifts are a great way to show someone how you feel without creating excess waste. From bath bombs to jewelry making, you can’t go wrong with a personal touch.

 

Upcycling is another great way to save the planet and a little money. Old board games are a great way to customize a picture frame. Or grab some old clothing and embroider an embellishment.

embroidered jacket

Last but not leftovers

 

According to the WorldWatch Institute, Americans generate three times as much food waste between Thanksgiving and New Year’s as we do the rest of the year. Resolve to go green this year, by starting a compost! Are you a local? The City of Orlando will help you get started for free!

 

Composting is not as difficult or as disgusting as you might think! It can divert up 30% of food waste from a landfill and back into healing the Earth while offering a natural alternative to chemical fertilizers. Here is a simple step-by-step guide to creating your compost starting with the end of your Christmas tree!

Think outside the plastic box

 

Tired of giving gifts that will be outgrown or outdated in a few months? This holiday season, ditch the plastic packaging and gift an experience. You can avoid creating excess waste by gifting tickets to movies or events, certificates for chores or date night, gift cards that can be reloaded and re-gifted, or gift a membership to a favorite theme park or science center!

Otronicon Keynote Speaker: Kate Edwards

Kate Edwards Presents: Career Paths into Game Creation

The countdown to Otronicon is on! From hands-on workshops to interactive exhibits, all ages are invited to ignite their passion for STEM learning! 
 
With Otronicon quickly approaching, we'd like to introduce you to Otronicon's keynote speaker, Kate Edwards. Learn more about her daytime presentation below or check out Science Night Live, our evening for adults 21+ only, to hear her presentation "The Geography Behind Building Game Worlds."

Abstract: 

Video games are the most popular form of entertainment today, with annual global sales surpassing both movie and music revenue combined, as well as all live sports around the world! They’re a cultural and economic phenomenon that’s changing the way people experience stories and how we play together as communities.
 
The majority of people play some kind of game today, but have you ever thought of creating your own? Today, game creation tools are powerful and free, and more people are using games as a form of self-expression. Come hear how you can become a part of the growing global face of game creation regardless of your background (psst – you don’t have to be a programmer!)

Presentation Info:

Title: Career Paths into Game Creation
 
Date: Saturday, January 18, 2020
 
Times: 1:30 p.m. 
 
Location: Digital Adventure Theater, Level 2
 
Format: 20-minute presentation followed by a short Q&A
 
*Schedule is subject to change. Doors open 15 minutes prior to presentation. 

About Our Keynote: 

Kate Edwards is the Executive Director of the Global Game Jam, as well as the CEO and principal consultant of Geogrify, a consultancy which pioneered content culturalization. She is also a Board Member of Take This and is the former Executive Director of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) from 2012 to 2017. In addition to being an award-winning advocate who serves in several advisory roles, she is a geographer, writer, and corporate strategist.
 
Following 13 years at Microsoft, she has consulted on many game and non-game projects for BioWare, Google, Amazon, Facebook, LEGO, and many other companies. Fortune magazine named her as one of the "10 most powerful women" in the game industry in 2013 and in 2014 was named by GamesIndustry.biz as one of their six People of the Year. In 2018, she was honored with Reboot Develop’s annual Hero Award and also presented with IndieCade’s annual Game Changer Award, and in 2019 she was presented with a Special Award from GameRome for her ongoing service to the global game industry. She is also profiled in the December 2018 publication Women in Gaming: 100 Professionals of Play.

Otronicon Ignites Lifelong Passion for STEM

Mackenzie Liezert has always wanted to know how things work. She, like many native Central Floridians, visited Orlando Science Center several times throughout her childhood. This was the perfect way for her to unleash her curiosity and learn about the world around her. These visits were an enjoyable part of her childhood, but the Science Center took on a whole new meaning once she began her college career at the University of Central Florida. In January 2019, Mackenzie attended Otronicon as a volunteer with her fraternity. There, she was enthralled with the amount of science and technology available to discover.

 

“People underestimate how much there is to do,” says Mackenzie. “It isn’t just for people who are tech-obsessed. It’s a fun way to hang out and try something new.”

 

One of her favorite parts of volunteering at Otronicon was seeing how much attendees were enjoying the event. This passion, along with extra free time in the upcoming summer, inspired her to become an Orlando Science Center volunteer. Now, she’s a valuable member of the Visitor Experience volunteer team, stocking and managing supplies that make every guest experience exciting and memorable. Her favorite part of her role is that it encourages her to try new things and be an integral part creating unforgettable guest experiences.

