Easy Milk Experiment • Learn About Molecules With Tie-Dye Milk

Learn about molecules and more with this easy tie-dye milk experiment

Make a rainbow of colors swirl around with materials you can find in your kitchen and a dash of science!

Atoms and molecules are the particles that make up everything. What element or elements they are, how they’re arranged, how they move, and how they interact with each other determines how a substance looks, acts, and reacts. However, atoms and molecules are very, very small. You could line up 70 million helium atoms in a row across a pencil eraser!

This makes them way too small to see with our own eyes or even with many microscopes. But we can observe molecules in motion with this tie-dye milk experiment.

 Ready to make your own? Watch along or follow the written steps below!

We'd like to thank our partner, Florida Prepaid, for sponsoring this stellar activity! Today’s young scientists are tomorrow’s college graduates. Saving early for college sends your child a powerful message that you believe in their future -- and want them to avoid debt later.

Florida Prepaid has five flexible plans built to adapt to whatever college path a child takes. To learn more about Florida Prepaid and lock in tuition starting at less than $50 a month, visit myfloridaprepaid.com. Use promo code OSC2021 to save on enrollment now through April 30, 2021!

Join the more than 1 million families who are already saving!

Materials you will need:

  • Milk or cream
  • Food coloring
  • Cotton swabs or toothpicks
  • Dish soap
  • A dish or plate with a rim that can hold liquid.

Directions:

Step 1: First, add some milk or cream to your dish. You want to make sure the milk completely covers the bottom of the dish, but you don’t need to completely fill it.

A dish of milk for tie dye milk experiment

Step 2: Next, add 4 drops of food coloring to the center of the dish, being careful not to let them mix. Don’t stir the milk and food coloring! You want them to stay separate for now.

Add dye to milk

Step 3: Pick up your cotton swab or toothpick. Carefully cover one end of it with dish soap.

Add dish soap to a qtip to create tie-dye milk effect

Step 4: When you’re ready, touch the center of the milk with the soapy end of your swab and watch the colors move!

The result of tie-dye milk experiment

The Science of Tie-Dye Milk

  • Milk is a mixture. It’s mostly water, but it also has proteins, fats, and other molecules mixed in.
  • Because milk is mostly made up of water, it acts a lot like water and has many of the same properties.
  • One of these properties is called surface tension. Surface tension is how resistant a liquid is to external force, or how strong the surface of the liquid is. It’s a bit like the surface of water having a sort of “skin.” This is how some insects can walk on water.
  • Soap is what we call a surfactant. It lowers the surface tension of a liquid.
  • When we dip the soap in the milk, it lowers its surface tension and causes not just the water molecules, but fat and protein molecules, to move as they quickly rearrange themselves.
  • By adding food coloring, we can see the movement caused by lowering the surface tension.

Expand on This Activity:

  • Ask Your Scientist the Following Questions:
    • What new colors do you see?
    • How are the colors moving?
    • Why do you think this happened?
  • Keep Experimenting:
    • Press down on the bottom of the dish with the soap-covered cotton swab for three seconds, then lift up. How is the movement of the colors different than when you quickly touch the cotton swab to the milk’s surface?
    • Touch the cotton swab to areas where the colors have collected to watch the colors continue to move.
    • Try the experiment with more or fewer colors of food coloring. How is the tie-dye different?

The Science of Tie-Dye Milk

  • Milk is a mixture. It’s mostly water, but it also has proteins, fats, and other molecules mixed in.
  • Because milk is mostly made up of water, it acts a lot like water and has many of the same properties.
  • One of these properties is called surface tension. Surface tension is how resistant a liquid is to external force, or how strong the surface of the liquid is. It’s a bit like the surface of water having a sort of “skin.” This is how some insects can walk on water.
  • Soap is what we call a surfactant. It lowers the surface tension of a liquid.
  • When we dip the soap in the milk, it lowers its surface tension and causes not just the water molecules, but fat and protein molecules, to move as they quickly rearrange themselves.
  • By adding food coloring, we can see the movement caused by lowering the surface tension.

