Lunch in Pompeii • A Free Virtual Speaker Series in Partnership with UCF College of Sciences

Grab a sandwich or some coffee, and let's have lunch. In Pompeii! 

Travel plans canceled this year? Go back in time with “Lunch in Pompeii”, a free speaker series held through Zoom. Hosted between 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m., take a nice break from work or school, and tune in to learn about some of the artifacts that can be found in our latest exhibit Pompeii: The Immortal City.        

This collaboration with UCF and the Orlando Science Center started in 2019 with the launch of Knight at the Museum, a speaker series hosted at OSC. Lunch in Pompeii continues this partnership with a virtual speaker series to meet the needs of today's world and social distancing. These subject matter experts will help give us a uniquely in-depth look at various topics related to the exhibit. 

This speaker series is FREE, but you must RSVP to receive the Zoom link and login details.

*This series is recommended for students 13 years and older but younger students are welcome to join.   

How Metal Shaped Pompeii and the Roman Empire

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Metals were a fundamental part of Roman life, providing a wide range of weapons, coins, implements and jewelry. Given the scarcity of metals in Roman provinces, demand for these precious resources drove previously unprecedented scales of interaction and trade that affected linked Rome, including major trading centers like Pompeii, to the Roman provinces and beyond.

Dr. Joseph Lehner will examine how metal production and trade shaped the Roman world, and how the archaeological study of these materials give us extraordinary insight into not only the mechanics of the empire but also the daily lives of people who once lived there.

Lunch in Pompeii with Joseph-W.-Lehner
Dr. Joseph W. Lehner Ph.D.

Dailies and Delicacies: Getting a Taste of Pompeii

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Dine like the ancient Pompeii citizens in a gustatio, a light lunch of starters! Our meals and the meals of those before us are very different. Here, you can attend a virtual tasting of daily fresh breads, drink a full-bodied raisin wine or posca, a cold, watered-down vinegar, and savor herbed olives in oil. Sounds delectamenti!

Dr. Lana Williams will us a taste of why our modern system of tastes that seem so “naturally” preferable to us are very different from those of the past. The perfect meal of ancient Pompeii and the Roman World was one where all the tastes, and therefore all the virtues, would be simultaneously present.

Lunch in Pompeii with lana Williams
Dr. Lana Williams, Ph.D.

Fleeing Pompeii: Bodies Frozen in Time

Thursday, December 10, 2020

When the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius hit Pompeii in 79AD, its ash formed a protective shield around the bodies of the citizens. This created a type of mummification. Pompeiians are now called “ash mummies” due to the intactness of bodies.

Dr. Sandra Wheeler dives into how and why these preserved bodies provide several different insights into the deaths, but also the lives of every day Pomepiians.

Lunch in Pompeii with Sandra Wheeler
Dr. Sandra Wheeler Ph.D.

Learning From Lasers: Uncovering Pompeii With Chemical Laser Analysis

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Lasers and Pompeii? Ancient and modern worlds collide in this presentation by Dr. Matthieu Baudelet. As an associate professor of Chemistry at UCF, Baudelet specializes in laser-based spectroscopy for forensic analysis.

Lunch in Pompeii with Matthieu Baudelet
Dr. Matthieu Baudelet Ph.D

Pompeii: The Immortal City is on display at Orlando Science Center from October 26, 2020 - January 24, 2021. Get your timed-entry tickets today!

Pompeii: the Immortal City Exhibit - Premiering October 26, 2020

Bank of America Offers Free Admission to Cardholders for Museums on Us Weekends

The first full weekend of every month, Bank of America and Merrill and Private Bank credit and debit cardholders can receive free admission to Orlando Science Center on Saturdays and Sundays through the Museums on Us program!

How to Reserve your Museums on Us Tickets

All visitors are required to reserve their tickets online in advance. To gain free entry through this program, please follow the steps below.

  1. Click here to locate Orlando Science Center and select our name for the promo code.
  2. Purchase tickets online here and enter the promo code in the upper right corner.

     *Note, the promotion is valid for the credit or debit cardholder only and does not include others in their group.

  3. Visit the Science Center at the time and date you selected! Your Bank of America, Merrill or Private Bank debit or credit card and a matching photo ID must be presented upon admission for entry.

For questions about the Museums on Us program or locating the promo code, please email for assistance. 

