Behind the Frames: Student Works from the UCF School of Visual Arts and Design

Behind the Frames presents artwork from students in the Character Animation Track BFA and Animation and Visual Effects Track MFA

The works presented are seldom exhibited preproduction and production images created for the development of graduate and undergraduate animated films produced at the University of Central Florida’s School of Visual Arts and Design. Displayed here are character design sheets, production stills, background paintings and concept sketches from recently released and current projects.

Behind the Frames will be on display in Orlando Science Center's Fusion: A STEAM Gallery on Level 3 from August 28 through November 14, 2021.

Behind the Frames Exhibit Q&A Completed By UCF Lecturer of Animation Jo Anne Adams

What inspired you to curate the pieces in this exhibition?

As a faculty member, I am deeply inspired by the talent our students display and their passion for their medium. Few people understand the scope of artistic development necessary for creation of an animated production. This exhibit offers an opportunity for appreciation of the artistic and technical layers involved in the production process.

What do you hope guests will take away from this exhibition?

I hope to inspire young artists to pursue a discipline that satisfies both the creative and technical problem-solving passions found in the animation field.

How is STEAM (Science, Technology, Art, Engineering, and Math) relevant to this exhibition?

Animation utilizes a broad array of artistic and technical skills. Storytelling requires deep research into literature, history, environments and culture. In development of imagery design theory, film theory and editing theory are all utilized. In order to execute their films, advanced imaging software packages such as Maya, Houdini, Renderman, and Nuke are mastered.

The production process requires not only designers and colorists but coders and rigging artists. Effects artists must study and reinterpret the physics of our world into the worlds they create. Integration with ambient sound, foley and musical scores is achieved through coordination with composers and sound artists. This discipline is attractive to a very particular kind of artist who enjoys being a part of a studio collective.

Behind The Frames artwork by UCF Student , Christina Christie
Hannah Huffman student artwork for Behind the Frames exhibition

Featured Artists: Indianna Alvarez- Sanchez, Erin Bergin, Clinnie Brinson, Isobel Cassidy, James Chambless, Christina Christie, Jamie Dean, Kirstin Hardin, Hannah Huffman, Hannah Jurgens, Clara Kopitnik, Jamie Lachnicht, Nathaniel Shrage,  and Damian Thorn-Hauswirth


The University of Central Florida (UCF) is quickly becoming a prominent institution in the animation field. Both the Character Animation BFA and Animation and Visual Effects MFA tracks allow students to integrate multiple domains of art, storytelling and technology into their body of work. The faculty strives to provide a solid foundation in techniques and theory; a broad understanding of related disciplines including arts, humanities, and technology, and extended experience in working in multidisciplinary teams on realistic problems.

UCF is currently ranked second in the nation on the 2021 list of Top Forty Public Animation Schools and Colleges in the U.S. by Animation Career Review. Their undergraduate program has a strong history of producing award-winning productions and MFA students have presented their research at the annual Society of Animation Studies conference since the MFA’s foundation. Graduates have moved on to work for prestigious film, television, simulation and gaming companies. Alumni have successfully pursued careers such as animators, story artists, visual development artists, lighting artists, technical artists, effects artists, modelers, riggers, or texture artists. The college's faculty and students are dedicated to furthering the art of visual storytelling and further pushing the quality and skill associated with the UCF School of Visual Arts and Design.

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 2021 Issue

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

How to Turn Leftover Food into a Science Experiment

Whoever said "Don't play with your food" never learned how to turn leftover food into a science experiment

Grab an apron and convert your kitchen into a chemistry lab with ingredients you can find around the house!

From DIY tie-dye to marshmallow molecules, join us as we reduce, reuse, and recycle leftovers and food scraps into some exciting science experiments! 


Science experiments that look good enough to eat!

Science and chill

This (literally) cool fan-favorite science experiment is not only delicious, but dives into the science behind this classic sweet treat. 

Chemistry rocks! 

Check out the chemistry behind candy with this crunchy and colorful creation.

DO play with your food!