 

As someone who grew up loving science but not feeling it was the right path for her to pursue, volunteering with the Science Center is a perfect way for Mackenzie to stay involved with science and continue discovering. As she continues pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in public administration, we can’t wait to see how far Mackenzie’s passions and thirst to continue learning will lead her in life. 

Otronicon 2020 is currently looking for enthusiastic volunteers ages 13 and up! To learn more, or to register click here. 

Admission: Otronicon is free for OSC members, $21 for adults, $19 for seniors and students, and $15 for youth (ages 2-11). Click here to purchase Otronicon tickets.

 

Otronicon Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. daily.

 

Science Night Live Featuring Otronicon: Saturday, January 18 from 8:00 – 11:30 p.m., Science Night Live is a 21-and-up event, and requires a separate ticket. Click here to purchase Science Night Live tickets.

 

For more information, please call 407.514.2000.

Holiday Films & Festive Laser Light Shows at Orlando Science Center!

Get into the Holiday spirit with themed Hollywood films and a festive Laser Light show in the Dr. Phillips CineDome! Go on an adventure with Stick Man and find out if he'll make it home in time for Christmas in Stick Man! Then, join the happiest, dancing penguin, in Happy Feet! View the Theater Schedule before you arrive for showtimes.
 

Stick Man 

December 21—January 5

Out for his regular jog, Stick Man is picked up by a playful dog and launched on a series of unfortunate adventures that take him ever further away from home. The seasons pass, until Stick Man meets a surprising friend who might just be able to help him get back. But will he make it home in time for Christmas?
 

Happy Feet

December 19—22, December 26—29, January 2—5

In the world of the emperor penguin, a simple song can mean the difference between a lifetime of happiness and an eternity of loneliness. When a penguin named Mumble is born without the ability to sing the romantic song that will attract his soul mate, he'll have to resort to some fancy footwork by tap dancing his way into the heart of the one he loves. Directed by Babe mastermind George Miller, Happy Feet tells the tale of one penguin's quest for love, and features an all-star cast of vocal talent that includes Robin Williams, Hugh Jackman, Elijah Wood, Nicole Kidman, and Brittany Murphy. 
 

Holiday Laser Light Show

2:00 p.m. daily, December 21—January 5

Come follow Squeaky the Penguin on an adventure!  

 

Orlando Science Center has holiday fun down to a science! Join us through December for wintry programming, including our Dinos In Lights festive show and "cool" holiday activities like a live liquid nitrogen show, gift-making activities, winter-themed experiments, and more! Click here to learn more. 

All films and holiday programming are included with general admission to Orlando Science Center, which is FREE for Members, $21 for adults, $19 for seniors and students, and $15 for youth (ages 2 – 11). 

 

To become a member for unlimited access to Orlando Science Center all year long, discounts to camps, and special member-only events, click here or call 407.514.2158.

Smash (Bros) Stereotypes at Otronicon

It’s time to smash the stereotype that video games are a trivial and lazy pastime. Anyone who games knows that being an expert gamer takes endless time, dedication, and skill. They also know that just as much goes into the creation of these wildly complex and immersive games. But how does a great game concept get transformed into the games that enthrall millions of gamers worldwide? The answer, is science. 

 

Get an immersive, exciting and comprehensive look into the science that has made your favorite games come to life at Otronicon 2020. Meet the gaming industry leaders that will not only show off their creations, but take you through their creation process, from concept to final product. Then, take your knowledge to the next level by joining our interactive gaming workshops! Gather your team, plan your concept and go through the thrilling and challenging design process. 

 

Don’t forget to show off your skills at Otronicon’s gaming competitions. Go head-to-head with other gamers, use some of the latest gaming systems and compete for cash prizes. This is your chance to prove that there’s more than an art to gaming, there’s a science.

 

Here are just a few of the gaming exhibitors and workshops you have to look forward to:

  • Powder Keg Games: hosts video game tournaments on consoles Nintendo, PlayStation, and Xbox. Titles include Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Street Fighter, Pokken Tournament DX, Dragon Ball FighterZ, and more! Click here to learn more. 
  • Volusia County Schools who will show their work in game development and simulation.
  • Indie Game developers: Theory Studios, SlifkerGames, Suckerbird Games, PSI Games and more will be in attendance with interactive games to test and play. 
  • Microsoft: Interact with the world’s most powerful Xbox console. 
  • Magic Bytes is an international education and entertainment game publisher. Learn how they are creating modern video games that emphasize education values. 