Upcoming Bank of America Weekend Dates and Exhibitions

Pompeii: The Immortal City

  • November 7 & 8, 2020
  • December 5 & 6, 2020
  • January 2 & 3, 2021

  • February 6 & 7, 2021

Planet Pioneers

  • March 6 & 7, 2021
  • April 3, 2021

About Museums on Us

Museums on Us weekends includes access to Orlando Science Center's four floors or exhibits and experiences such as giant-screen films, workshops in The Hive: A Makerspace (ages 8+), and so much more! 


Offer is open to all Bank of America and Merrill Lynch debit and credit card holders and is valid for one complimentary general admission per cardholder. Non-cardholders, including children, are not eligible for free admission

Both the credit or debit card and matching photo ID must be presented at the time of the visit to gain free entry. 

The Science Center is operating at limited capacity and requiring timed-entry tickets be reserved online in advance for all visitors and Members. Please review our health and safety guidelines in advance to plan your visit

Orlando Science Center thanks Bank of America for their continued partnership and support of their Museums on Us program for the last two decades. We value their outstanding dedication to providing communities enriching learning experiences.

Want FREE Admission to Orlando Science Center All Year Long?
Become a Member Today!

Bank of America and Merrill Lynch cardholders receive 10% off of an annual membership when they buy during Museums on Us weekends!

Annual memberships to Orlando Science Center include major perks like free admission, free parking, free admission to events like Science Night Live and Otronicon, special member-only previews of exhibits and films, and so much more! 

SCOPE Magazine for Science Center Members

Check out the latest issue of SCOPE Magazine!

With so much going on at Orlando Science Center, it's hard to keep track of everything included in your OSC Membership! That's why our team is dedicated to getting our Members the latest exhibit news and goings on at the Science Center.

Science Center Members receive SCOPE Magazine three times per year in the Spring, Summer, and Fall to give them the full scope of what's in store that season. Members also get a granular, up-close view of the month ahead through our monthly Member e-newsletter, MicroSCOPE — get it? 

For more frequent updates, join our OSC Member Community on Facebook! 

Fall 2020 Issue

Flip through the current e-magazine or download it below. 

Armstrong Family Donation of Historical Artifacts Lands at OSC

SpaceKids Global Delivers Piece of Original Wright Brothers Flyer to OSC

Through the generosity of Mark Armstrong and Rick Armstrong, sons of Janet and Neil Armstrong, Sharon Hagle, founder of SpaceKids Global, has donated to Orlando Science Center fabric from the wing of the Wright Brothers’ first airplane which Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, took with him on the Apollo 11 Mission along with an original Apollo 11 mission patch. The pieces will be placed on display near the Science Center’s Flight Lab. SpaceKids Global and Orlando Science Center partner on opportunities to inspire the next generation of space explorers.

The Wright Flyer wing fabric accompanied Mark and Rick Armstrong’s father into space on Apollo 11. After returning to Earth, Armstrong delivered a portion of the wing to the Smithsonian Institute and was allowed to keep the remainder for his personal collection. Neil’s sons decided to donate this gift with others to spread a message of exploration and discovery. SpaceKids Global and the Armstrongs agreed that the donation would be permanently displayed at Orlando Science Center.


“We created SpaceKids Global to inspire elementary students and empower young girls in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and the Environment,” Hagle said.

“This fabric represents the beginning of flight, and the power of science. Neil Armstrong took these pieces of the wing with him on his trip to the moon which is so timely with all of Central Florida’s significant involvement in the space program historically and currently. Orlando Science Center shares our dedication to science and space so what better partner to help us engage tomorrow’s astronauts?”


SpaceKids Global donation to JoAnn Newman

The fabric being donated was excised from Armstrong’s own section of the wing cloth, certified and encapsulated that it has been flown twice: December 17, 1903 at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina and July 20, 1969 at Tranquility Base on the moon. The Apollo 11 Mission Patch was only issued to NASA and the Apollo 11 crew: Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins.

“Orlando Science Center is extremely grateful to Sharon, SpaceKids Global and the Armstrong Family for the donation of these amazing, historical artifacts,” said JoAnn Newman. “Both pieces dramatically represent the great strides we’ve made in aviation and space exploration. We will display them proudly and use these pieces of history to spark future generations’ curiosity and desire to pursue space exploration.”

SpaceKids Global donation of Wright Brother airplane wing piece of fabric
SpaceKids Global donation of Neil Armstrong Apollo 11 NASA patch

Support Your Science Center • Ways to Help OSC and Local Businesses in Tough Times

Now more than ever, we need your help! Check out a few ways to support your Science Center and the Central Florida community.

