The Science of Summer Fun!

Need a break from crowded theme parks and Florida’s humidity? Orlando Science Center has got you “covered,” literally! With four floors all indoors, the Science Center offers exciting, hands-on experiences through interactive exhibit halls, labs, workshops, theaters, an observatory and more. Having been a community cornerstone for more than 60 years, we know a thing or two about the science of summer fun!


Summer Experiences

EXHIBITS:

Show off your ninjitsu ways in the new traveling exhibit, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Secrets of the Sewer presented by Nemours Children’s Health System. Train alongside your favorite Turtles and Master Splinter in their Underground Lair to discover the importance of teamwork, creative thinking and humor.

 


Next, turn your creative ideas into reality at The Hive: A Makerspace presented by The Isaacs Family where guests ages eight and up can participate in a variety of workshops. Some workshops this summer include 3D Design For Printing, Machine Sewing 101 and Watercolor Lessons. Visit The Hive’s webpage for a breakdown of this month’s activities.

 


CAMPS:

If hands-on activities are your style, check out Orlando Science Center’s Pre-K–9 Summer Camps. Learning doesn’t have to end with the school year! The Science Center offers educational programs that provide children with the opportunity to discover their passions while learning skills that they can use in their everyday lives. Interested in filmmaking? Check out our Stop Motion Animation camp for grades 7-9. Other programs include #ScienceStar, Forensic Files and Insight: Mission to Mars.

 


FILMS & PROGRAMS:
Visit the Digital Adventure Theater to catch 3D educational films like Superpower Dogs, Backyard Wilderness, and more! This theater also hosts our Science Live! show KaBoom!, where you can learn the science of combustion in an explosive live show featuring colorful chemistry! For those sensitive to sound, keep in mind that this show contains loud noises.

 

Over the moon about the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing? Film lovers can visit the Dr. Phillips CineDome to see Apollo 11, brand new to the giant screen! Want to learn more about the first spaceflight to land humans on the moon? This breathtaking documentary brings viewers never-before-seen footage from the monumental mission of astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. The Dr. Phillips CineDome also hosts our Summer Jam Laser Show.

 

For more out-of-this-world fun, join us for Moon Fest on July 20 and 21! This weekend will feature special space-themed activities like the Mars Landing Egg Drop Challenge. Guests will also get to learn from local astronomers about the wonders of space.

 


EXTENDED HOURS:
Spend your summer with us on Friday and Saturday evenings from July 5 – August 10 for Science After Sundown! From 7:00 – 11:00 p.m. experience science fun and discovery, plus a few added surprises. Science After Sundown is the perfect opportunity to get stellar views of the night sky by joining our veteran sky-watchers in the observatory.

 

Daily admission to Orlando Science Center is free for members, $21 for adults, $19 for students and seniors, $15 for youth ages 3-11, and free for guests two and under. The Science Center is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Summer Extended Hours will be held on July 5 - August 10 on Fridays and Saturdays from 5:00 – 11:00 p.m. Enjoy after-hours programming featuring films, the observatory, and more!

Orlando Science Center Brought STEM Learning to the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba

Orlando Science Center was recently invited to bring hands-on STEM learning to the thousands of men, woman, and children living on the US Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Our mission is to inspire science learning for life and our team is dedicated to creating iconic experiences that spark curiosity and wonder for curious minds of all ages.

 

Our organization’s Education Outreach Team is providing hands-on learning within and beyond our organization’s walls throughout the year, often traveling throughout the state to facilitate programs at schools and community centers. However, this instance is the first time the team has left the country to provide educational programs.

 

Orlando Science Center hosted activities for students and families for several days, from June 7-10, including workshops at the base’s school, several family events and one evening exclusively for adults. Activities included a variety of hands-on activities, including engineering challenges, drone demonstrations, telescope viewing, and a mobile planetarium show. Families stationed at Guantanamo Bay are not allowed to leave the base so Orlando Science Center’s team provided welcome entertainment in addition to essential STEM learning.

 

Outreach is an important part of our organization’s mission because not everyone has access to a science center in their community. As we do our part to help fill the pipeline for future STEM workers, it is important to reach as broad an audience as possible. Young people engaged by hands-on STEM experiences help build important skills in critical thinking, problem-solving, communication and collaboration as well as learn about pathways to exciting careers.

