5 Things You Need To Know About The Great Bear Rainforest

Great Bear Rainforest is now playing in the Dr. Phillips CineDome!

Run wild with the magnificent creatures that were once thought to be a myth! In Great Bear Rainforest, discover spirit bears, the captivating white-coated North American black bears that have fascinated indigenous people and scientists alike for centuries. Although these bears may look like polar bears, this giant-screen film takes place in the wild coastal islands of Canada. Journey with the spirit bears, sperm whales, wolves, sea lions, and countless other species that call this uncharted land home. With rare insight into the lives of the First Nations people that share a home with these creatures and the contributions of guest narrator Ryan Reynolds and screen composer Hans Zimmerman, Great Bear Rainforest brings these never-before-seen wonders to life.


With so much to learn about one of the last wild places on Earth, we broke down the top five facts you need to know before seeing the film.

  1. What are spirit bears? These magnificent animals can only be found in the Great Bear Rainforest, where one in 10 of all bears are white. They get their beautiful color from a rare genetic trait. Although indigenous people have protected them for centuries, it wasn’t until the 20th century that scientists even discovered these bears.
  2. Filming took three years, but was 30 years in the making – Ian McAllister, the director of this stunning film, has called the Great Bear Rainforest home for quite some time. For over 30 years, this award-winning author and photographer has documented and advocated for the protection of the Great Bear Rainforest.
  3. First Nations People supported the production – This film couldn’t have been made without the permission, knowledge and guidance of the First Nations people that have been living in the Great Bear Rainforest for centuries. You’ll become inspired by the moving stories of the next generation of young leaders beginning their lifelong journey to protect the rainforest.
  4. This film is about more than the bears – Don’t let the name of the film fool you! Great Bear Rainforest focuses on the incredible journeys of many fascinating creatures that roam the land and sea. Dive into the deep blue with sperm whales, run with wolves, play in the coastal waters with sea lions, and even join a feeding frenzy with humpback whales.
  5. It has a star-studded production team – A project as exceptional and exciting as Great Bear Rainforest attracted some of the most talented and celebrated people in the film industry. Enjoy poignant and humorous narration by Ryan Reynolds, an award winning-actor and avid environmentalist. Become immersed in the story with a breathtaking score by Hans Zimmerman, an award-winning composer who has scored more than 120 films. Feel the dedication and love put into every part of this film by the incredible production team.


Great Bear Rainforest is now showing in the Dr. Phillips CineDome at Orlando Science Center. Please pick up a daily schedule upon arrival for show times, or click here for our online theater schedule.

10 Ribbiting Facts About Frogs

March 20th is World Frog Day!

Did you know our NatureWorks exhibit is home to several different species of frogs? For instance, Frogzilla (pictured above), an invasive Cuban Tree Frog is just one of many frogs you can meet and learn about in NatureWorks. 


In celebration of these hoppy creatures, here are 10 ribbiting facts about frogs! 


  1. American Bullfrogs can leap up to six feet!
  2. In the wild, a Poison dart frog’s toxin is created from their diet.
  3. Smokey jungle frogs can make a variety of different calls depending on their mood. They make a melodic sound when courting, but when threatened they will make a loud scream to distract predators.
  4. Unlike many species of frogs, Lemur frogs can bask in the sun for extended periods without drying out.
  5. Amazon milk frogs are named for the poisonous, milky-white fluid that they secret when threatened.
  6. Though the Golden poison dart frog is deadly if eaten, its natural predator, the Fire-bellied snake, has developed a resistance to the frog’s poison.
  7. Despite their name, Canyon tree frogs prefer to perch on boulders and rocks close to water rather than trees.
  8. American bullfrogs are the largest of all North American frogs. They can grow to be eight inches long and can weigh up to one and a half pounds.
  9. Lemur frogs can change color! When they are active, mostly at night, their upper parts turn brown. When they are resting, they turn green to blend in with the leaves that they sleep on.
  10. Milk frogs are some of the best climbers in the Amazon. They use their specially adapted toe pads to cling to branches.


Be sure to stop by and say hello to Frogzilla and all the other wonderful creatures that live in NatureWorks on your next visit to Orlando Science Center!

Orlando Science Center One Step Closer To Funding For New Exhibit

Orlando Science Center is proud to have received Tourist Development Tax Application Review Committee’s full support for our $10 million request for our new exhibit, LIFE, and astounded to have received the highest score amongst any groups that have applied for funding through Orange County Government’s Tourist Development Tax grant program.