Orlando Science Center has been open since June 15 after having been closed for the prior three months. Most of our revenue-generating programs were canceled or postponed during that time.
We have modified our experience with new health and safety guidelines, which includes limiting occupancy. Since summer is historically our busiest time of the year, these changes, and the current situation, greatly restrict our ability to recover these lost funds.
We need your help to keep the Science Center moving full STEAM ahead.
We know everyone is facing challenges right now, but if you are able to support Orlando Science Center through any of the following ways, we would be so grateful.

Get, gift, or renew a membership

We've got fun down to a science! Orlando Science Center members receive a multitude of benefits including unlimited general admission and parking, discounts on food and beverages, merchandise, camp programs, special events, and more! 

Already a member? Consider gifting or renewing a membership! Members receive a 10% discount on gifted memberships and early renewals. 

Support Orlando Science Center with membership

Come Say Hi! 

Whether you stay for a while or your visit is brief, there is plenty to SEA and do with educational movies, fun science demos, and meeting our animal ambassadors! Check out these upcoming events: 

  • Pompeii: The Immortal City- Through artwork, artifacts, interactive mechanical devices, and multimedia experiences, you will embark on a journey through time into the daily life of a first-century Roman town.
  • Kids Night at the Museum- Caregivers are invited to drop their youths ages 5 - 12 at OSC to explore exhibits, experience enhanced programming, and enjoy dinner and a film. Safety guidelines include age-appropriate small groups, social distancing, and masks. Caregivers can enjoy a stress and child-free evening. 
Visit OSC

Make a donation

Your support of Orlando Science Center, a nonprofit serving Central Florida for over 60 years, improves science knowledge, breaks down barriers to access, and creates prosperity in our community for generations to come.

Help us accomplish our mission to inspire science learning for life by donating below or by texting STEM to 243725.


Spread the Word

Help us spread the word by sharing this message with your friends and family.

Orlando Science Center is here to inspire science learning for life.

Whether it’s an A-HA moment on the exhibit floor or the satisfaction of building a bridge out of straws that holds up under intense weight, these interactions with the Science Center change us. 

Our world is facing extraordinary and complex challenges – from saving our natural world, to curing deadly diseases, to space travel, and beyond. The only way to solve these critical issues is through the power of education. The future holds unlimited possibilities and we are so proud to partner with you on this journey of learning, providing opportunities to create, explore, and invent together.

Thank you for your trust, unwavering support, and continued investment. We simply couldn’t do it without you!

Black Innovators in STEM Who Changed the World

You’ve probably heard of Einstein- now meet some of the lesser-known Black innovators in STEM fields. 

The history of STEM fields is full of amazing accomplishments. Names like Newton, Darwin, Hawking, Curie, and Goodall bring to mind incredible discoveries and inventions. But there are many Black innovators in STEM who's names we don’t mention as often and are usually ignored, even though they are associated with accomplishments that are no less impressive and important. The work of Black scientists, engineers, and mathematicians has led to game-changing discoveries and inventions. 
From inspirational “firsts” that changed the STEM field forever to those making their mark on the world today, here are 11 Black scientists, engineers, and mathematicians that you should know about. This list is in alphabetical order by last name and is by no means exhaustive. There are far too many important people to list in one post, and Black innovators in STEM who continue to undertake significant scientific research every day.

Dr. Stephon Alexander is a theoretical physicist and professor at Brown University who specializes in string theory and particle physics.

He co-invented a model that helps to explain the early expansion of the universe, served as the scientific advisor on Ava DeVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time, and currently serves as the President of the National Society of Black Physicists.

As an accomplished saxophone player, Alexander also explores interconnections between music, physics, mathematics, and technology, topics he explores in his best-selling book, The Jazz of Physics.

Black innovators in STEM- Dr. Stephon Alexander

George Washington Carver, arguably the most famous Black scientist and inventor, was born into slavery.

He was accepted into Highland College in Kansas, but ultimately denied admission due to his race. He went on to be the first Black student at Iowa State Agricultural College, where he became known as a brilliant botanist (a scientist who studies plants). He is best known for coming up with over 100 uses for the peanut.

In addition, as the head of the Tuskegee Institute’s agricultural department, he also helped develop crops and agricultural methods that stabilized the livelihoods of many former slaves. He also contributed greatly to the education of Black Americans in universities and through mobile classrooms that brought lessons to farmers.

Black innovators in STEM- George Washington Carver

Dr. Marie M. Daly was a biochemist and the first Black woman to obtain a Ph.D. in chemistry in the United States.