 

By bringing a little of Orlando Science Center to those who wouldn’t experience it otherwise, our team has helped unlock a universe of possibilities. You never know who you might inspire during a live science show or by teaching someone how to program a robot to accomplish a task. Such experiences can ignite a passion for knowledge that can fuel a lifetime of discovery.

 

If you'd like to view the photo album from our trip, please click on the photo below: 

 

Orlando Science Center Brings Activities to Guantanamo Bay

MakeFest is This Weekend!

Join us on June 15 and 16 for a weekend full of making at Orlando Science Center!


Feeling crafty? Orlando Science Center’s MakeFest is right around the corner, featuring special programming in The Hive: A Makerspace, presented by The Isaacs Family, to celebrate the anniversary of its opening. Uncover your hidden talent, experiment with new ways to solve everyday problems and bring your creative ideas to life!

 


Learn how to become a creator, rather than a consumer with a variety of workshops and classes. Makers from across Central Florida will be in the building to share their creations and teach their crafts. From robotics to watercolor painting and sewing, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

 

Don’t miss these making opportunities!
  • Zine-Making: Learn how to design your own miniature publication with Orlando Girls Rock Camp.
  •  Wheel throwing: Porch Pottery will be demonstrating wheel throwing and making pieces throughout the day; Saturday June 15 only.
  • Collaborative collage: Stop by Creative Core to add your unique element to their collaborative collage! Saturday, June 15 only.
  • Loom weaving demonstrations: Discover how looms are used to produce intricate cloth and tapestry designs.
  • Stained glass demonstrations: Conrad Pickel Studios will be set up in The Hive, showing guests how Stained Glass creations are made.
  • Watercolor lessons: Gain skills in this beautiful medium (click here for a watercolor painting of Orlando Science Center!). Central Florida Watercolor Society will also host a workshop in The Hive on Saturday, June 22.
  • Robot showcase: FIRST Robotoics teams will be here, showing off their impressive robots. Did we mention middle and high schoolers built these?
  • Optics and Photonics: Not sure what this means? CREOL will be at MakeFest, showing guests how everyday objects can be turned into an interesting optical phenomena. Items include a Schlieren imaging device, and something called soy-sauce optics…consider us intrigued.
  • Orlando Sewical: Learn how to create sewn bookmarks, crotchet hair braids and bracelets, and observe a knitting demo.
  • Play Roboperation: A robotic twist on the classic game Operation with the Melrose Center! Plus, make or take a pop-up card, get a garden started with seed paper giveaways and solve laser cut puzzles before the clock runs out!
  • Iron Man suit viewing: Learn how Dorian Alberti created a suit for this popular superhero. Saturday, June 15 only.
  • Power Racer Cars: Discover how the folks of MakerFX rev their engines, plus make a button!
  • Super Cool Awesome Pottery: Head to DinoDigs to see canvas painting, clay sculptures and more!

 


If you can’t attend MakeFest weekend, catch a workshop or open make in The Hive: A Makerspace all month long to celebrate the National Month of Making. Activities include 3D Design for Printing, Machine Sewing 101 and more! Click here for more information.

 


Orlando Science Center’s Make Fest is included with general admission, which is free for members, $21 for adults, $19 for students and seniors, $15 for youth (ages 3-11), and free for children two and under. Admission includes access to all four floors of hands-on exhibits, giant-screen films in the Dr. Phillips CineDome, 3D films in the Digital Adventure Theater and live programming.

Lionfish for Lunch? For Ocean Conservation?

Deadly. Beautiful. Devastating. While lionfish may be stunning to look at, this invasive species has been wreaking havoc among marine ecosystems such as coral reefs along Florida coasts since the 1990s. In Florida waters, lionfish have no predators and have been eating many native species of fish, causing great ecological damage, with some areas showing an 85-90% decrease in their native fish.

 

There is good news, however: lionfish spines are venomous, not poisonous. Meaning, once the spines are removed, the rest of the fish is completely edible – and quite delicious. Not only does eating lionfish help remove these pesky fish from Florida’s waters, but it also offers a sustainable fishing alternative.

