Celebrate Aviation Month With This DIY Stomp Rocket Activity!

Aviation isn’t just about airplanes. It’s also about helicopters, hot air balloons, blimps, and even space crafts! This November, celebrate Aviation Month by making and launching your own Stomp Rocket!

You Will Need:

  • Paper
  • Cone and Fin Templates
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • 3 ½” x 12” pieces of PVC pipe
  • 1 ½” x 2” piece of PVC pipe
  • 1 ½” x 15” piece of PVC pipe
  • 1 ½” PVC Cross Fitting Connector
  • 1 ½” 45° PVC Elbow
  • 1 ½” 90° PVC Elbow
  • 2 ½” PVC End Caps
  • 2 Liter Bottles
  • Printable Template

Making Your Rocket:

  1. Tightly wrap your sheet of paper length-wise (so you have a longer rocket rather than a shorter one) around one of the pieces of PVC pipe. The paper should fit snugly around the tube, but not be wrapped so tight that the tube can’t be slid off. Tape the paper tube shut. The entire seam should be covered so that it is airtight. This will be your rocket’s fuselage.
  2. Cut out the cone template. Bring the straight edges together to create the cone and tape shut. Make sure that entire seam is covered so that it is airtight. If air escapes from the seam in the cone, the rocket won’t launch or won’t go far.
  3. Tape the cone over one end of the fuselage. Be sure the cone is taped on securely and is airtight. If the cone isn’t on tightly enough or air can escape from this part of the rocket, the cone may fly off the rocket when you try to launch it.
  4. Now choose how many fins you want and what shape they should be. You can use the templates provided, or make your own.
  5. Cut out the fins you want. Fold on the dotted line, the tape the small flaps to end of the fuselage opposite the cone. The fins work best when they are evenly spaced and all facing the same way.

Making Your Launcher:

  1. Fit 2 of the ½” x 12” pieces of PVC pipe in the cross fitting connector across from each other.
  2. Place the end caps on these two pieces of PVC pipe to prevent air from escaping through the sides.
  3. Fit the ½” x 2” piece of PVC pipe in the cross fitting connector between the two longer pieces.
  4. Attach either the 45° or 90° PVC elbow on the other end of the 2” pipe. The angle of the elbow will determine the launch angle. If you want to launch the rocket straight up, use the 90° elbow. If you want to launch the rocket outwards, use the 45° angle.
  5. Fit the remaining ½” x 12” piece of PVC pipe in the other end of the elbow. This will be where you place the rocket.
  6. Fit the ½” x 15” piece of PVC pipe in the remaining opening of the cross fitting connector.
  7. Tape the 2 liter bottle onto the end of the 15”-long piece of PVC pipe.

Launching Your Rocket:

  1. Slide your rocket all the way onto the 12”-long piece of PVC pipe connected to the 45° or 90° elbow.
  2. Stand next to, not behind, the bottle on your launcher.
  3. Stomp down or jump on the bottle to launch the rocket.
  4. To re-inflate the bottle, remove the 15”-long piece of PVC pipe from the cross fitting connector. Blow into the end of the PVC pipe. The bottle will inflate. If the bottle is damaged, it can be removed and a new bottle can be taped on.

Can you make your rocket go higher or farther? What happens if you change the shape and/or number of fins? Make changes to your rocket and launch it again to find out!


Want to learn more about all things aviation? Soar on in for Aviation Weekend on November 16 & 17! 

Mercury Transit Viewing from Orlando Science Center

Mercury is in Retrograde Transit

Monday, November 11, 2019 will be a big day for the solar system’s smallest planet. In a rare occurrence, Mercury will transit, or visibly pass in between Earth and the sun. As Mercury and Venus are the only planets who orbit between Earth and the sun, only their transits can be seen from Earth. This rare event only happens about 13 times every century, and won’t happen again until 2032.


Mercury transits are so rare because each planet takes a different amount of time to orbit the sun, and therefore rarely overlap. Planetary transits like Mercury’s are essential to helping astronomers understand space. Scientists have discovered hundreds of exoplanets, and can even measure planetary atmospheres by observing these phenomenon.