She made several critical contributions to medicine, including the discovery of the relationship between high cholesterol and heart disease and conducting pioneering research into the effects of cigarette smoke on the lungs. Her work created a new understanding of how food, diet, and lifestyle can affect heart health.

In addition to her research, Daly taught biochemistry courses, advocated for getting Black students enrolled in medical schools and graduate science programs, and started a scholarship for minority students to study science at Queens College in New York.

Black innovators in STEM- M. Daly

Dr. Sylvester James Gates, Jr is a theoretical physicist known for his work on supersymmetry, supergravity, and superstring theory.

In 1984, he co-authored Superspace, the first comprehensive book on the topic of supersymmetry. Born the oldest of four children in Tampa, FL, Gates spent his teen years in Orlando, attending Jones High School—his first experience in a segregated African-American school. Comparing his own school's quality to neighboring white schools, "I understood pretty quickly that the cards were really stacked against us." Nevertheless, a course in physics established Gates' career interest in that field, especially its mathematical side. At his father's urging, he applied for admission to MIT and was accepted.

His doctoral thesis was the first at MIT on supersymmetry. Gates served on the U.S. President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and is a past president of the National Society of Black Physicists. In 2013, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, becoming the first African-American theoretical physicist so recognized in its 150-year history. President Obama awarded him the National Medal of Science, the highest award given to scientists in the U.S., in 2013. He is an honorary member of Orlando Science Center’s Board of Trustees.

Dr. Sylvester James Gates, Jr

Dr. Aprielle Ericcson-Jackson is an award-winning aerospace engineer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and one of the most famous women working at NASA today.

Throughout her career at NASA Goddard, she has made many notable contributions, including as the projector manager for the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter aboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter that has been orbiting the Moon since 2009.

She has been recognized as one of the Top 50 Minority Women in Science and Engineering by the National Technical Association and has received the NASA Goddard Honor Award for Excellence in Outreach, the Washington Award for engineering achievements that advance the welfare of mankind, and a Science Trailblazers award from the Black Engineers of the Year Award Conference.

Dr. Aprielle Ericcson-Jackson

Zora Neale Hurston – who grew up in Eatonville, Florida – was a renowned author and anthropologist.

She became a member of the Harlem Renaissance in New York. At Columbia University, she worked with Franz Boas, the Father of American Anthropology. As an anthropologist, she embedded herself in the communities she studied, focusing on and writing about the religious traditions, songs, and folklore of Black communities in Florida, Louisiana, Haiti, and Jamaica.

Her anthropological work influenced her fiction, most notably the classic and influential novel Their Eyes Were Watching God. Her anthropological work was published in academic journals and books.

Zora Neale Hurston

Katherine Johnson was one of the famous Hidden Figures who worked at NASA and made the 1969 moon landing possible.

After working as a teacher in public schools, she joined NASA (then NACA) as a research mathematician in the Langley laboratory’s all-Black West Area Computing section. There, she analyzed data from flight tests and went onto do trajectory analysis for the first human spaceflight. In 1962, she used geometry for space travel and figured out the paths for spacecraft to orbit around Earth and land on the Moon. This led to an astronaut successfully orbiting around the Earth for the first time.

She continued to work for NASA, with her calculations helping to send astronauts to the Moon and back. When asked to name her greatest contribution to space exploration, she chose her calculations that helped synch Project Apollo’s Lunar Module with the lunar-orbiting Command and Service Module.

Katherine Johnson
Dr. Percy Julian was a pioneering chemist who made several game-changing discoveries.
He completed the first total synthesis of a chemical called physostigmine, which was used to treat glaucoma. He also discovered how to extract steroids from soybean oil and synthesize the hormones progesterone and testosterone from them, and then synthesized cortisone, which became used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, he invented Aero-Foam, which was widely used during World War II to put out oil and gas fires.
In 1973, he became the first Black chemist elected to the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Chemical Society recognizes his synthesis of physostigmine as “one of the top 25 greatest achievements in the history of American chemistry.”
Dr. Percy Julian

Dr. Bruce Ovbiagele is a neurologist and professor at the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences.

His focus is on reducing the burden of stroke in the United States and Sub-Saharan Africa. He is particularly focused on improving outcomes for vulnerable populations – including ethnic minorities and military veterans – at risk for stroke, and oversees several National Institutes of Health-funded research programs to this effect. This includes the largest study of stroke in Sub-Saharan African to date.