LIFE, our new nature and environment exhibit hall is Phase III of our ongoing multi-stage $35 million comprehensive campaign, Unlock Science. This campaign is necessary to help revitalize our educational content and renovate our exhibits to meet the integral STEM learning needs of our growing community. We have raised over $10 million to date enabling us to complete Phases I and II of the campaign, which include renovations to our popular KidsTown and STEM Discovery Center spaces, respectively. Our next phase of exhibit design and renovations will be for LIFE.


LIFE will provide the Central Florida community with an essential resource for environmental education, as well as acting as a hub for visitors to make meaningful connections with their local ecosystem. New interactive experiences will be installed in three distinctive habitats to teach visitors about our shared environment and how we negatively and positively impact the ecosystems around us.


To help broaden Orange County’s tourism infrastructure and strengthen the local economy the Orange County Government established a competitive Tourist Development Tax grant application program to fund projects that will enhance the capacities of local arts and cultural organizations.


Orlando Science Center submitted a capital projects proposal for funding in fall and presented the $10 million project LIFE before the Application Review Community for Orange County Government’s Tourist Development Tax in January. Last Friday, Orlando Science Center’s project for LIFE, along with four other local arts and cultural entities, were evaluated and scored by the Application Review Committee.  The Application Review Committee’s recommendations will now move forward for the consideration of the Tourist Development Council and later to the Board of County Commissioners.


Initial development of the exhibit can begin once funding is approved and confirmed.

Seven Ways To Spend Your Spring Break At OSC

Put a spring in your step by making Orlando Science Center your Spring Break destination!

Grab your friends and family and blast off with Above and Beyond, presented by Boeing, become busy bees in The Hive: A Makerspace and meet some of Florida’s most extraordinary wildlife in NatureWorks. With so much to see and do, we’re breaking down the top seven ways the Science Center is sure to brighten your spring break.

  1. Above and Beyond Reach new heights with the newest traveling exhibit to land at the Science Center! Journey through the history of flight and discover where humans are taking off to next. Hop on an elevator to space, spread your wings and put your aviation skills to the test in this fascinating exhibit.
  2. Animal Encounters Get up close and personal with incredible Florida wildlife! Discover Florida’s fish and reptiles during Swamp Talk, meet animal ambassadors during their scheduled encounters and even experience the opening weekend of Animal Inspired. This live show explores how the amazing abilities of our Animal Ambassadors have inspired today’s technology.
  3. Workshops Unleash your creativity in The Hive: A Makerspace and Dr. Dare's Lab! Whether you’re 8 or 81, you’ll have a blast making bee houses, learning to 3D print, embroidery and design kites during our exciting workshops.
  4. Live Science Shows Learn something new by experiencing one of our many live science shows! Join us on a guided tour of the solar system at Science on a Sphere and go on a safari around DinoDigs. Even discover if you have what it takes to go to space in So, You Wanna Be An Astronaut?
  5. Break Camps When school’s out, break camps are in! Give your child the gift of STEM learning with our break camps that bring fun and science together. From uncovering archaeological mysteries to discovering the science behind superpowers, your elementary-aged children will explore science an exciting and engaging way.
  6. Great Bear Rainforest Run wild with the magnificent creatures that call Canada’s remote Pacific Coast home. In this stunning and poignant giant-screen film, discover the elusive spirit bears of the Great Bear Rainforest and join the movement to help protect their land. Narrated by Ryan Reynolds and scored by famous movie composer Hans Zimmerman, this incredible new film will delight and move you.

Please note timed experiences are subject to change. Pick up a daily schedule upon your arrival for up-to-date show times.

Central Florida Credit Union Donates $25,000 to Orlando Science Center

This generous donation directly benefits school field trips to OSC

Thank you Central Florida Credit Union (CFE) for donating $25,000 in support of field trips for students in grades Kindergarten through 12, to help them develop stronger STEM skills. With CFE’s generous funding, these students are given the opportunity to experience Orlando Science Center, as they might never have been able to before.


The goal of these field trips is to expose students to emerging and existing career fields in STEM, connecting each experience to the importance of strong science and math skills. These opportunities provide you with additional support to succeed in science and math learning during these critical years of academic and social development in mind, we strive to create tools for life-long learning and future STEM success.


With CFE’s contribution, 834 students over the course of the 2018-2019 school year have been or will be transported to Orlando Science Center, participate in an hour-long Discovery Lab led by trained science educators, watch a giant-screen educational film in the Dr. Phillips CineDome, and experience the Science Center’s exhibits.


