Track Shack’s Celebration of Running 5K

7:30 am: 5k Start
8:30 am: Awards Presentation (Overalls, Masters, Grand Master, Senior Master)
8:45 am: FREE AdventHealth for Children Kids’ Run

Orlando Cultural Park, 530 East Princeton Street Orlando, FL 32803

In person and virtual race options available!

Orlando Science Center members save $3.00 on race registration. Check your June or July Microscope e-newsletter for the discount code, or call 407.514.2036.

To register for the race visit: https://www.trackshack.com/event/233

By participating you are helping to support the Orlando Science Center.

 

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! 


Summer 2022 Issue

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

Mess Fest is Back!

Join us for the messiest weekend of the year at Orlando Science Center!

 What’s the best kind of mess? The kind YOU don’t have to clean up! Get hands-on with our ooiest, gooiest, messiest activities during Mess Fest! From slime time to fizzy paint, join us for some good clean fun during Mess Fest as we get creative with our favorite colorful and sensory-friendly activities.

Explore Mess Zones and learn the science behind your favorite che-MESS-try experiments, see a foam-splosion on the terrace, create your own custom slime, and more! If you don’t make a mess, you’re not doing it right!

Don't miss special guest performances by WeFlip Entertainment! Have fun learning about physics in this amazing acrobatic show.

Don’t miss these mess-tivities!

  • Slip into the Mess Hall and learn about the science behind our favorite messy activities with spin art, Alka seltzer painting, and more!
  • Meet some creative local artists and makers who have turned being messy into a profession
  • You'll have a blast learning about the science of suds with foam-splosions on the terrace
  • Flip out during WeFlip Entertainment's incredible acrobatic show
  • Our littlest learners are invited to join Messy Science StoryTime and MiniMaker Workshops in KidsTown
  • Create your own custom slime in Dr. Dare's Lab
  • And so much more!
Guests watch large cloud of foam exploding during outdoor Science Live show.

Prepare for Mess Fest at home with a messy DIY activity! 

Learn about the science of slime with ooey-gooey oobleck or observe our capillary system in action using a colorful coffee filter with some of our favorite, messiest, OSC at Home experiments! 

We suggest setting up a workspace outdoors to keep the mess outside your home. Then, take a photo and share on social media #OrlandoScience Center for a chance to be featured on our page!

Special Spring Break Programming at Orlando Science Center!

Spring in for some fresh, fun programs during Nature Month!

From wild animal encounters to live shows and activities to all-new interactive exhibits, we’re open daily during Spring Break to bring you exciting experiences that will help people of all ages learn and grow!


Limited-Time Exhibits

Science Fiction, Science Future 

Level 2

If you thought teleportation, holograms, invisibility, and mind control were only in the movies - think again!
 
This interactive exhibit gives you the chance to explore the innovations that classic science fiction predicted for our future while you imagine what comes next. You could predict the next great invention!
a photograph of a wall of paintings

Fusion: A STEAM Gallery

Level 3

Art Speaks: A Celebration of Black Architects, Artists and Designers is a multimedia art exhibition that showcases the unique talents and skills of our community’s Black architects, artists, and designers. 
 
Visitors can explore the past, present, and future of Black architects, see the stunning work of local artists, and meet some of the change makers right here in our Central Florida community.

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.

Into America's Wild

Into America’s Wild visits some of the most beautiful but untamed landscapes of America, from the lush coastline of Oregon and the wilds of Alaska to the ancient canyons of the Southwest and the rolling hills of the Appalachian Trail. Showing at 2:00 pm daily.

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 2:30 pm daily.

Loads of Live Programming

Highlights Include:

  • NatureWorks' Fish Feeding Frenzy and Swamp Talks
  • Nature-inspired StoryTimes and Creative Corner activities in KidsTown
  • Practice recording the natural world like a naturalist or learn the mathematical fiber art of crochet 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!

Visitors use virtual reality technology in the Flight Lab experience.

Flight Lab

Learn about the basics of flying as you pilot a virtual F-35b through an obstacle course above Hong Kong! Open from 12:00 - 1:00 pm & 3:00 - 4:00 pm. Ages 12+

Super Science Show

Super Science Live Stage Show

Marvel at the science behind your favorite superheroes and their fantastic powers, weekends at 1:00 pm! Recommended age 6+

Great Outdoors Weekend March 12 & 13

Unleash your wild side and discover the unbe-leaf-able natural wonders all around us during Great Outdoors Weekend! Become one with nature as you meet extraordinary wildlife, participate in paw-some activities, and experience the outdoors through wild challenges.

Otronicon: The Complete Guide

Orlando's favorite tech expo and science festival is BACK!