As a professor, he has worked to train, mentor, and inspire people from groups who are under-represented in medicine. He has been appointed the Associate Dean of the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Healthcare System and acts as their Chief of Staff.

Dr. Bruce Ovbiagele

Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum is a celebrated clinical psychologist, notable educator, and a nationally recognized authority on racial issues in America.

As a clinical psychologist, she devoted her career to studying how race impacts self-understanding, particularly in relation to education. She has also been a prominent voice in research showing that young children notice race and has argued that it is something that should be openly and honestly discussed with them instead of ignored. As part of this work, she has called for discussions of race in the classroom, has published the book Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? and has given lectures across the country.

In 2014, she received the American Psychological Association’s Award for Outstanding Lifetime Contribution to Psychology.

Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum

Dr. Warren Washington is a distinguished climate scientist and former chair of the National Science Board.

After completing his Ph.D. in meteorology, he became a research scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). While there, he developed one of the first atmospheric computer models of Earth’s climate. He went on to become the head of NCAR’s Climate Change Research Section.

Washington has been recognized as an expert in atmospheric science, climate research, and the computer modeling of these, receiving multiple presidential appointments to serve on committees, being elected chair of the National Science Board in 2002 and 2004, and receiving numerous awards, including the National Medal of Science in 2009.

Dr. Warren Washington

Learn more! 

There are countless more Black innovators in STEM fields to meet: 

Dr. Phillips Charities Presents 2020 Leadership Award to OSC

The Board of Directors of Dr. Phillips Charities has awarded the 2020 Dr. Phillips Leadership Award to Orlando Science Center.

In the innovative and philanthropic tradition of their founders, Dr. P. Phillips, his wife Della and their son Howard, the Dr. Phillips Leadership Award, which includes a donation of $250,000, honors nonprofit organizations that demonstrate community leadership, financial stewardship, and sustainable and impactful programs that change lives.

“We are proud to bestow the 2020 Dr. Phillips Leadership Award on JoAnn Newman and the Board of Directors of the Orlando Science Center,” said Kenneth Robinson, President of Dr. Phillips Charities. “They and their team have developed engaging, sustainable science programs and opportunities that help build essential skills and inspire current and future generations to pursue important STEM careers.”

The Dr. Phillips name has been a major economic and philanthropic presence in the Central Florida community since the turn of the 20th century. Dr. Phillips Charities honors the legacy of the Phillips family and its support of organizations that live up to their motto “to help others help themselves” by donating millions of dollars to more than 100 local charities.

Beyond its community impact, the award acknowledges Orlando Science Center and its leadership for their dedication to quality educational experiences by consistently premiering new exhibit areas, expanding resources and STEM learning opportunities, and fostering an environment that simulates creativity and innovation. Recipients receive the award and a $250,000 donation to their organization.

“From our first gift in 1958 to the Dr. Phillips CineDome and our recent support of the Orange Grove in KidsTown, Dr. Phillips Charities has been a longtime partner with Orlando Science Center,” said James Ferber, Chair of the Board for Dr. Phillips Charities. “Having given more than $4 Million in support of their mission and programs, we have seen their commitment to igniting innovation, and to enhancing lives in our community.”

Since 1955, Orlando Science Center has brought together diverse audiences of all ages to discover and explore science learning through immersive experiences. We are dedicated to sharing opportunities that show the relevance of science to people’s lives and create a better understanding of the world around them.

“For 65 years, Orlando Science Center has helped build important skills for the leaders and problem solvers of tomorrow. Science is the key to addressing some of our country’s greatest challenges, whether it’s returning Americans to space or combatting a global pandemic,” Newman said. “Partners like Dr. Phillips Charities are essential to help us as we advance our mission and inspire future generations. Together, we can change the world."

6 Important LGBTQ Scientists Who Left a Mark on STEM Fields

These important LGBTQ scientists changed the world through science! 

June is Pride Month in the United States, commemorating the Stonewall Riots in June 1969 which are largely regarded as a catalyst for the LGBTQ+ movement for civil rights. The riots inspired LGBTQ+ people and allies throughout the country to organize in support of gay rights. Pride Month is a time to recognize past and present struggles and successes in the ongoing fight for civil rights, as well as to celebrate the accomplishments of LGBTQ+ individuals.

In honor of Pride Month, we’ve rounded up a list of incredible scientists who self-identified as members of LGBTQ+ community and have left a lasting mark on the STEM fields with both their activism and scientific research. Learn more about these important LGBTQ+ scientists and their impact.   