How to view it:

Mercury’s transit across the sun will be visible in North America starting at 7:30 a.m. EST.  In honor of Mercury’s big transit around the sun, The Orlando Science Center’s observatory will be open for viewing. On November 11 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EST stop by the observatory to take a peek through sun-safe telescopes, check out hands-on demonstrations, and attend a Q&A with our knowledgeable science interpreters.


Mercury’s Transit viewing party is included with daily 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). For more information, please call 407.514.2000

Soar Into November at Orlando Science Center!

This month’s fun fall lineup will help you fill the gap between Halloween and the holidays!

Get ready to celebrate flight during Aviation Month, gaze at spectacular stars, level up your paper-crafting skills and so much more! All month long we’re celebrating the science of flight with exciting STEM challenges, workshops, movies and more. Whether it’s propellers, planes or parachutes, we’ve got you covered on all things aviation.


In honor of Veterans Day on November 11, veterans and active military personnel can enjoy FREE admission to Orlando Science Center and 50% off for their family, November 1–17! Must present valid military ID to redeem offer.


Feast On These Fun Fall Events:

Star-Studded Evenings

Beginning November 8

Star-Studded Evenings is making a sensational return! Join us for Hollywood films in the Digital Adventure Theater, stargazing in the observatory and special workshops in The Hive: A Makerspace. Come by on Friday and Saturday nights from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. and look to the stars.



Veterans Day

November 11

In honor of Veterans Day, Orlando Science Center will host a wreath laying ceremony at the Red Tails Monument in Loch Haven Park on Monday, November 11, in partnership with Vision of Flight and made possible by Lockheed Martin.



AI Films during Star-Studded Evenings

November 8 — February 22

During Star-Studded Evenings, we’re exploring the many ways Artificial Intelligence has been portrayed in famous Hollywood films. Find out through films such as The Matrix and Avengers: Age of Ultron.



Aviation Weekend

November 16 & 17

Be sure to soar into Orlando Science Center for Aviation Weekend! We’ll have super fly activities such as building and launching stomp rockets and Kite Making workshops at The Hive. Plus, don't miss out on live shows like Peeps in Space and the explosively fun To Infinity & Kaboom!


RSVP on Facebook

The Hive: A Makerspace Workshops

November 1 — 30

Swing on by The Hive: A Makerspace, presented by The Isaacs Family for workshops and other making experiences! Workshops are offered on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday and will offer different activities with adult-friendly making.


Workshops will also be available during Star-Studded Evenings. If your crafting skills can’t wait, you’re invited to join us for open make experiences all month long.



Dr. Dare's Lab Experiments

Saturdays & Sundays During November

Did you know that your kitchen is full of chemistry? This month, join us in Dr. Dare’s Lab to learn all about food science, including how much iron you eat in your morning cereal and what vitamin C can do for you.


On November 16 & 17, celebrate the release of Pokemon Sword & Shield by learning all about Pokemon in our lab! There are 7 experiments, and you gotta catch ‘em all!



Thanksgiving Break Camps

November 25 – November 27

When school is out, break camps are in! Students in grades K-2 will develop STEM skills using LEGOs, while students in grades 3-5 will explore the world of physics with the Minecraft video game.



Curtis Kinetic Science Challenge Application Deadline

November 29

We’re calling all educators to assemble a team of tinkerers to compete in the Curtis Kinetic Science Competition! The competition is open to students in Grades 6-8, in teams of up to five. November 29 is the last day to submit you application.



Play to Win with Powder Keg Gaming Competitions at Otronicon

Play, compete, and spectate in an awesome video game party!

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!


Tickets will be on sale soon, please check back regularly. Competitions have limited seating available and are $5 per participant. Please note that you MUST have a ticket to Otronicon to participate.