The benefits of these field trips are invaluable as they:

  • Demystify STEM topics and increase confidence among students to encourage further exploration into the topics that they are interested in. In fact, based on pre and post participation survey results, more students see themselves becoming an engineer after attending a STEM Fieldtrip.
  • Increase student’s STEM content knowledge and literacy beyond what they would normally learn in their classrooms.
  • Increase student aptitude in critical thinking, collaboration, and teamwork as part of our commitment to teaching 21st-century skills.


Thank you to Central Florida Credit Union for their donation, and their part in helping the Science Center continue to inspire science learning for life.


Pictured in photo from left to right:  Richard Barbari, Relationship Manager at CFE; JoAnn Newman, President, and CEO of Orlando Science Center; Kevin Miller, President, and CEO of Central Florida Credit Union; Catherine Duffy, Director of Strategic Partnerships at Orlando Science Center; and Cassie Roach, Senior Relationship Manager – Marketing at CFE.

Orlando Science Center Recognized as a Finalist for 2019 IMLS National Medal

This is OSC's Third Consecutive Nomination 

The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced today that Orlando Science Center is among the 30 finalists for the 2019 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community. For 25 years, the award has celebrated institutions that demonstrate extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service and are making a difference for individuals, families and communities. Orlando Science Center was nominated for this award previously in 2017 and 2018.


“The 30 National Medal finalists showcase the tremendous ability of libraries and museums to serve as vital community resources,” said IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. “The Institute of Museum and Library Services is honored to recognize these leading institutions. We congratulate them on the work they are doing across the United States.”


Finalists are chosen because of their significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. IMLS is encouraging community members who visited Orlando Science Center to share their story on social media. They can post on Orlando Science Center’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. In addition, people are encouraged to share on the Institute of Museum and Library Services' Facebook and Twitter pages or their own social media channels using #IMLSMedals.


“It is such an impressive group of finalists and we are so honored to be in the running for this prestigious award for the third year in a row,” said Orlando Science Center President and CEO JoAnn Newman. “This recognition reminds me that we all have such an important job ahead of us. Orlando Science Center, and all our peer museums and libraries must strive to create a welcoming environment that feeds a passion for knowing in our audience, no matter their age or their background or their interests.”


Orlando Science Center has made it a priority to develop relevant and impactful STEM-based opportunities that are accessible to every child regardless of ability, gender, race or socioeconomic status. This past year, they launched Catalyst, a new youth volunteer and professional development program and embarked on a partnership with the Zebra Coalition and Universal Orlando to develop an internship program that recruits from Gay-Straight alliances at local high schools. In addition, they offer annual family memberships for only $25 to low-income households, as well as partial and full scholarships for summer camps and afterschool programs. They also partnered with IMLS’s Museums for All Initiative to provide EBT cardholders admission for $3, in which they rank among the top 10% of programs nationwide by attendance.


National Medal winners will be announced later this spring. The representatives from winning institutions will travel to Washington, D.C. to be honored at the National Medal award ceremony.


To see the full list of finalists and learn more about the National Medal, visit the IMLS website.

2019 Lockheed Martin Science Challenge Winners

Winners of Orlando Science Center’s Lockheed Martin Science Challenge

On March 8, 2019, more than 100 middle and high school county science fair winners from nine Central Florida counties flocked to the Orlando Science Center to compete in The Lockheed Martin Science Challenge. The challenge prepares students for their upcoming state competition by giving them a chance to present to judges and improve their presentations.


The students presented their projects to an impressive panel of judges including current and retired engineers, educators and scientists. The subjects included chemistry, computer science, earth and space, engineering, environmental science, mathematics and physics. Orlando Science Center’s Lockheed Martin Science Challenge aims to encourage teens to pursue their passions for science.


Each winner was awarded a $400 prize, while the Best in Fair winner was awarded with $4,000.


Congratulations to all the winners of the 2019 Lockheed Martin Science Challenge!