Now held on President's Day Weekend, Otronicon brings together some of the top minds in science and technology in the Central Florida region. As a celebration of innovation and lifelong learning, the festival serves as a one-of-a-kind opportunity to experience the best in STEM advancements. Join us to gain exclusive access to highly specialized surgical robots, contribute firsthand to the sustainability of coastal ecosystems, and test out the latest advancements in immersive virtual reality. 

FAQs

Have questions about Otronicon? Here's everything you need to know about the festival!

How do I buy tickets?

Admission to Otronicon is included with general admission to Orlando Science Center. Please remember to reserve your timed-entry tickets online prior to arrival to guarantee and expedite entry. Tickets can be purchased here.

What's happening during Otronicon?

Otronicon has a wide assortment of exhibits, workshops, live shows, gaming competitions and more. Visit our calendar or check out the daily schedules below for a look at the full list of programming. 

Otronicon 2022 - Friday Schedule

Otronicon 2022 - Saturday Schedule

Otronicon 2022 - Sunday Schedule

Otronicon 2022 - Monday Schedule

Does Otronicon admission include Science Night Live?

No, Science Night Live is a separately ticketed event. Our 21+ adults night begins at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday February 19. Tickets can be purchased here.

Where do I park?

Parking is available in the Orlando Science Center parking garage. If you are able to, please consider carpooling. On Saturday and Sunday, overflow parking will be available in case the garage reaches capacity. 

Overflow Parking Instructions

Will there be live shows?

Yes! Join WeFlip for a high-energy acrobatic show with a science twist, or explore the science of suds with America's Got Talent star Blaise Ryndes as he performs his incredible Sphere's Bubble Show. Here's a schedule of Otronicon programming in our theaters: 

Friday:

11:30 a.m. — Diversity in STEM - Panel Discussion highlighting the importance of diversity in STEM fields & how panelists created opportunities for underserved communities.

2:00 p.m. & 3:30 p.m. — WeFlip Acrobatic Science Live! Show

Saturday: 

2:00 p.m. & 3:30 p.m. —WeFlip Science Acrobatic Science Live! Show

Sunday:

1:00 p.m. & 3:00 p.m. — Spheres Bubble Shows - Expand the Universe Tour

Monday:

1:00 p.m. — 3:00 p.m. - Spheres Bubble Shows - Expand the Universe Tour

How do I register for workshops and competitions?

Registration for workshops and gaming competitions will take place on-site in the Club House on Level 1. Registration closes 15 minutes prior to the event, but please be aware that space is limited and slots often fill long before this deadline. Please proceed to registration upon arrival to guarantee your spot in any workshops or competitions you are interested in.

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

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

For more information, please call 407.514.2000 or see Plan Your Visit.

Learn How To Code Like A Wizard, Design a Skyscraper, and More During Otronicon Workshops!

Become the next great innovator at Otronicon with engaging workshops!

From creating video games to making robots dance, to learning about the art and science of stop motion animation you’ll leave these workshops with a newfound skill and appreciation for STEM. 

Workshop registration is available in the Club House on Level 1. Space is limited and is available on a first-come, first-served basis so please sign up upon arriving at Otronicon to guarantee your spot. Guests can reserve workshops in advance for a nominal fee of $5.00 by contacting the reservations department at classes@osc.org or 407.514.2112. Once you are registered we ask that you report to the Club House at least 15 minutes prior to your workshop time to be escorted to the classrooms. 

Check out the exciting workshops you have to look forward to during Otronicon from February 18-21, 2022!


AniMotion Studios: 3D Animation & A+STEM
UCF Create

Saturday, 10:30 a.m. & 2:30 p.m.
(90 min – Ages 13 and Up)

This 90-minute workshop will introduce 3D animation to students and families. Come and see how your favorite animated movies were made and learn how to make a character move across the screen using the professional standard animation software, Maya.


Architecture in the Digital World
Black Architects in the Making

Saturday, 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. & 2:30 p.m.
(75 min – Ages 13 and Up)

We will use programs such as Google SketchUp and Revit to model simple architectural forms. We will then utilize a rendering plugin called Enscape, which allows for real time visuals and fly throughs. This can be shown on a large screen or paired with an Oculus VR headset for a more immersive experience.


Catapult Challenge
Society of Women Engineers

Saturday, 10:30 a.m.
(120 min – All Ages)

In this 2 hour workshop the attendees will participate in a STEM activity of building a catapult which incorporates the aspect of easy math connection, engineering design process, student-driven learning, and hands-on. The catapults will undergo three different tests to determine accuracy and power. The teams will be able to modify the catapults and retest as desired.