Friday, January 17, 2020

  • 11:00 a.m. - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (FFA, 32 cap, Nintendo Switch)
  • 1:00 p.m. - Ultra Street Fighter II The Final Challengers (1 v 1, 32 cap, Nintendo Switch)
  • 3:00 p.m. - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (1 v 1, 32 cap, Nintendo Switch)

Saturday, January 18, 2020

  • 11:00 a.m. - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (FFA, 32 cap, Nintendo Switch)
  • 1:00 p.m. - Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (FFA, 32 cap, Nintendo Switch)
  • 3:00 p.m. - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (1 v 1, 32 cap, Nintendo Switch)

Sunday, January 19, 2020

  • 11:00 a.m. - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (FFA, 32 cap, Nintendo Switch)
  • 1:00 p.m. - Pokken Tournament DX (1 v 1, 32 cap, Nintendo Switch)
  • 3:00 p.m. - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (1 v 1, 32 cap, Nintendo Switch)

Monday, January 20, 2020

  • 11:00 a.m. - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (FFA, 32 cap, Nintendo Switch)
  • 1:00 p.m. - Dragon Ball FighterZ (1 v 1, 32 cap, PlayStation 4)
  • 3:00 p.m. - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (1 v 1, 32 cap, Nintendo Switch)

Admission: Otronicon is free for OSC members, $21.00 for adults, $19.00 for seniors and students, and $15.00 for youth (ages 2-11).


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


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


For more information, please call 407.514.2000 or visit the Otronicon website. 

Enjoy Artificial Intelligence Themed Films During Star-Studded Evenings!

Star-Studded Evenings return on November 8! On Friday and Saturday nights from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m., enjoy the observatory*, special workshops in The Hive: A Makerspace, and special Artificial Intelligence-themed films! 


In honor of traveling exhibit Artificial Intelligence: Your Mind & The Machine, we’re showing some of the most famous AI films. Do you believe we’ll have robot overlords in the future? From The Matrix to I, Robot, see the different ways AI has been portrayed in Hollywood films during Star-Studded Evenings!


The Matrix

Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:50 p.m. November 8 through November 23

Neo (Keanu Reeves) believes that Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), an elusive figure considered to be the most dangerous man alive, can answer his question -- What is the Matrix? Neo is contacted by Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), a beautiful stranger who leads him into an underworld where he meets Morpheus. They fight a brutal battle for their lives against a cadre of viciously intelligent secret agents. It is a truth that could cost Neo something more precious than his life.


Short Circuit

Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:50 p.m. November 29 through December 14

Number 5, one of a group of experimental military robots, undergoes a sudden transformation after being struck by lightning. He develops self-awareness, consciousness, and a fear of the reprogramming that awaits him back at the factory. With the help of a young woman, Number 5 tries to evade capture and convince his creator that he has truly become alive.


I, Robot 

Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:50 p.m. December 20 through January 4

In 2035, techno-phobic homicide detective Del Spooner of the Chicago PD heads the investigation of a crime that may have been perpetrated by a robot. Little does he know that his investigation would lead to uncovering a larger threat to humanity.


War Games

Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:50 p.m. January 10 through February 1

High school student David Lightman (Matthew Broderick) unwittingly hacks into a military supercomputer while searching for new video games. After starting a game of Global Thermonuclear War, Lightman leads the supercomputer to activate the nation's nuclear arsenal in response to his simulated threat as the Soviet Union. Once the clueless hacker comes to his senses, Lightman, with help from his girlfriend (Ally Sheedy), must find a way to alert the authorities to stop the onset of World War III.


Avengers: Age of Ultron

Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:50 p.m. February 7 through February 22

When Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) jump-starts a dormant peacekeeping program, things go terribly awry, forcing him, Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and the rest of the Avengers to reassemble. As the fate of Earth hangs in the balance, the team is put to the ultimate test as they battle Ultron, a technological terror hell-bent on human extinction. Along the way, they encounter two mysterious and powerful newcomers, Pietro and Wanda Maximoff.


Want to experience all the films and workshops during Star-studded evenings? Check out our membership plans to get unlimited general admission so you can enjoy all that the Science Center has to offer for an entire year!

Orlando Science Center Honors Veterans This November

In honor of Veterans Day, Orlando Science Center will host a wreath laying ceremony at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, November 11, at the Red Tails Monument in Loch Haven Park, in partnership with Vision of Flight and made possible by Lockheed Martin. The ceremony is free to attend, and will be a brief and simple ceremony honoring veterans, including a bugler honoring fallen heroes with “Taps.”