Learn More: Chemistry

  • Many atoms and molecules have positive (+) or negative (-) charges. An atom or molecule with no charge is called neutral. Positive and negatively charged atoms attract, just like the north and south poles of a magnet.
  • Molecules can be polar or nonpolar. Polar molecules have one side that is much more positive or negative than the other. Nonpolar molecules don’t have a difference in charge. Polar molecule likes to mix with other polar molecules, and nonpolar molecules like mix with other nonpolar molecules. Polar and nonpolar molecules don’t mix. This is what keeps oil and water separate; oil is made of nonpolar molecules and water is made of polar molecules!
  • Water molecules have a positive side and negative side. This makes water a polar molecule. Because of this, water molecules can stick to each other. Molecules in liquid sticking to each other is known as cohesion. The cohesion between the water molecules at the surface is what creates surface tension.
  • Soap molecules have a negative side and neutral side, so it has both a polar and nonpolar end. The negative side of the soap molecule is attracted to the positive side of the water molecule, weakening the attraction between the water molecules and lowering the surface tension.
  • But that’s not all. The neutral sides of the soap molecules also interact with the nonpolar fat molecules, separating them out of the milk. This is how soap is able to clean up greasy messes!

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!

Special Spring Break Programming at Orlando Science Center!

Safety  Guidelines

Limited capacity, timed-entry ticketing, temperature checks, face coverings, social distancing, and frequent sanitizing of exhibits help us provide an environment for fun and discovery while maintaining a focus on health and safety.


Review our full health and safety plan here.


Limited-Time Exhibits

Planet Pioneers

Level 2

Do you have what it takes to live on another planet?
 
With the resurgence in space exploration, we could see someone living on Mars in our lifetime. Could that be YOU?
 
Drive a rover over alien terrain, map the surface with a drone, build a habitat, and so much more in Planet Pioneers!

Fusion: A STEAM Gallery

Level 3

Experience the joy of our connections with animals, as well as the sorrow we feel when we lose them in Love and Loss Across Species Lines - The Neuroscience of Attachment.
 
This art and science exhibition helps us better understand and appreciate our complex, entangled, and interdependent lives.

All-New Experiences

These new timed-experiences will be offered daily from March 12th through the 21st!

Tiny Green Home Tours

From sustainability to recycling, this Tiny Green Home is showing us how to make a BIG difference!
 
Tours will be scheduled daily from 10:30 to 4:00 pm and sign-ups are first come, first served.

Purple Martins House

The Science Center is partnering with Disney’s Animals Sciences & Environment to carry out research on purple martins birds! Learn about this exciting conservation project with tours of the new house at noon!

Awaiting Artemis

Learn more about women’s role in space travel, and NASA’s new lunar mission, Artemis, during this original Science on a Sphere presentation created in collaboration with NASA and the Women of NASA group. Showing at 2:00 pm daily.

Loads of Live Programming

Highlights Include:

  • NatureWorks' Fish Feeding Frenzy and Swamp Talks
  • Nature-inspired StoryTimes and Creative Corner activities in KidsTown
  • Cartography and paper plant-making projects in The Hive: A Makerspace (ages 8+)
  • Experiments, games, and other activities in Dr. Dare’s Club House

Extra Weekend Fun

Planning on visiting on a Saturday or Sunday? Don't miss these special activities!

Weekend Workshops: Hydroponics for Kids

Make your own self-watering planter and learn about hydroponic growing! Private workshops are $30 for up to five participants in the same group. GET TICKETS.

KaBOOM! Live Stage Show

Ignite your curiosity and check out the colorful chemistry behind your favorite combustions with this explosive LIVE science show, weekends at 1:00 pm.

Green Actioneers – Saturday, March 20

Join us and the Green Actioneers, presented by the VoLo Foundation, for a series of family-friendly activities at 12:00, 1:00 and 2:00 pm that will show participants how to keep the planet (and your wallet) green! LEARN MORE.