 

By including lionfish in your diet, you’re promoting sustainable fishing which is a great way to help advance ocean conservation. Growing demand for seafood has led to fishing practices that are depleting populations of fish and other aquatic creatures. Together, we can make a difference by purchasing seafood from responsible, sustainable fisheries and by creating demand for lionfish by purchasing it directly from reputable sources.

 

To learn more, dissect and even taste* the alluring yet destructive lionfish, visit Orlando Science Center on June 8 for our celebration of World Oceans Day presented by SeaWorld Parks and Resorts! We’re going to celebrate our beautiful oceans and educate guests on ocean conservation through hands-on activities. Dive into The Hive: A Makerspace to create your own recycled tote bags and participate in our ocean quilling workshop. Learn more about climate change at Science on a Sphere, hear from community partners on conservation and more!

 

*Lionfish activities are available on a first come, first served basis. Limited quantities available.

 

This information was sourced from National Geographic and NOAA Fisheries

Limited Space Remains for Orlando Science Center’s Academy Summer Camps!

Is your middle-schooler wild for animal science? Or maybe your teenager is sleuthing to be the next Sherlock Holmes? Whatever their passion, your young scientists will explore, discover and thrive in Orlando Science Center’s Academy summer camps for grades 5 to 6 and 7 to 9. From exploring drone technology to training a tortoise, future STEM leaders are the stars of these unique and exciting experiences.

 

Here are just some of the highlights of Orlando Science Center’s electrifying academy summer camps! Limited space is available, so sign up today!

Grades 5 — 6

NatureWorks Naturalists
July 1—5

Become a NatureWorks Ambassador with a behind the scenes look at the popular exhibit focused on animals and their ecosystems. Help develop a NatureWorks expansion, see how chemistry, physics and biology play a major role in the care of a wide range of animals and even train tortoises!

 

Grades 7 — 9

Stop Motion Animation
July 1 — 5


Bring clay, Legos, and everyday objects to life on the big screen! Using the latest in animation technology and stop-motion cameras, you’ll develop spectacular short films to impress your family and friends.

 

Drone Zone
July 15 — 19
Take to the skies and go where people can’t travel! Explore drone technology and try to master flying these marvelous machines. Then, learn how scientists are using the latest technology to follow bird migrations, deliver relief packages after natural disasters, map uncharted territory and discover lost cities.

 

Forensic Files

July 29—August 2

Analyze physical evidence, find hidden fingerprints, take shoe impressions, analyze hair and fiber samples and examine DNA. Through scientific observation, measurement, deduction and prediction, you’ll close this case like a real detective.

 

Insight: Mission to Mars
August 5 — 9

More missions have been attempted to Mars than anywhere else in the Solar System! What’s next for the exploration of the Red Planet? From modeling the orbits of Earth and Mars to determine the launch window to designing and creating model rovers and landers, we’ll take the next step as Martian explorers!

Six Ways to Practice Ocean Conservation

Celebrate World Oceans Day on June 8!

Did you know oceans cover 71 percent of the Earth's surface and contain 97 percent of the Earth's water? Although many of us, especially in Florida, think of the oceans as a place to relax and soak up the sun – they are also vital to life on Earth and home to an estimated one million species. It is our duty to help conserve and protect our oceans, and the marine life that inhabit them.

In celebration of World Oceans Day on June 8, we've compiled the top six ways you can practice ocean-friendly habits and help protect our oceans. Be sure to dive into Orlando Science Center on June 8 for our World Oceans Day celebration to learn more about ocean conservation, dissect a Lionfish, create recycled tote bags and more!