From November 1 through the 17, veterans and active military with military ID will receive free admission and their attending family members will receive 50% off admission, which is also made possible by Lockheed Martin.


The Red Tails Monument serves as a symbol of courage and triumph over adversity that inspires future generations in their pursuit of academic success and careers in STEM fields, such as aviation. During World War II, the Red Tail Pilots of the Tuskegee Airmen were subjected to racial discrimination, both within and outside the Army. Despite these adversities, they trained and flew with distinction.


Remember to visit Orlando Science Center during the month of November for special Aviation Month activities! Then join us on November 16 & 17 for Aviation Weekend, with special flight themed demonstrations and activities. From animal encounters focused on flight to Paper Glider challenges – you’ll soar through science all month long! 


As our military serves our country proudly, their families serve, too. Lockheed Martin works with nonprofit partners like Orlando Science Center and Vision of Flight to support the active duty force and their families. In addition, more than 25,000 veterans work at Lockheed Martin. To learn more about Lockheed Martin’s commitment to veterans, click here.


There is no cost to attend the Red Tails Monument ceremony. For guests who are not veterans or military personnel who want to explore Orlando Science Center after the ceremony, general admission is free for members, $21 for adults, $19 for seniors/students, and $15 for youth (ages 2 – 11).

Star-Studded Evenings

Fridays & Saturday evenings from 5:00–9:00 p.m.

Join us this fall and winter for Star-Studded Evenings! This is your chance to experience some of Orlando Science Center’s programming after dark. Stargaze in the Observatory*, participate in a workshop in The Hive: A Makerspace, presented by The Isaacs Family and see an Artificial Intelligence-themed feature-length film for just $10 per person after 5:00 p.m. (free for OSC members)!


Star-Studded Evenings are perfect for a date night, or just a fun night out with the family! 


Learn a little more about our place in outer space through the Observatory, weather permitting. Our 10″ Byers refracting telescope is used to look at various celestial objects, depending on what is visible in the night sky during the season, as well as 8″ and 10″ reflecting telescopes. Our knowledgeable staff and volunteers can even give you tips on how to stargaze at home!

The Hive: A Makerspace Workshops

All-new to Star-Studded Evenings, adult-friendly workshops in The Hive: A Makerspace! Unleash your inner creativity at night with workshops like Machine Sewing, Block Printing, and many more! Each workshop will begin at 6:00 p.m. and will typically run for two hours. 


Please note these workshops are limited capacity. Guests can reserve tickets (no additional cost) at the admissions desk beginning at 5:00 p.m. Each workshop will have a suggested donation cost that goes to supplies for the workshops. The Hive A Makerspace is for ages 8+ only. 

November Workshop Schedule: 

November 8 & 9: Block Printing

Get started with pattern printmaking as you design and carve a custom stamp block and print your own cotton bandana!


November 15 & 16: Machine Sewing for Adults

Learn how to thread and operate a sewing machine and use those skills to create a simple drawstring bag.


November 22 & 23: Sashiko Embroidery

Use a basic running stitch to create a multitude of repeating patterns. Bring in your own article of clothing to customize (pocket t-shirts or jackets work great!) or make a tiny sachet or pincushion.


November 29 & 30: Terrariums

Create a tiny world in a jar using moss, plants, and tiny figurines.


Artificial Intelligence Films

From The Matrix to I, Robot and more, discover the different ways AI has been portrayed in Hollywood during Star-Studded Evenings! Click here to learn more. Different Hollywood films will also be on rotation during Star-Studded evenings. To find out what will be playing on the night of your visit, please check the theater schedule before you arrive.


Please note that exhibit halls will be closed during Star-Studded Evenings. 

Meet Betsy The Burmese Python!

Betsy is a two year old Burmese python who was brought to Orlando Science Center’s NatureWorks team by the Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC) after she was discovered during a python roundup.


Normally found in Southeast Asia, Burmese pythons are a  nonnative and invasive species in Florida, posing a huge threat to the Everglades ecosystem as they can grow up to 20 feet long and have an enormous appetite. For this reason, the FWC has begun the Python Permit Program which allows Floridians to capture and/or humanely kill Burmese pythons without a permit.