Best in Fair Winner:

Nina Reddy
Personalized Cancer Cell Weapons using CRISPR Genetic Engineering Year 3


Teacher Award: 

Joe Scott – Satellite High School

Junior Category Awards:

Chemistry – Ramsey Zeidan
"The "C" in Chlorophyll"


Biochemistry – Kyra Henriques
"Determining the enzyme inhibitory effects of the aqueous infusion of leaves of 5 plants traditionally used in the treatment of diabetes mellitus on glucose metabolizing enzymes"


Environmental Science – Alexandra Clow
"Forgotten Baby Syndrome Year 2"


Environmental Engineering – Lavanya Natarajan
"An Engineered Solution to Optimize the Hydraulic Conductivity of Highly Permeable Landfill Liners"


Engineering – Madeline Perry
"Tethered Technology"


Mathematics and Computational Science – Logan Blanken
"The Birthday Paradox: A Look At The Number 23 Through Experimentation And Simulation"


Intelligent Machines, Robotics, and Systems Software – Faith Collins
"Using Machine Learning to Develop an Image Steganography Detection Software"


Physics and Astronomy – Nathan Boonsanguan
"Dual Axis Solar Tracker Using Arduino Uno Controller (Low Voltage 5 - 12V Electrical Circuit)"

Senior Category Awards:

Chemistry – Chloe Johnson, Kindle Hon, & Taylor Hubbard
"Extracting Polysaccharides from Rhodophyta Plantae to Make Biodegradable Plastic"


Biochemistry – Angela Shar
"A Novel Study on Lactose Intolerance: The Correlation between the Chirality of Isomer d-Lactose and Observed Rotation of Polarized Light"


Environmental Science –Angelina Guerra
"Novel Unmanned Environmental DNA Collection Technique"


Environmental Engineering –Grace Thompson, Taesung Um, & Travis Koenig
"Wax Worm Gut, the Key to Eliminating the Plastic Problem: Degradation of Polyethylene Plastic Using Bacillus sp. YP1 and Enterobacter asburiae from Wax Worm Gut"


Engineering – Brooke Renstchler
"Fabricating a Novel Bioplastic Contrived of Chondrus Macroalgae Extract for the Purpose of Determining its Structural Integrity Compared to PETE Plastic"


Mathematics and Computational Science – Jada Jones
"Using Big Data Analytics and Fuzzy Logic to Identify Geographical Areas at Higher Risk of Future Active Shooter Incidents"


Intelligent Machines, Robotics, and Systems Software – Zachary Hohl
"Drones for Invasive Species Monitoring"


Physics and Astronomy – Haylee Darling
"Sustainable Energy: Can This Be Accomplished With A Permanent Magnet Generator?"

Great Outdoors Weekend

Join us for a weekend of discovery!

Unleash your wild side and celebrate Great Outdoors Weekend with Orlando Science Center! Kick off your Spring Break on March 16 and 17 and discover all the fun you can have just by stepping outside. Meet some of Florida’s most astounding wildlife, and take part in awesome workshops. Learn about the amazing creatures in our own backyards during the movie, Backyard Wildnerness 3D, and discover one of the last wild places on Earth in our new giant-screen film, Great Bear Rainforest!


PLUS: back by popular demand – everyone’s favorite live show, Animal Inspired! Our Animal Ambassadors are the stars of this show, which will teach you about technology inspired by animal adaptations.


Here are just a few of the thrilling activities you can branch out with during Great Outdoors Weekend.


  • Ladybug release – Help release ladybugs into nature! Wave goodbye to these round little insects as they fly off to help control pests in our community.
  • Animal Inspired Live Show – Discover how the amazing abilities of our animal friends in NatureWorks have inspired the technology we use today.
  • Perfect Plant Workshop – Choose your own plant in Dr. Dare’s Lab and learn to create the perfect soil mixture for it to thrive in. Take it all home and watch your plant grow!
  • Build Your Own Bee House – Make a home for solitary bees in The Hive: A Makerspace using wood scraps and a hand drill.
  • Films – Journey to the Great Bear Rainforest in the Dr. Phillips CineDome to discover the extraordinary all-white spirit bears that were once thought to be a myth. Then, look closer to home with Backyard Wilderness 3D in the Digital Adventure Theater to discover the wonders of nature in our own backyards. View showtimes

Meet Two Engineers Bringing Human Spaceflight Back to The United States

Melanie Weber and Louis Atchison To Speak At Science Night Live on March 2

The final frontier, the great unknown, or as we like to call it – SPACE. From Galileo looking to the cosmos almost 400 years ago to the first steps on the moon, and everything in between – the world’s fascination with space exploration is one trait we all have in common. For three decades, NASA sent American astronauts into orbit, each with different missions, triumphs, and even tragedies. During this time, the United States learned vital information about the vast darkness above us.