Never trust a molecule, they make up everything

This make-a-molecule activity is a great way to introduce little learners to chemistry or and makes a delicious study tool for rising researchers!

Dig in!

If your little learners really DIG dinosaurs, step into the role of paleontologist with a chocolate chip cookie archaeology activity for kids!

Science is sugar, spice, and everything nice

If you need to give your sweet tooth a break, check out what to do with leftover candy! You'll love this sweet take on STEM!

Turn scrap food into science

You don't need a Ph.D. to make your own pH indicators 

Turn your leftover fruits and veggies into natural DIY pH indicators and use them to test the pH of things you find around your home!

Try this DIY tie-dye

Did you know that you could use avocado scraps to make fabric dye at home? Learn how to extract tannin from the pit and skin of avocadoes!

Rise and (coffee) grind!

Real fossils can take 1000s of years to form, but you can make your own in about an hour using coffee grounds

How Digital Technology Helps Healthcare Professionals Treat Patients Through the Internet

What do you get when you put together communication technology and healthcare?

Answer: Telehealth

Telehealth is the use of different devices, like computers, phones, and tablets, to get medical care. It allows doctors, nurses, and patients to communicate through digital means. Telehealth has been growing in popularity since last year. This is mostly because the pandemic forced people to use more digital forms of communication—even in the healthcare sector.

To illustrate, virtual care visits in New York University’s Langone Health Center grew by more than 600% following the pandemic. But even after the pandemic ends, the American Telemedicine Association believes that telehealth services will remain necessary in improving and saving the lives of many Americans. Telehealth is vital for helping both healthcare workers and patients—and here’s why:

Telehealth allows consultations to be more accessible

Apps like Messenger and Zoom are making it possible for everyone to set up virtual calls with people across the globe. Similarly, telehealth apps serve as a video conferencing and messaging platform for healthcare professionals and patients. Through their gadgets, patients can book virtual appointments,

ask for prescription medicines, and share health information with their doctors. And this can all be done remotely, meaning patients in rural locations have better access to quality healthcare services.

Telehealth helps in monitoring patients

 Telehealth also allows doctors and nurses to keep a close eye on their patients, even from a distance. With telehealth apps, patients can fill out forms about their physical state and send them to their healthcare providers. And some devices, like smartwatches, even let doctors monitor a patient's heart rate from miles away. Plus, healthcare professionals continue to improve telehealth services by adding all sorts of new features.

For example, Tata Consultancy Services found out that 86% of healthcare organizations are already using Artificial Intelligence (AI) for their services. Kenneth Stanley, a professor of Computer Science at the University of Central Florida, points out that AI is essential in this practice because it can automate services and provide quicker access to information. Because AI has become more accessible and user-friendly, healthcare professionals are using it to monitor remote patients.

Telehealth assists in healthcare education

 Telehealth is also essential for future healthcare workers, because the Internet makes it possible for them to learn from anywhere in the world. Through telehealth services, medical trainees get to observe and participate in real hospital cases without leaving their homes. These online platforms allow our future healthcare workers to learn from hospital scenarios without getting exposed to dangerous diseases.

This is also why more educational institutions have made it possible for general studies degrees in healthcare to be completed 100% in a virtual environment. The remote learning setup allows aspiring healthcare professionals to acquire essential medical skills through safe and accessible means. Through these online classes, students learn crucial concepts in ethics, medical terminology, informatics, and public health. This is so they have the necessary knowledge once they start working on hospital cases and telehealth-related services.

Telehealth makes it easier to collect and access medical records

The use of telehealth in the medical sector has made it very easy for professionals and patients to access health records. Printed reports and paper forms are a thing of the past. Now, patients can access online portals and communication apps to save and forward important health data. This way, their healthcare providers can easily access the information through their own device and send back their health recommendations.

With telehealth services, both healthcare workers and patients can access important data whenever and wherever they want. Digital technology has improved healthcare services by providing accessibility, convenience, as well as safety. With telehealth, healthcare providers, patients, and even aspiring healthcare workers can easily retrieve and send information—all through an online platform.

Learn More!

Orlando Science Center Reciprocal Membership • Road Trip With Your Membership!