What Does The Moon Feel Like? Try This DIY Moon Sand Recipe

Cheese or Sand? What does the moon feel like? Find out with this stellar activity! 

Have you ever looked up at night and thought "what does the moon feel like?" The moon’s surface is made up of craters and rocks. Craters are holes in the Moon’s surface formed by impact from an asteroid, which is a chunk of rock and metal in outer space. Using our DIY Moon Sand recipe, you too can experiment and make your own moon craters and touch the surface of the moon!

These recipes call for various food items but it is not to be consumed! Keep an eye out for this when little ones are playing with their moon sand. We do recommend doing this activity outside if possible as it does tend to get messy.

Materials for DIY Moon Sand:

  • 4 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of baby oil
  • Measuring cups
  • Mixing bowl
  • Rocks of various sizes 
  • Mixing spoon *optional
  • Play bin *optional

Materials for Gluten-Free DIY Moon Sand:

  • 2 cups of baking soda/powder
  • 2 cups of cornstarch
  • 1 cup of baby oil
  • Measuring cups
  • Mixing bowl
  • Rocks of various sizes 
  • Mixing spoon *optional
  • Play bin *optional

 Ready to make your own? Watch along or follow the written steps below!

We'd like to thank our partner, Florida Prepaid, for sponsoring this stellar activity! Today’s young scientists are tomorrow’s college graduates. Saving early for college sends your child a powerful message that you believe in their future -- and want them to avoid debt later.

Florida Prepaid has five flexible plans built to adapt to whatever college path a child takes. To learn more about Florida Prepaid and lock in tuition starting at less than $50 a month, visit myfloridaprepaid.com. Use promo code OSC2021 to save on enrollment now through April 30, 2021!

Join the more than 1 million families who are already saving!

Directions:

STEP 1:

  • First, measure out your dry ingredients and add them to your mixing bowl, this will be your flour or baking soda/cornstarch base. When you scoop these ingredients into your measuring cups, make sure you level off the cup to make sure you get a full cup!
ingredients for DIY moon sand

STEP 2:

  • Next, we will add in our liquid ingredients. Measure out the designated amount of oil to add to your mixture and carefully pour it into your bowl.
Add liquid ingredients to moon sand

STEP 3:

  • Here’s where it starts to get messy! Start to mix all of your ingredients together. You can mix with your hands or a large mixing spoon. Your dry ingredients will absorb the oil and start to stick together while still remaining soft. The best moon sand texture is crumbly, but still able to be molded together.
combine ingredients

Now that you have made your moon sand, you can start making your own craters!

Our moon sand is nice and soft but is perfect for making impressions. Gather a few rocks of different shapes and sizes. Through this activity, children will be able to experiment and make observations about their craters while changing variables of the activity. How will your results change?

Experiment: Even out your moon sand to form a layer at the bottom of your bowl or bin. Stand over your moon sand and gently drop different rocks onto the surface. You can measure the size of your craters with a ruler by how many inches wide or deep it is. Record your results, you can write or draw the way your crater looks and take note of your measurements to compare later.

Try some of these variations and observe how your craters change:

  • Drop your asteroids from different heights
  • Instead of an even layer, build up your moon sand into a mountain and try dropping your asteroid onto it and see what happens.
  • Try making your moon sand look like the moon by forming all kinds of craters of all shapes and sizes in your sand.
  • Mold your moon sand into different phases of the moon

So, now that you have created and experimented with your own moon sand, can you answer the question? What does the moon feel like to you? 

Experiment with your DIY moon sand
make a crater
crater in moon sand

Make Conclusions

Which rocks made the deepest impressions? What happened to your craters when you changed the height at which you dropped your asteroids? What did your data tell you about your experiment?

If you had fun making moon sand crater creations and snapped some photos, be sure to submit it to our Science Showcase here or tag Orlando Science Center and use #OSCatHome on social media! You might be featured on our channels.

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!

College Savings Discount with Florida Prepaid College Plans!

Check Out This Special Offer from Florida Prepaid and Start Saving Today! 