Here are Six Ways You Can Practice Ocean Conservation

  1. Use Less Plastic – Plastics that end up in the oceans, pollute and kill tens of thousands of marine animals every year. While single-use plastics create unnecessary waste, sustainable alternatives do exist. Instead of using plastic bags at the grocery store, bring a few tote bags to haul your goods. Using reusable water bottles, straws, and utensils are also great ways to reduce your plastic consumption.
  2. Beach Cleanup – Help keep our oceans clean by volunteering for a beach cleanup. Picking up litter is an effective way to reduce pollution, beautify your area and make new friends along the way!
  3. Enjoy the Water Responsibly – While boating, kayaking, and other recreational activities are a ton of fun, it’s essential to remember that you are in another creature’s habitat. To protect marine life, be sure to avoid throwing anything overboard.
  4. Volunteer Your Time– Consider volunteering your time to an organization or charity that is working to protect our oceans and marine wildlife. Join a local group to participate in projects and fundraisers that advance conservation efforts.
  5. Think Before You Flush – Medicines and other materials often flushed down the toilet have a damaging effect on water quality and marine life. Not only do these substances harm our oceans, but they also pollute local waterways and soil. Examples of harmful products include floss, cat litter, insecticides and more.
  6. Take Note of Your Carbon Footprint –  Carbon dioxide can cause acidification of the water, which impacts the health of marine life. Learn more about how you can tweak your energy habits for a more sustainable lifestyle. Driving less and using fewer single-use goods are great ways to start.
This information was sourced from National Geographic and The Oceanic Institute.

Promoting Learning Amongst Youth: Lessons to learn in KidsTown

"Play is the highest form of research" – Albert Einstein

Orlando Science Center’s mission of inspiring science learning for life applies to even our youngest scientists! You may be all too familiar with the dreaded ‘Why?’ stage of childhood and the under seven crowd are certainly capable of asking some real head-scratchers. We know that children have a natural curiosity, and nurturing that love of learning can help set them on a path for success.

 


In our early childhood exhibit, KidsTown, there are lessons to be learned everywhere. Here, we’ll explore some discussion topics that you can use to enhance the educational impact of your KidsTown visit. Even if you don’t know the exact answer to all of those inevitable ‘Why?’ questions, it’s valuable to talk about possibilities together. Children will see that, while grownups don’t have all the answers, you both can learn more about the world we live in.


Here are some conversation starters for your time in KidsTown:

 

Orange Grove Presented by Dr. Phillips Charities

  • At the sorting station, sort ripe and unripe oranges. How many ripe (orange) oranges do you count? How many unripe (green) oranges do you count? Are there more ripe or unripe oranges in our Orange Grove?
  • At the packing station, you can pull one lever at a time to move the oranges up the ramp. What do you think will happen if you pull two levers at once? What happens if you pull three or more at once? What do you notice?
  • The plants that we eat need a few things to grow big and healthy – can you think of anything that’s important for plants in a farm or garden to have? What do you think would happen if the plants didn’t have those things?

 


Isaacs Family ClimbTime

  • Your heart does an important job in your body. Do you know what job your heart does?
  • Test your heart rate. What do you think will happen to your heartbeat as you climb and play?
  • Do you notice any differences in how your body feels after playing or working hard? Test your heart rate again – is anything different?
  • Think about the job your heart does. Why do you think your heart rate is different now?

 


Drip Drop Splash Presented by James M. Cox Foundation

  • Use the blue panels to create a path for the water. If we make a thin pathway, do you think the water will flow faster or slower? What if we make a wide pathway?
  • How do you think we can get the water to flow in a different direction? Are there any tools we can use? Let’s try that together and see what happens!
  • I’m noticing that some of the toys in this area float, and others sink. I wonder why that is. What do you think?

Kick Off The Summer With Science Night Live on June 1!

Orlando Science Center’s adults-only event, Science Night Live is back.

For just $16, guests (21 and up only) are invited to enjoy all four floors of the Science Center– without kids!

 

Shake up your typical Saturday night routine with special programming like:

  • Dissect a squid in Dr. Dare’s Lab.
  • Take a Gyo-taku fish printing workshop and create your own unique, reusable tote bag in The Hive: A Makerspace.
  • Indulge in ninja nostalgia with our newest exhibit Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Secrets of the Sewer and experience the Science Live show ‘Enter the Dojo.’ Learn what it means to be a ninja in this interactive (and hilarious) show.
  • Participate in Science Trivia.
  • Experience live animals and Coral Reef talks in NatureWorks.
  • Delve into the Great Bear Rainforest and Galapagos: Nature’s Wonderland in the Dr. Phillips CineDome.
  • Enjoy adult beverages under the stars on the SunTrust Terrace.