Get FREE or discounted admission to other museums with your Orlando Science Center reciprocal membership!

The ASTC (Association of Science and Technology Centers) Travel Passport Program is one of the top benefits of an Orlando Science Center Membership. Through this reciprocal membership program, you are able to access hundreds of museums and science centers, either at discounted rates or free, with your Orlando Science Center reciprocal membership!

With summer upon us, we wanted to share some eligible Travel Passport participants in Florida for you to check out. You can day trip to these locations in the Sunshine State — meaning you can get there and back again in a day! *We always – always – recommend calling the museum prior to your visit to learn of any restrictions, operating hours, and other details you might need to know before you travel.

2 – 2 ½ HOURS


3 ½ – 4 HOURS

Check out the full list of ASTC reciprocal museums and science centers!


ASTC Passport Program List

When visiting Orlando Science Center, please note that your reciprocal membership will provide free admission for two adults and children under 18 living the household or two grandparents and grandchildren under 18.

Free admission is limited to general exhibit areas only. Excludes special events, films, blockbuster exhibits, and free parking. No other discounts apply.

Celebrating a Lifetime of Tradition With Publix Super Markets Charities

Publix Super Markets Charities helps you celebrate another revolution around the sun!

Giving back is something that came easily to Publix Super Markets’ founder, George W. Jenkins. He attributed his success to generously dedicating his time and financial support to several charitable causes and investing in his own employees. Mr. George, as he was affectionately known, was once asked, “If you hadn’t given away so much, how much do you think you’d be worth today?” To which his response was, “Probably nothing.” Publix Super Markets Charities was established in 1966 by the company founder to fulfill his legacy of giving back to the community and has successfully achieved that for decades since its inception.

The depth and breadth of the foundation’s impact is far- reaching and continues to grow. It spurs change and improves the lives of people within the communities in which Publix operates through the support of an array of nonprofit organizations throughout the southeast region. To ensure their philanthropic endeavor of building healthier communities, the foundation focuses its support on initiatives for youth, education, reducing hunger, and alleviating homelessness.

For more than 25 years, Publix Super Markets Charities has been a long-standing partner of Orlando Science Center, helping us meet the STEM learning needs of Central Florida. If you have ever hosted or had the opportunity to attend a birthday party here, you have Publix Super Markets Charities to thank for it. From space exploration and chemistry to paleontology and zoology, we provide live demonstrations, engaging experiments, and encourage creativity during your loved one’s special day. Our birthday party program is made possible through a sponsorship from Publix Super Markets Charities.

a group of kids at a birthday party doing a computer project

Throughout the years, the foundation has helped ensure science learning for everyone through their sponsorship of our accessibility program, Science for All. The Explore It! area in KidsTown, our state-of-the-art early childhood exhibit, was made possible through generous support from Publix Super Markets Charities as part of our Unlock Science campaign.

With their generous support, the Science Center provides unique and engaging STEM learning experiences for children and their families throughout Central Florida. We are very proud to honor Publix Super Markets Charities as a member of our Medallion Society, which is an extraordinary group of our most generous supporters. Medallion Society members are leaders in philanthropy through lifetime gifts of $1 million or more benefiting our mission to inspire science learning for life.

STEM learning is critical to community prosperity. Publix Super Markets Charities serves an important role in our ability to impact children and their families. We are grateful for our longtime partnership and proud to honor them as a member of our Medallion Society. 

JoAnn Newman
President & CEO of Orlando Science Center
a little girl digging up fake dinosaur bones

Dedication and support from the foundation enables us to continue providing innovative and engaging learning experiences to help our community grow and prosper. Learn more about Publix Super Markets Charities and its impact today. 

Can Snakes Be Venomous AND Poisonous?

Are snakes venomous or poisonous? Can some snakes be venomous and poisonous?

Florida is home to 44 different snake species, from the large and dramatic eastern indigo snake, to the teeny tiny ringneck. All of our serpentine friends, even the venomous ones, serve important roles in our ecosystem by helping to regulate rodent populations, and by providing food to larger predators. Notice, we said venomous snakes, not poisonous ones. That’s because venom and poison aren’t the same things. But can some snakes be both venomous and poisonous?