Since NASA’s Space Shuttle Program ended in 2011, the United States has not been able to send astronauts to space from American soil. However, one company has been working tirelessly toward bringing human spaceflight back to the U.S. Enter Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner. This 21st-century space capsule will restore America’s independence in human spaceflight by sending three astronauts – two from NASA and one from Boeing – into space later this year.


Two engineers from the remarkable team tasked with creating this vessel will be at Science Night Live on March 2 to speak to guests and answer questions. Melanie Weber and Louis Atchison, the lead for the Launch Pad Team and chief of Launch and Recovery Operations, respectively, will give two presentations together – don't miss this opportunity to connect with them before they make history!


Melanie’s roles include the design of hardware that supports crew and cargo, and for developing ground operations and launch procedures at the Space Launch Complex-41 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. A fashion aficionado, she explores her artistic talents while creating different elements of the Starliner’s interior. She even had a hand in creating the landing airbag for the spacecraft that is actually modeled after vehicle airbags. Melanie will be one of the last people the three astronauts see before they launch.


Louis, on the other hand, will be one of the first people to welcome the Starliner’s crew safely back to Earth. In fact, it will be the first time in history that a capsule-shaped spacecraft lands on American soil instead of in the ocean. Louis also directs both the real-time integrated launch countdown and landing site operations for the spacecraft. An aspiring astronaut, Louis has been working for nearly 15 years on a variety of leadership roles including the complete lifecycle of complex space systems. From the design to the launch and recovery – this commercial pilot and certified SCUBA diver has seen it all!


So, what are you waiting for? Grab your $16 tickets to Science Night Live on March 2 and make sure you set an alarm for this unmissable opportunity to hear from Melanie and Louis – and ask them any questions you have about their exciting mission.

More Science Night Live Experiences

  • Starliner Space Launch Simulation – Stop by the Boeing table and get your hands on a pair of 360 VR goggles to experience an out-of-this-world virtual trip of a lifetime.
  • Food and adult beverages available for purchase.
  • Explore Above and Beyond presented by Boeing – Take an elevator to space, design your own jet and race against your friends and more!
  • Workshops in The Hive: A Makerspace and experiments in Dr. Dare's Lab.

Engineering Weekend Presented By FINFROCK

From designing an escalator in a shopping mall to creating your favorite cellphone app, engineers are responsible for many of the innovative tools we use every day. Join Orlando Science Center as we celebrate the work of engineers during Engineering Weekend presented by FINFROCK on February 23 and 24. Explore our newest exhibit Above and Beyond presented by Boeing, participate in workshops in The Hive: A Makerspace, or conduct experiments in Dr. Dare's Lab. Plus – don't miss your chance to experience the electrifying Tesla Coil Show!

Engineering Weekend Activities:

  • Tesla Coil Show – Discover how a Tesla coil can be transformed into a musical instrument. This live show explores the science of electricity and celebrates the innovative mind of Nikola Tesla and his Tesla coil.  Explore the different types of electricity and delve into the history of the “current wars” between Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison.  You won’t want to miss this electrifying experience! *Please note that this presentation contains loud noises and flashing lights. This may not be suitable for all audiences.
  • Dr. Dare’s Lab – Conduct mind-boggling engineering themed experiments in Dr. Dare’s Lab.
  • Workshops – Unleash your inner engineer in The Hive! Learn to work with hydraulics like a real engineer and develop exciting new skills.
  • KEVA Block Construction Zone – Use KEVA blocks to build and create whatever you put your mind to. The only limit is your imagination!
  • So, You Wanna Be An Astronaut? – Join us at the Science Live! Stage to learn about the fascinating work of astronauts and see if you have what it takes to launch into space!
  • Dream Big: Engineering Our World – Celebrate remarkable human innovation in this inspiring giant-screen film. You'll be moved by the stories of engineers that are working tirelessly to create a better future for all of us.
  • Great Bear Rainforest – Journey to a land of grizzlies, coastal wolves, sea otters and the Spirit Bear - the rarest bear on Earth. Discover the last intact temperate rainforest, protected by the region's indigenous people for millennia in this visually stunning documentary.
  • Special guests – National Society of Black Engineers Central Florida Professionals Chapter, Engineering for Kids, and Florida R2 Builders will be in attendance.

Timed experiences are subject to change, please pick up a daily schedule upon arrival.

Engineering Weekend takes place February 23 and 24 from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and is included in the cost of admission, which is free for members, $20.95 for adults, $18.95 for seniors and students, and $14.95 for youth (ages 3 – 11).