We welcomed Betsy with open arms and she has now become one of NatureWorks’ animal ambassadors for invasive and nonnative species. With our new exhibit LIFE on the horizon, Betsy will have a permanent home built for her here so she can continue to educate guests on the importance of responsible pet ownership to prevent new introductions of invasive exotic animal species.


Although the Python Permit Program is sanctioned, our NatureWorks team advises all our guests to never go near a snake in the wild! If you suspect you see a Burmese python due to its tan coloring with dark puzzle piece looking blotches along the back and sides, call the Florida Wildlife Commission and report its location.


Meet Betsy in NatureWorks on your next visit to learn more about nonnative, invasive and native species in Florida.

Unlock Infinite Possibilities for Lifelong Learning

A Message from JoAnn Newman, President and CEO of Orlando Science Center

We believe a stronger understanding of science and technology helps to create prosperity in our community while empowering all to transform themselves and the world. That’s why our mission at Orlando Science Center is to inspire science learning for life. We are masters at developing iconic experiences that can unlock infinite possibilities for all ages.


From toddlers to teens to adults, our team is adept at creating opportunities to inspire and engage audiences as they learn essential 21st Century skills. Beginning with our youngest learners, we have infused exhibit experiences with opportunities for engaging and skill-building. For example, our KidsTown exhibit is filled with seven zones brimming with hands-on activities that encourage exploration while involving caregivers in their children’s skill development.


We have also leveraged our expertise with early childhood learning to provide advanced STEM learning techniques through our onsite Preschool, which has been a model for the region for the past decade. We have since moved beyond our walls with a comprehensive early childhood education program called Ignite Discovery, which supports children, caregivers and educators throughout Central Florida.


As children grow and move beyond the experiences in KidsTown, they can explore four floors of exhibits focused on inspiring the next generation of problem solvers. Going beyond these experiences, we have created proactive opportunities to prepare our youth for STEM careers that have not even been thought of yet. Our youth volunteer program has been completely reimagined to offer mentorship and career shadowing to help strengthen their workforce readiness while they also gain experience interacting with visitors.


A passion for learning doesn’t stop once a student concludes their formal education. From exhibits like the world premiere of Artificial Intelligence: Your Mind and the Machine to creative workshops in The Hive: A Makerspace, presented by the Isaacs Family, adults have myriad opportunities to indulge their curiosity and expand their skills. In addition, adults-only events like Science Night Live mix entertainment with distinguished guest speakers and educational opportunities.


From cradle to career, Orlando Science Center is here to provide pathways for learners of all ages. Exhibits, events, and experience at Orlando Science Center ignite curiosity and stimulate innovation, which can lead to greater prosperity for everyone. 



JoAnn Newman

President & CEO of Orlando Science Center

Try This At Home: Mad Scientist Slime

Did you know? It's Spooky Science Month at Orlando Science Center! This October, we're exploring the science behind the creepy, spooky and slimey! Enjoy special live shows like GHOSTFLUSTERS, where you'll watch Wanda and Flanda try to solve a ghost problem with the latest & greatest ghost flusting technology. Plus enjoy workshops in The Hive: A Makerspace, experiments in Dr. Dare's Lab and more! 


Last week our staff came up with a scrumptious DIY Rock Candy recipe, and this week they've concocted the slimiest slime recipe for you to try at home! 


Materials (makes one “serving” of slime):

  • 1 8oz bottle of white school glue
  • Liquid starch
  • Neon green food coloring
  • Spoon
  • Bowl
  • Borax dissolved in warm water (optional)


  • Pour your glue into a bowl and stir in the liquid starch a little bit at a time. You can use a spoon or your hands for mixing!
  • Add liquid starch until you reach a consistency like sticky Silly Putty. If you leave your slime as is, it will continue to be sticky.
  • Dissolve some Borax in warm water and add it a little at a time to your slime if you would like to make it stick to itself instead of to you.
  • If you’re feeling adventurous, try adding something extra like glitter or glow in the dark paint!
  • Play with your concoction on a clean, smooth surface in a non-carpeted area and store in an air-tight container.
  • For a fun Halloween twist, you can also add googly eyes and make monster slime!

For a visual step-by-step, check out this video of our staff creating slime!