First, let's break down what it means to be venomous versus poisonous. Both venom and poison are toxins, which means they can cause harm to our bodies. The difference between venom and poison is how the toxin gets into a body. Poison is either eaten or touched, like poison ivy or arsenic. Those can only hurt you if you put them in your mouth or on your skin. Venom, on the other hand, is injected. Think of the fangs of a snake or the stinger of a scorpion. Venomous animals must puncture the skin of their victims to get their venom into the victim’s blood. 

 While unusual, there are a few species of snake that are actually poisonous. Rhabdophis keelback snakes are both venomous and poisonous – their poisons are stored in nuchal glands and are acquired by sequestering toxins from poisonous toads the snakes eat. Similarly, certain garter snakes from Oregon can retain toxins in their livers from ingesting rough-skinned newts.

Of these 44 different species of snakes that call Florida home, only six are dangerous to people, those being:

  • Eastern coral snake
  • Southern copperhead
  • Cottonmouth
  • Eastern diamondback rattlesnake
  • Timber rattlesnake
  • Dusky pygmy rattlesnake

That all sounds pretty scary, but don’t worry! It’s actually very unlikely to be bitten by a snake in the state of Florida. In fact, it is much more likely for a person to be struck by lightning than to be bitten by a venomous snake! This is because snakes want nothing to do with people. They usually are very likely to flee at the first sight of a person. They don’t want to end up as a larger animal’s dinner after all!

Can Snakes Be Venomous and Poisonous

Unfortunately, the majority of reported snake bites are due to handling snakes or even trying to hurt them. If you’re still concerned about snakebites, educate yourself and family about them, make sure not to reach into dense bushes where you can’t see your hands, and seek out snake avoidance training for your pets. Fortunately, even those who do get bitten are almost always fine, as long as they seek out medical attention immediately. Snake venom has been heavily researched by medical scientists for creating new highly effective medicines.

Take a few minutes to find out which venomous and nonvenomous Florida snakes are your favorites, and see which ones you can find in NatureWorks next time you slither into Orlando Science Center!

Rent Movies From The Library For A DIY Film Festival

Did you know you can rent movies from the library as well as books?

Sometimes people don’t realize that they can rent movies from the library. Lots of movies are available in DVD form or to stream and download. Orange County Library System, encourages you to create your own DIY film festival using library resources. 

If you can't get enough of Orlando Science Center's new RESCUE exhibit, check out these search & rescue and survival films! 


True story: The author of this article once had a friend whose father was a firefighter. Once, the author slept over at this friend’s house and he was shown Backdraft for the first time. The author was so afraid of the noise that backdrafts made - and so insistent that the noise coming from the house’s a/c unit was, in fact, a backdraft - that he had to be picked up by his mom.

In the author’s defense, the film’s intense firefighting set pieces are still an excellent example of pre-CGI visual effects: you can practically feel the heat of the flames radiating from the screen. Backdraft also does an excellent job honoring the bravery and sacrifice of firefighters who risk their lives every day. Even if that message is sometimes undercut by the film’s overly campy tone.

the cover of the movie backdraft

Apollo 13

Based on the inspiring true story of astronauts Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert and Fred Haise, Apollo 13 is a white-knuckle voyage through the dangers of pioneering space travel. I’m scared of heights so being an astronaut was never in the cards, but the film does an excellent job of making me feel like I’m a part of the ill-fated lunar mission. Just as enjoyable are the scenes that take place on the ground, showcasing the ingenuity and quick-thinking of early NASA scientists and engineers.

apollo 13 movie cover

The Martian

Untethered by the gravitational hold of real-life events, The Martian launches the tale of space travel survival to new heights (again, no thank you). For those who loved the book, you may be comforted to know author Andy Weir’s devotion to realism and trademark comedic moments translate excellently to the screen. Thanks in no small part to skilled directing from Ridley Scott and an anchoring performance by Matt Damon.