Sara Josephine Baker, known for tracking down Typhoid Mary, was openly gay. She contributed greatly to public health in New York City and took particular interest in helping communities of immigrants. She fought to provide access to medical care for all areas of the city and helped train new healthcare professionals. 


important LBGTQ scientists included Sarah Josephine Baker


Ben Barres was a pioneering neurobiologist at Stanford University. His work on a type of brain cells called glia revolutionized our understanding of the brain. In 2013, Barres became the first openly transgender member elected to the US National Academy of Sciences, an organization that includes many of the United States’ leading scientists.

important LBGTQ scientists include Ben Barres


Colin Turnbull was one of the first anthropologists to study ethnomusicology (the study of the music of different cultures). He was an activist in many causes, including prison reform and the celebration of immigrant cultures. He and his partner, Joseph Towles, both died of AIDS. 

important LBGTQ scientists include Colin Turnbull


Lauren Esposito is an arachnologist (a scientist who studies spiders and related animals such as scorpions) and the only woman expert on scorpions in the world. She is the co-founder of 500 Queer Scientists, a visibility movement and professional network that boosts the recognition and awareness of LGBTQ+ people working in STEM fields.

important LBGTQ scientists include Lauren Esposito


Ruth Gates was a leading marine biologist and conservationist who studied coral reefs. Her work on creating “super corals” that are more resistant to climate change can be seen in the documentary Chasing Coral. She was an inspiration to LGBTQ+ scientists as an out lesbian at the top of her field. 


important LBGTQ scientists include Ruth Gates


Richard Summerbell is a prominent mycologist (a scientist who studies fungi) and a leading expert on how fungi affect the health of humans and the environment. He has been an LGBTQ+ activity and commentator on HIV/AIDS since the 1970s during the gay liberation movement.

important LBGTQ scientists include Richard Summerbell

Learn more about the LQBTQ+ science community!

Remembering our nation's history is important, and it is equally important to continue working toward our bright future.

The 500 Queer Scientists website is a visibility campaign for LGBTQ+ people and their allies working in STEM and STEM-supporting jobs — a group that collectively represents a powerful force of scientific progress and discovery. You can learn more about this project via their website at

How are you celebrating Pride at home? Share your decorations, experiments, or lessons with us using #OSCatHome!

OSC At Home Emails

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

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


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


Facebook Logo Instagram Logo YouTube Logo Twitter Logo

Support OSC At Home

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

Bee Identification Game: To Bee or Not to Bee

Put your bee identification skills to the test!

Bee identification can BEE tricky when many bees, hornets, wasps, and other insects can have similar yellow patterns (or jackets).


Let’s find out as we play a bee identification game – a bee or not a bee! Test your knowledge of our pollinating pals, and find out what makes a bee a bee? 


Guess whether the picture is a bee or not a bee, then reveal the answer and some fun facts about our buzzing buddies! 

American Bumble Bee

Bumble bees live in underground colonies with a queen and many workers. They are the only bees that can perform buzz pollination - certain plants like tomatoes require specific vibration to release pollen. Bumble bees are the fuzziest bees. Because bumble bees are bigger and warmer, they can be out earlier and later in the day, at colder temperatures, and higher altitudes than other bees.

Hover Fly

These flies may hover around flowers like bees, but you can tell them apart if you look closely! Bees have four wings while flies only have two. Also, check out the antennae – fly antennae are usually small and hard to see, but bee antennae have a bend in them that’s pretty visible.

Blue Orchard Mason Bee

Mason bees are solitary; they use individual nesting holes but live near each other. These are the bees that you may have made bee houses for in the Hive! These bees use mud, like masons, to build walls in their nest tunnels. They can pollinate many plants including apple, peach, pear, and plum trees. Because of their efficient pollination, many farmers like to have them around.

Yellow Jacket

Wasps and bees have similar coloration, wings, and both have stingers so they are often confused. While most bees are gentle and solitary, wasps can be more aggressive and territorial. How do you tell them apart? Wasps often have brighter colors and a smooth texture. Wasps are not as hairy looking as bees are.

European Honey Bee

Of about 20,000 bee species, only seven produce honey! Honey bees are not native to the United States. Although they can pollinate plants, they are not nearly as efficient as native bee species. These bees are social and live in hives with up to several hundred bees.


Every bee performs specific tasks to accomplish goals for the hive. Because honey bees live in a community and have a home to defend, they will be upset and may sting if you disturb a hive. It’s important to respect animals and leave them alone to do their important job in our ecosystems.