So much has changed in the past year – from how our children “attend” school to how much we rely on technology to do more and more of our jobs remotely. But one thing that has not changed is how big we dream for our children, how much we want for their future, and how much opportunity lies ahead.

Orlando remains the fastest-growing STEM job market in the United States. And the pandemic’s disruptions are putting more emphasis than ever on technology and automation, which positions Orlando Science Center to inspire and prepare the next generation for jobs in industries that may not even exist yet.

We have adapted in the past year so that we can continue to offer exhibits and activities that make learning fun and engaging – virtually and in-person with safe social distancing. It is so important that we educate the next generation of STEM workers in this region. The Orlando Economic Partnership anticipates that by 2030, Orlando is projected to create between 254,000 and 482,000 new jobs.

2030 is when many of our young visitors will be entering college or nearing college age. So preparing financially for postsecondary education now is just as important. More than 90 percent of Florida families actually say college savings is as important or more important in light of the pandemic, according to a recent survey by the Florida Prepaid College Board.

A trusted Corporate Partner of Orlando Science Center, Florida Prepaid is helping families start saving early for college tuition costs -- encouraging them to keep in mind the certainty their plans offer amid these uncertain times. You’re setting a strong foundation for your child’s education by focusing now on their college savings, because when you save it sends them a strong message that you believe in their tomorrow.

And the earlier you save, the lower your monthly payments. A consistent college savings strategy now will help your future college graduate avoid burdensome student loan debt as they learn the skills to become an astronaut, study ocean wildlife or develop tomorrow’s autonomous vehicles.

Florida Prepaid, the largest and longest-running prepaid tuition program in the nation, is a trusted resource that assists Florida families with saving for their child’s future with plans that are flexible and guaranteed by the State of Florida. Florida Prepaid allows you to secure rates for tomorrow’s tuition and save, stress-free.

We thank Florida Prepaid for their generous support of our STEM learning experiences and look forward to the incredible achievements that participating students will accomplish in the future!

Florida Prepaid Plan prices start at $45/month, and they are waiving application fees for any plans purchased now through April 30, 2021.

Use promo code OSC2021 to save on enrollment!

Play to Win with Powder Keg Gaming Competitions at Otronicon

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

Powder Keg Games hosts video game tournaments on consoles Nintendo, PlayStation, and Xbox. Titles include Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Street Fighter, Pokken Tournament DX, Dragon Ball FighterZ, and more!

 

Schedule

Friday, February 12, 2021

  • 11:00 a.m. - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (F1 v 1, 16 cap, Playstation 4)
  • 1:00 p.m. - Dragon Ball FighterZ (1 v 1, 16 cap, Nintendo Switch)
  • 3:00 p.m. - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (1 v 1, 16 cap, Nintendo Switch)

Saturday, February 13, 2021

  • 11:00 a.m. - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (1 v 1, 16 cap, Nintendo Switch)
  • 1:00 p.m. - Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (1 v 1, 16 cap, Nintendo Switch)
  • 3:00 p.m. - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (1 v 1, 16 cap, Nintendo Switch)

Sunday, February 14, 2021

  • 11:00 a.m. - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (1 v 1, 16 cap, Nintendo Switch)
  • 1:00 p.m. - Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (1 v 1, 16 cap, Nintendo Switch)
  • 3:00 p.m. - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (1 v 1, 16 cap, Nintendo Switch)

Monday, February 15, 2021

  • 11:00 a.m. - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (F1 v 1, 16 cap, Nintendo Switch)
  • 1:00 p.m. - Pokken Tournament DX (1 v 1, 16 cap, Nintendo Switch)
  • 3:00 p.m. - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (1 v 1, 16 cap, Nintendo Switch)

Consent Form & Ticket Packages

All participants under (18) years of age on the first day of attending the Otronicon event must submit a consent form upon entry to the event, signed by a caregiver, in order to participate in the gaming competitions.


 

Purchase a package that includes daily Otronicon admission and game competitions. Competitions have limited seating available and are $7 per participant, per game.