 

Click here to view more exhibitors and workshops. 

Admission: Otronicon is free for OSC members, $21 for adults, $19 for seniors and students, and $15 for youth (ages 2-11). Click here to purchase Otronicon tickets.

 

Otronicon Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. daily.

 

Science Night Live Featuring Otronicon: Saturday, January 18 from 8:00 – 11:30 p.m., Science Night Live is a 21-and-up event, and requires a separate ticket. Click here to purchase Science Night Live tickets.

 

For more information, please call 407.514.2000.

The Best Holiday Gift Idea for Everyone on Your List!

Tired of giving gifts that will be outgrown or out dated in a month? It’s not rocket science, gift an experience that can be used again and again! This holiday season, consider gifting an Orlando Science Center annual membership! Memberships come in a variety of levels, so whether you’re shopping for yourself or a loved one, there’s an option for everyone. 

Say Bye Bye to Boredom!

Orlando Science Center Members are granted unlimited general admission and free parking. With four floors of exhibit halls, live stage shows, educational films, Hollywood movies, workshops, special events, and more, never have the same experience twice!   

Members Get First Dibs

As a member, your luck gift recipients will get discounts on summer and break camps as well as the ability to book their camps first with the Member Pre-Sale. Additionally, members are among the first to preview traveling exhibits such as Pompeii: The Immortal City, and enjoy KidsTown from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. before the rest of the building opens to the general public. 

Event Tickets and Benefits to Brag About

Members receive FREE admission to special events including our biggest events of the year; Otronicon Interactive Tech Expo, and Adult- Only Science Night Live, as well as our member-only event Pumpkins & Protons Party. Members also receive discounts at The Science Store, The Coffee Spot, and Subway, as well as discounts on educational programs, birthday parties, gift memberships, and even when they renew their membership for another year of science learning and fun! 

Park Museum Hop like a Pro! 

As a member of Orlando Science Center, you can get free or discounted admission to 350 museums and science centers across the world through the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) Travel Passport Program.  Restrictions apply.

Sign Me Up!

Gift memberships can be purchased at any time but your year won’t begin until the membership is activated on the first visit. With a variety of membership levels to choose from, this is the perfect gift for anyone in your life! So this holiday season, STEM away from the plastic packaging and give the gift that keeps on giving. Gift a membership!

Don’t forget, you can customize your membership with add-ons available for Family and Grandparent Membership levels. Along with unlimited admission for everyone on a membership plan, all membership levels (except for the College Membership) come with four FREE Member Guests Passes per year. That’s an $84 value!

Artificial Intelligence Q&A With Kenneth Stanley

Traveling Exhibit Artificial Intelligence: Your Mind and The Machine made its world premiere at Orlando Science Center this fall, and has since transformed the way many of us think about Artificial Intelligence. What we've learned is AI is actually more helpful than harmful, and is being used in spectacular ways across the world. 

 

In an effort to continue the AI conversation, and to inspire people with an interest in a career in artificial intelligence or technology, we caught up with Kenneth Stanley, a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Central Florida and a senior research science manager and head of Core AI research at Uber AI Labs. 