The Martian movie cover

The Poseidon Adventure

It’s New Year’s Eve, 1972. You’re having a lovely time traveling to Greece aboard the luxurious ocean liner, SS Poseidon. Such a shame then, that someone would invite a 90-foot tidal wave to the party…

Though a defining example of the disaster movie genre, The Poseidon Adventure may seem trite compared to the visual spectacles and behemoth budgets of today’s tentpole pictures. But what keeps the movie afloat is a who’s who of early-70s celebrities including Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, and Shelly Winters.

the poseidon adventure movie cover

Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Before the charismatic Taika Waitiki rose to superstardom as director of Thor: Ragnarok and JoJo Rabbit, he helmed this more intimate and comedic tale of a young boy and his foster father surviving in the New Zealand bush.

Based on the book Wild Pork and Watercress, Hunt for the Wilderpeople eschews the intensity of typical survival films with heartfelt humor and whimsical adventure.

the hunt for the wilderpeople movie cover

To explore Orange County Library System’s vast collection of digital and streaming movies, visit


Do you have what it takes to be a hero?

Search and rescue operations take place every minute, every hour, every day, all around the world. But what does a rescue scenario really involve? 

Through interactive exhibit pieces and the stories and testimonies of real-life heroes, the RESCUE exhibit will give guests a first-hand look into the technology and teamwork that goes into a rescue mission.

two kids on jet ski simulators

3..2..1.. Blast Off to Fun With This DIY Stomp Rocket Activity!

Space exploration requires more than brave astronauts. They won't get far without engineers to build their space crafts! Do you think you can build a rocket that could launch astronauts into orbit? Build your engineering skills with this DIY stomp rocket project!

We'd like to thank our longtime friend and corporate partner, FINFROCK for sponsoring this blog!

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!

Orlando Science Center relies on partnerships with industry experts to provide insight on how science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and the incredible innovators within the industry are pushing the boundaries of possibilities. As a longtime friend and corporate partner, FINFROCK helps us inspire the next generation of STEM professionals and industry leaders. With their commitment and generous support, we are able to bring pivotal technology and engineering learning to life.

FINFROCK is committed to revolutionizing the technological advancement of engineering design and manufacturing. FINFROCK handles the design, manufacturing, and building of hundreds of projects a year for clients throughout Florida and across the nation. Learn more about FINFROCK

Fresh Programming in Food Heroes Courtesy of The Pabst Steinmetz Foundation

The Pabst Steinmetz Foundation helps feed curiosity with fresh programming

At Orlando Science Center, we deliver awe-inspiring programs to encourage people to get hands-on with STEM and nurture their curiosity about the world we live in. Funding from The Pabst Steinmetz Foundation will enable OSC to create programming featured in our new Food Heroes exhibit sponsored by Orlando Health that melds the culinary arts with critical instruction on the impact of healthy food systems on our overall well-being.

Fresh programs include hands-on cooking demonstrations and farming workshops, reimagined live shows where visitors can step into the role of a soil scientist and conduct experiments, and expanded possibilities for speaking engagements with real-world experts.

We deeply appreciate this grant award from The Pabst Steinmetz Foundation as it makes it possible for us to create and pilot a fresh series of programs that highlight innovative technologies and STEM concepts related to our food and food systems.

Brandan Lanman
Vice President of Visitor Experience at Orlando Science Center
Guests controlling robotic arm to pick strawberries in Food Heroes exhibit

Orlando Science Center was one of six projects chosen from over 30 applications the foundation received from across the United States. “This year’s grant recipients have such range in the way they will impact the community.” says Chuck Steinmetz, Foundation co-founder and former Chair of the Orlando Science Center’s Board of Trustees. The Pabst Steinmetz Foundation placed special emphasis on funding new programming, or supporting ones in their infancy. Projects also possess the promise of sustainability and the development of models which can be replicated across Central Florida, the state, and the U.S.

Orlando Science Center is excited to present this programming to our students and visitors with support from The Pabst Steinmetz Foundation. To stay up to date on programming, be sure to follow us on social media and check our calendar of events!

Learn More About our New Exhibits and Dining Options