Please note that you MUST have a ticket to Otronicon to participate.

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

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

For more information, please call 407.514.2000.

From Live Science to a Tiny Green Home — Don’t Miss These Experiences Only At Otronicon!

Have a BLAST during these can’t-miss experiences at Otronicon!

Prepare to be mesmerized by dazzling live shows and events occurring throughout the entire four days of Otronicon! In addition to exhibitors with cutting-edge technology to experience, Orlando Science Center will be hosting spectacles like none other. Discover technology that boggles the senses and learn from influential leaders in the tech industry today.

 

To Infinity and Kaboom!

How does a rocket get the power to make it into space? Learn about the science of space travel with live stage show To Infinity and Kaboom! in the Digital Adventure Theater.   

A person creating a green explosion on a stage

Try out some tech!

Ready Player One? Experience the evolution of video games in Dr. Dare's Club House on Level 1 with modern and vintage arcade games, droid assembly, and more!
 
Learn how technology helps us better understand the animals and world around us with daily talks from the Animal Keepers in NatureWorks.   
 
Stop by KidsTown for robot-themed programs throughout the event! Young tinkerers can enjoy a robot-themed StoryTime and stretch their maker muscles as they design their own crafty robot creation in Creative Corner.
 
Guests ages 8+ are invited to stop by The Hive: A Makerspace for LightBot and Scratch programming games and building with hydraulics.   
 

Have you ever wondered what’s inside the electronics we use every day? Take a break and join us for Tech Take Apart in Founders Room on Level 3. 

 

a young girl using a 3D doodler

Tiny Green Home Tours

Tiny Green Home is teaching how Central Florida how to make a BIG difference. On display in Loch Haven Park just outside the Cafe,  the Tiny Green Home promotes energy efficiency and sustainable energy by showcasing features like a solar array, green wall, water cistern, and window film.

To maintain social distancing, limited tours will be available from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. Stop by Idea Factory on Level 1 (next to NatureWorks) to sign up!

Tiny Home in a garden

Aeras Technologies STEM Bus and Tech Drive

Help increase technology accessibility in our community! 

Aeras Foundation will be hosting a Tech Drive during Otronicon and collecting gently used technology that they will repair and redeploy to local students and families in need. Get a jump on your spring cleaning by dropping off your old tech, and check out some of the exciting new technology!

 

four teens hold up a sign that says

Otronicon Tech Connect: A Day in the Life
Powered by Black Orlando Tech

Saturday, February 13, 2021
6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Curious about a career path in technology? 
 
Hear from hiring managers and learn about the skills they look for in prospective candidates. Learn about the work culture and the environment as they share perspectives on working in the tech sector and share their own personal journey with a Q&A panel and networking opportunities. 
 
Otronicon Tech Connect: A Day in the Life Powered by Black Orlando Tech

Admission: Otronicon is free for OSC members, $21 for adults, $19 for seniors and students, and $15 for youth (ages 2-11). 

Otronicon Tech Connect: A Day in the Life is FREE for members*, $15 for adults, $10 for youth.

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

For more information, please call 407.514.2000.

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! 


 

Spring 2021 Issue

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

Simple Spooky STEM Activities to Scare Up Some Fun

Get into the Halloween spirit with these simple spooky STEM activities!

Halloween is one of our favorite holidays at the Orlando Science Center, so we’ve rounded up some of our favorite simple spooky STEM activities that you can do at home!

We’ve also included instructions on how to give some activities a special Halloween twist. From making the slimiest slime to exploring art with candy, find them all in one place below.

STEM Slime Time!

Our staff concocted the slimiest slime recipe for you to try at home! For glowing slime, use tonic water or highlighter water instead of regular water. Click here to make highlighter water!

Spooky Oobleck

Make an ooey-gooey mess with just two ingredients! Learn about the states of matter and viscosity, practice lab skills like measuring and mixing with this educational messy science experiment that's so fun, you won't even realize you're learning!