PLUS:

Join Dr. Joseph Donoghue, a Coastal Marine Geologist from the University of Central Florida for a riveting talk on Knowledge vs. Belief in Climate Change. Explore how climate misinformation and disinformation have obscured the fact that climate has been changing constantly for most of Earth’s history, and discover how the means exist to reverse this trend, but climate misconceptions have slowed progress.

 

Then journey through an unprecedented photographic history of Apollo 11, the space mission that defined an era. Contribute to conversations with historian and authority J.L. Pickering who has archived rare space images for more than 40 years and journalist John Bisney who has covered the space program for CNN, the Discovery Science Channel, and SiriusXM Radio.

 

Limited tickets on sale now! Click the button below to purchase yours before they sell out!

Celebrate World Turtle Day on May 23!

If the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Secrets of the Sewer exhibit has gotten you out of your shell, now is the best time to learn how you can be a friend to more than 30 species of turtles that call Florida home! With these little reptiles being a staple of our lakes and oceans, it’s easy to forget how turtley remarkable they really are. Can you believe some of your neighborhood turtles could possibly be older than you?

 

These tough creatures may have shells made of over 50 bones, but they still need our help to survive. With 61% of freshwater turtle species and nearly all sea turtle species endangered, it’s up to us to take some easy steps to protect our favorite semi-aquatic neighbors.

Here are Four Ways You Can Help Save Turtles

  • Many plastic items are mistaken as food by turtles when they end up in our waterways. Using reusable bags, straws and water bottles not only saves you money, but also helps protect our ecosystem.
  • Litter on our beaches can be dangerous, especially to the 68,000 loggerhead turtles that nest on our coasts annually. Make it a goal to pick up any litter you find when having a beach day.
  • Give nesting turtles plenty of space and never disturb a nest if you come across one. If you're fortunate enough to see sea turtles hatching, maintain your distance and turn off all lights from your portable electronic devices.
  • Having a turtle as a pet is a lasting commitment not just for you, but for the turtle. Only take responsibility for one if you have a long-term plan. Many unwanted turtles are released into the wild and cannot survive on their own.
Learn More

The Chelonian Research Institute, Sea Turtle Preservation Society, The Central Florida Wildlife Center and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Committee are great community partners for anyone who wants to learn more about Florida’s turtles and what we can be doing to help save them.

 

Visit NatureWorks on the first level of the Science Center to see and even safely touch our beautiful native Turtles and Tortoises!

 

This information was sourced from See Turtles, Tufts Wildlife Clinic, and The Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Secrets Of The Sewer Exhibit Opens May 25 at Orlando Science Center!

Presented by Nemours Children's Health System

Turtle Power! After three decades of battling evil and exemplifying teamwork, the beloved Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles™ (TMNT) will make waves this summer at Orlando Science Center! The four funny “heroes in a half-shell” will share life lessons and team-building skills with their crime-fighting tactics in Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles™: Secrets of the Sewer™.

 

Be transported to the underground home of the crime-fighting heroes to see what really happens in their secret hideaway. TMNT brothers Leonardo (the tactical, courageous leader in blue), Michelangelo (the free-spirited jokester in orange), Raphael (the aggressive tough guy in red), and Donatello (the scientist and technological genius in purple) invite you to their New York City sewer lair to train and learn with them.

 

The Turtles are known and respected for their teamwork. As the TMNT’s sensei and adoptive father Splinter often tells them, “Together there is nothing you cannot accomplish.” Through team-building challenges, collaborative games and mind-teasing puzzles, visitors will learn how to work as a team with mental and physical challenges like assembling electrical circuit puzzles, navigating a rope maze, practicing ninja speed and slicing skills while playing a dexterity-based computer game, shredding up and practicing your balance on skateboards, and more!

 

So put on your bandanas and get ready to work together to defeat evil! Whether you come with friends, family, or ninjas in training, you’ll put the strength of your teamwork and cooperation skills to the test. Your crew will be sure to walk away with a bond as strong as this lean, mean, green team!

 

Cowabunga! You’re now ready to defeat evil — together!

 

Produced by The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis in cooperation with Nickelodeon ©2019 Viacom International Inc. All Rights Reserved. Nickelodeon, TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES and all related titles, logos, and characters are trademarks of Viacom International Inc.