  1. How did you become first interested in artificial intelligence? I started to learn about computer programming at age 8 in a class at summer camp. I was right away fascinated with the idea that the right programming could make the computer act intelligent and creative.  At first I was mainly thinking about the computer having convincing conversations with me, but over time I realized that intelligence is a broad and deep set of problems, and I became interested in intelligence and particularly creativity in general.
  2. What course of study did you pursue to prepare you for your career? I took computer science classes (including the AP class on computer science) at Newton South high school in Newton, MA, and then majored in computer science in college at the University of Pennsylvania.  I also minored in cognitive science because I thought an understanding of human cognition would help me in trying to build AI.  I went on from college to pursue a Ph.D. in computer science at the University of Texas at Austin under Professor Risto Miikkulainen, where I specialized in neural networks and evolutionary computation, which when combined is called neuroevolution.
  3. When did you know that you wanted to work in this field? Since about the age of 8 when I took the programming class.  The idea that you could write a piece of code to make a computer intelligent immediately struck me as profound, even at such a young age.
  4. What has surprised you the most about your work with AI? Probably the most surprising are specific discoveries I made with my collaborators that were unexpected.  Most surprising perhaps was the discovery that sometimes the best way to learn a solution to a problem is to not try to solve it.  In other words, setting objectives can get in the way of achievement, counter-intuitively.  This discovery was so surprising that we wrote a whole book about it called Why Greatness Cannot Be Planned.
  5. What’s a common misconception that people have when you tell them you work with artificial intelligence? Some people think that it means I'm good at installing software on computers, which I'm not any better at than anyone else.  There is also some general misunderstanding on how far along the field is and what kinds of dangers it might present.  While it does present many challenges to society, often people don't have an accurate sense of where we are along that spectrum.
  6. How do you see AI affecting us, specifically in Central Florida and generally as a culture? This question is discussed so often that almost everything has been said at this point about automation of services and rapid access to answers and information.  Robotics is another obvious outgrowth.  But I think perhaps a more interesting direction for speculation is in the opportunity for magnified creativity: can intelligent computers magnify our potential as human beings to express our creative instincts?  Along with that, perhaps AI will become easier to use by non-experts, opening up its benefits, and the ability to explore its potential, to a much wider audience than is possible today.
  7. What’s the greatest benefit to humanity to artificial intelligence, in your opinion? I think it's too early to say.  Its impact is potentially so profound that we cannot yet imagine it accurately.  But one thing that I believe it can do that is at least very important if not necessarily greatest of all, is to help us understand ourselves.  After all, our intelligence is the inspiration for AI, and the closer we come to something similar, the more we can understand why we are the way we are, and hopefully from that how we can be better.

About Kenneth Stanley: 

Kenneth O. Stanley is a Charles Millican Professor of Computer Science at the University of Central Florida and director of the Evolutionary Complexity Research Group. He was also a co-founder of Geometric Intelligence Inc., which was acquired by Uber to create Uber AI Labs, where he is now also a senior research science manager and head of Core AI research. 

 

He received a B.S.E. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1997 and received a Ph.D. in 2004 from the University of Texas at Austin. He is an inventor of the Neuroevolution of Augmenting Topologies (NEAT), HyperNEAT, and novelty search neuroevolution algorithms for evolving complex artificial neural networks. His main research contributions are in neuroevolution (i.e. evolving neural networks), generative and developmental systems, coevolution, machine learning for video games, interactive evolution, and open-ended evolution.

Big Pompeii Announcement for Orlando Science Center Members

Pompeii: The Immortal City is on its way, and the good news keeps on coming! Orlando Science Center is thrilled to announce that members can experience this summer blockbuster experience FREE!

 

In the past, large blockbuster exhibits such as this required an upcharge for Science Center members. However, thanks to the support of Orange County Government through the Arts and Cultural Affairs program, a grant from the Tourist Development Tax Blockbuster Fund has covered many of the substantial costs to bring the exhibit to Orlando and we are passing the savings onto you!

Through art, music and an immersive 360 projection experience, Pompeii: The Immortal City will transport guests back in time to 79 AD. Orlando will be one of only four sites in the United States to host this state of the art exhibit. 

"This award exemplifies Orange County’s belief in the value of arts and cultural organizations to our community,” said Orlando Science Center CEO and President JoAnn Newman. “We are grateful for their support and look forward to presenting this unique exhibition and featured programming to the communities of Orange County and the greater Central Florida region.”

Terry Olsen and JoAnn Newman from Orange County Arts and Cultural Affairs and Orlando Science Center

Along with FREE entry, annual members will be invited to attend an exclusive Member-Only Preview of the exhibit before it opens to the general public. Pompeii: The immortal City will be a timed ticket experience, so guests are encouraged to reserve tickets in advance. As an added benefit, Orlando Science Center members will be able to reserve their complimentary tickets before they are available to the general public!

 

Make sure your membership is up to date so you don’t miss these benefits. Renew your membership today by emailing oscmembership@osc.org or calling 407.514.2158 and receive 10% off!

Not a member yet? Don’t miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

Purchase a membership or gift a membership today to receive all of these benefits and more, including:

  • FREE general admission and parking
  • FREE admission to special ticketed events including all four days of Otronicon, Science Night Live, and more
  • Member-Only events and special offers
  • Discounts on summer camps and the ability to book your camps first with the Member Pre-Sale
  • And so much more!

With a variety of membership levels, benefits, and upcoming events, it’s a great time to get, renew, or even gift a membership!   

Arts & Cultural Affairs Orange County Government Florida

Pompeii: The Immortal City is funded in part by Orange County Government through the Arts & Cultural Affairs Program.