Hornets are the largest group of wasps. Remember how to tell bees and wasps apart? Wasps usually have brighter colors and are less hairy looking than bees!

Mud Dauber Wasp

Mud dauber wasps build their nests by molding mud with their mouths. You probably have seen mud dauber nests before – we have a lot of them in Florida! These wasps are carnivorous – they eat other creatures, such as spiders.

Snowberry Clearwing Moth

Moths and bees both have fuzzy bodies and both have two sets of wing per side. Most moths are nocturnal, but some are out during the day and are easily confused with bees. How do you tell them apart? Moths have slender legs, with no fluff or obvious pollen basket like a bee. Moths have a unique mouthpart, the long proboscis they use to feed.

Drone Fly

Drone flies look and sound like bees, but you can tell them apart by their antennae and wings. Flies have short antennae and two wings, not four like a bee.

Sweat Bee

Most types of sweat bees nest in the ground, but a few nest in rotten wood. Like most bees, they eat nectar and pollen. Sweat bees often hover around or land on sweaty humans because they want the salt in their sweat, not because they think humans are flowers.

Expand on the activity:

What was your score? Are you a bee expert?

  • Learn how you can help our pollinating pals at

  • You may have heard about the Asian giant hornet, an invasive species to the United States, starting to make its way here and harming the local bees. 

    We're not likely to see any of these hornets in Florida as sightings so far have been limited to the West Coast. Here are some tips to help you differentiate helpful bees from these and other hornet species:

OSC At Home Emails

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

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


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


Facebook Logo Instagram Logo YouTube Logo Twitter Logo

How to Talk to Kids About COVID-19: An Interview with Family Therapist Tonya Ramsburg

Family Therapist, Tonya Ramsburg shares tips on how to talk to kids about COVID-19

We spoke with licensed Family Therapist, Tonya Ramsburg, MA, LMFT, in a virtual conversation about the concerns of families during this time. Tonya Ramsburg has 15 years of experience providing therapy to children and families all over the world, and is a mother to a five-year-old and a two-year-old.


In our conversation, we explore how to talk to kids about COVID-19 and balance the needs of everyone in your family and how to address some of the challenging situations that come from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Have more questions?

We’re dedicated to providing our community with expert-approved answers. If you have questions that were not covered in our conversation, please email

Looking for more?

The resources listed below provide valuable information, tips, and materials to help your family navigate our ever-changing world during this pandemic.

Everyday Help and Information for Caregivers During COVID-19 and Beyond:

  • Vroom

    “This period of change with COVID-19 may bring new challenges, but you already have what it takes! We’ve collected some simple and fun ways to boost brain building at home together with your child. Even a few minutes count.”

    Vroom provides convenient tips for caregivers to bring learning into your everyday routines. These tips are science and research-based and center around a child’s developing brain, with easy-to-understand explanations included for adults.

  • Zero to Three

    “The following resources offer tips for families including age-appropriate responses to common questions, a guide to self-care, and activities for young children experiencing social distancing.”

    Zero to Three provides research-based information for our youngest children. They have created and compiled many informative, empathetic resources for parenting babies and toddlers

  • Conscious Discipline

    “For 20+ years, “We’re all in this together,” has been a core tenet of Conscious Discipline. It seems ironic that a virus that requires social distancing to slow its spread has drawn our attention to how intimately connected we truly are as friends, neighbors, communities and nations. Safety, connection and problem-solving are the most valuable contribution we can offer to those around us as we navigate these unprecedented times (and beyond). Breathe with me. We can handle this … together.”

    Conscious Discipline focuses on evidence-based social emotional learning and is often used in schools to help children feel safe, welcome, and ready to learn. They have put together many great resources for appropriate and wise guidance for your family during the pandemic. Be sure to scroll through the whole page for webinars, printables, and podcasts.

  • Child Mind Institute

    “We know parents are struggling to balance work, child care and self-care while keeping worries — both your children’s and your own — under control. You don’t have to do it alone.”

    Child Mind Institute is a national non-profit organization dedicated to helping children who have mental and learning differences. Their COVID-19 resource page includes helpful information for families with children who have specific needs such as autism, anxiety, and PTSD. They provide parental guidance on a wide range of subjects and for a wide range of ages. 

  • National Geographic: Talking to Kids About Xenophobia

    “In time, coronavirus infections will likely start to slow—and perhaps the related hate incidents against people of Asian descent will slow with it. But xenophobia is something that’s always with us, which is why it’s important for parents to teach their kids to fight it.”