To make pumpkin oobleck, color the oobleck orange with paint or food coloring and add pumpkin-scented oil. Alternatively, you can mix a can of pumpkin puree in a pitcher of water and use it in place of the regular water.

Ectoplasm Detector

Have you ever wanted to make something glow under a blacklight? Let us teach you one of our favorite hacks, which you can turn into an Ectoplasm Detector!

Write or draw messages, then hide them in a dark place. Make the Ectoplasm Detector by following the instructions for your DIY Blacklight Hack then use your ectoplasm detector to find and reveal the ghostly messages!

Ghosts in the Graveyard

Have you ever wanted to make something glow under a blacklight? Let us teach you one of our favorite hacks, which you can turn into an Ectoplasm Detector!

Write or draw messages, then hide them in a dark place. Make the Ectoplasm Detector by following the instructions for your DIY Blacklight Hack then use your ectoplasm detector to find and reveal the ghostly messages!

Sweet Science

Trick or Treat! In this experiment, science is sweet! Use a little bit of candy to make Halloween pictures that swirl like magic, to explore chemistry, and to practice making predictions and observations.

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!

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 give 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

What is an automata? Marvel at this DIY machine in motion!

What is an automata? Check out this simple way to make a simple machine! 

Automata-who? An automata is a playful way to explore simple machine elements such as cams, levers, and linkages, while creating mechanical sculpture. They’ve been around for hundreds of years, with stories about automatons all the way back in Greek mythology! You might have one in your own home if you have a moving bird inside a cuckoo clock. 

What is a simple machine? A simple machine is a non-motorized device that changes the direction or magnitude of a force, for example, an inclined plane, wedge, lever, pulley, or automata.

Today you will be working with Cams and Cam Followers which is a form of the wheel and axel. Rather than making a bicycle wheel turn, we will be creating more of a gear-driven movement.

This is a really fun Maker activity that you can try at home to help understand what is an automata. Use this project to explore simple machines, like wheels and axles, and your critical thinking skills and creativity to make your project move. Let’s get making!

Materials you will need:

  • Cardboard frame 
  • Cardboard scraps 
  • Drinking straw
  • Scissors 
  • Skewer sticks
  • Foam sheet 
  • Washer
  • Masking tape
  • Hot Glue Gun 
  • Materials for decoration

Directions:

Step 1:

Add support to your frame.

  • Cut triangles out of the cardboard scraps and tape them into each corner of the frame for support.
add support to your automata frame

Step 2:

Plan out your automata. Think about what you want your automata to depict. Some start by choosing their motion first and going from there. 

  • Round and Round
  • Up/Down and Round and Round 
  • Back and Forth and Up and Down
    • Pay close attention to the placements of the cam and cam follower

Step 3:

Create the cams 

  • Draw your cam and cam follower in the upper left-hand corner of the foam sheet. 
  • Make sure to draw it as close to the edge as possible
  • It’s important to cut the cams smoothly and make sure your cam follower is a little bigger than your cam.
choose a motion your automata (1)

Step 4:

Get a handle on your automata

  • Cut a rectangular piece of cardboard and hot glue the cardboard to the skewer
add a handle

Step 5:

Add the axle to the frame 

  • Put your cam on the axle inside the frame. 
  • Start the holes in the frame using the nail, and make sure the cam clears the top and bottom of the frame.
add an axel

Step 6:

Add the cam follower

  • Poke a hole in the top of the frame where you want your cam follower to be located. 
  • Cut the straw so it’s about 4 cm long, and then insert it into the hole you just made. 
  • Hot glue the straw in place.
  • Put a skewer stick through the straw and attach your cam follower to the bottom end of the stick. 
  • Glue the cam follower in place.
add an axel

Step 7:

Test it! 

  • Adjust your cam under the cam follower until you get the motion you like. 
  • If the cam follower does not fall on the cam, attach a washer to add a little weight. 
  • If the cam does not stay in place on the axle, add a small dab of hot glue to hold the cam in place.
test your automata

Step 8:

Last, but not least, it's time to decorate your automata! 

Design your automata

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!