    This article from National Geographic talks about ways to recognize, understand, prevent, and address xenophobia with our children. (Please be aware that National Geographic only allows access to a limited number of digital articles each month. If you have already hit your limit of free articles, you will need to purchase a subscription to read this article right away or wait until the next month.)

  • Unicef: 5 Ways to Fight Racism and Xenophobia

    “Celebrating other cultures emphasizes the fact that we are all people and sends the message that racism and xenophobia will not be tolerated in a civil society. It is our job, as people, as parents, as citizens of the world, to combat racism and xenophobia wherever we can.”

    This article provides guidance for individuals and parents in responding to racism as a result of COVID-19. 

  • Teaching Tolerance: Speaking Up Against Racism Around the New Coronavirus

    “Even if your students do not represent the identities likely to be harmed by racist comments around the coronavirus, or you believe they’re not spreading misinformation and repeating racist tropes, exploring anti-AAPI rhetoric around the virus is still worthy of critical conversations in the classroom.”

    While this article is geared towards educators, it also includes helpful context and information for parents around bias and rhetoric our children are exposed to beyond what we may be aware of.

  • Coronavirus Books for Children

    “Several medical organizations and countless child educators and health teachers have been involved in the creation of storybooks for children. While many coronavirus books for children are likely to be soon published, here’s a closer look at a few outstanding and widely different examples…”


    This listing includes a variety of books and comics available for free and provided by experts from varying fields and backgrounds.

These stories provide you with a tool to talk to your children about COVID-19 and help answer some of their questions with age-appropriate language and images.


  • A Curious Guide for Courageous Kids

    “To prevent the virus from having too much fun jumping from one person to the next, day and night, scientists and doctors are studying how to defeat it. They say that we shouldn’t be too afraid, we should be cautious. But there is something you can do to keep it from spreading. It’s called prevention.

  • Tara Tuchel: Seeing Other People Wearing Masks

    “Some people wear glasses, some people wear hats, and some people wear masks. Seeing people wearing masks is different But, it’s okay!”

Tools to Help Children with Anxiety and Other Big Emotions

  • Save the Children: Relaxation Activities

    “School closings, sick friends and family members, isolation at home – these and other factors can cause anxiety and stress for children during this coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As the world’s leading expert on childhood, we’re sharing these drama-based relaxation exercises that are part of our global Healing and Education through the Arts (HEART) program for children living in stressful situations.”

    In this list, you will find specific breathing and relaxation techniques that use visualizations and dramatic play to help children de-stress.


  • PBS: How You and Your Kids Can De-Stress During Coronavirus

    “Research shows that just being in the presence of a compassionate, safe adult con help kids calm down. As families, we can be “that person” for each other.”

    PBS shares various techniques for relaxing and combating anxiety using familiar characters from their children’s shows.

  • Messenger Kids


    “Messenger Kids is a free video calling and messaging app for smartphones and tablets*. Parents manage the contact list, and kids control the fun. Keep in touch with close friends and family with fun-filled features like filters and stickers.”

Kids News

These websites can help you share current world news with your children in simpler, more age-appropriate language. Please take some time to review these websites before sharing since all of the content may not be appropriate for your child. Check in with your children as you review the news and start conversations about how they are feeling and what concerns they might have about what you are learning together. 


  • News for Kids

    “We believe the name says it all. was created by a teacher to make the news accessible to kids. We carefully choose high interest stories appropriate to the audience, and present them in a way that is easy to understand. News is necessarily complicated and messy. There’s a lot to know. We strive to make each article as self-contained as possible, giving the necessary background and not assuming that the reader already has certain knowledge.”

  • DOGO 

    “DOGO Media is the leading online network empowering kids to engage with digital media in a fun, safe and social environment. Used by millions of students and teachers from around the world, our websites have quickly grown into a community of kids and educators engaging positively with current events, books, and movies. DOGO [doh-GOH] means young or small in Swahili. While our young fans may be small, they act BIG as they engage with our websites and express their opinions on the content that interests and inspires them.”

  • Time for Kids

    “Since 1995, TIME for Kids has published a weekly magazine for elementary school students. With exclusive access to TIME’s award-winning content, TIME for Kids is uniquely positioned to teach kids to recognize and value authentic and trustworthy journalism.”

  • Scholastic: Kids Press

    “Scholastic Kids Press is a group of talented Kid Reporters, ages 10–14, from across the country and around the world. Since 2000, our award-winning young journalists have reported "news for kids, by kids," covering politics, entertainment, the environment, sports, and more in their hometowns and on the national stage.”