Cloudy With A Chance Of Python
Black Orlando Tech

Saturday, 10:30 a.m. 
(60 min – Ages 16 and Up)

Intro Python workshop where participants will deploy their first cloud resources using AWS Python SDK.


Code a Home Security Camera with a Raspberry Pi Microcomputer
TechPays Foundation

Saturday & Sunday, 10:30 a.m. 
(60 min – All Ages)

Feeling safe is a basic human need. Coding and creating a home security camera and app can be the first line of defense. Create a security system in this workshop! TechPays™ has received publicity on WFTV Channel 9, STAR 94.5, and has received 5 Star Positive Feedback reviews as a 2018 Otronicon Workshop Presenter.


Drone Zone

Sunday, 2:30 p.m.
Monday, 10:30 a.m. 
(60 min – Ages 8 and Up)

Explore the world of drones! Learn the principles of flight and how drones move as you pilot them through a series of obstacles. Master your skills with the drone coding challenge! This workshop is based on content produced in partnership with Orlando Science Center, Teqgames, and NAWCTSD and is sponsored by the Office of Naval Research.


Exploring Space

Friday, 10:30 a.m. & 12:30 p.m.
Sunday, 12:30 p.m. & 2:30 p.m.
Monday, 10:30 a.m.
(60 min – Ages 8 and Up)

Do you think space is far out? Come find out how NASA scientists & engineers use technology to learn new information about planets and stars. This workshop is based on content produced by Orlando Science Center and the University of Central Florida supported by NASA under cooperative agreement award number NNX16AM34G.


GaIM Maker Space Laser Cut Design
UCF GaIM
Level 3 - The HIVE

Saturday, 10:30 a.m.
(90 min – Ages 8 and Up)

In this workshop, participants will learn the principles behind realizing your 2D designs with accuracy and speed. The UCF GaIM Maker Space will share their knowledge and techniques of the Glowforge so that every participant can turn their paper 2D designs into a more tangible product. Learn concepts of 2D design, and the process of developing a successful laser cut product, to create project that you can take home.


Knight's Declassified Career Survival Guide
Future Technical Communicators of UCF

Friday & Saturday, 12:30 p.m. & 2:30 p.m.
(60 min – Ages 13 and Up)

This one-hour workshop teaches high schoolers about the fundamentals of job preparation including creating a resume, building a portfolio, and doing a job interview—all through the lens of an adventurer in a medieval fantasy world. Follow our hero in this D&D-inspired workshop as they learn not only how to wield the sword but the pen as well. Watch and help them level up from local adventurer to licensed hero.


Ozobot Dance Off

Friday, 2:30 p.m.
Saturday, 2:30 p.m. & 3:30 p.m.
Sunday, 12:30 p.m.
Monday, 12:30 p.m. & 2:30 p.m.
(60 min – Ages 7 and Up)

Come explore programming with Ozobots, smart little robots that can read code through color! We’ll learn how to draw color-coded paths for our Ozobots to speed up, slow down, and light up. Then we’ll use our skills to make our robots dance!


Simulation Adventures

Friday & Sunday, 10:30 a.m.
Monday, 12:30 p.m.
(60 min – Ages 13 and Up)

What do Gamers, Air Traffic Controllers, and Drone Pilots have in common? They all require very specific skills! Experience a flight simulator that real pilots use for training as you fly an aircraft from the Downtown Orlando to the Orlando International Airport, or use a drone to treat crops in Agriculture. This workshop is based on content produced in partnership with Orlando Science Center, Teqgames and NAWCTSD and is sponsored by the Office of Naval Research.

Otronicon Hours: February 18 - 21, 2022, 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.

Black History Monuments in Central Florida • Orlando Science Center Honors Red Tail Pilots

Signature Monument  Commemorates the First Black American Military Aviators 

Orlando may be known for its vast array of entertainment and attractions, but there is also rich, diverse, and unique culture. Throughout the years, the community has come together to create and preserve Black history monuments, museums, landmarks, and more, here in Central Florida. 

Since 2013, guests coming to Orlando Science Center from the Loch Haven Park entrance have been greeted by the Red Tails Monument, a 12-foot bronze spire leading up to four P-51 Mustang aircrafts in the “missing man” formation. The statue stands in honor of the bravery, passion, and sacrifice of the elite fighter group of Tuskegee Airmen known as the “Red Tail Angels,” nicknamed for the distinctive red paint on their aircraft propellers and tails.

The Tuskegee Airmen were the first Black military aviators in the United States armed forces. A total of 932 Black pilots trained at a segregated air base in Tuskegee, Alabama between 1941 and 1946. Of those, 356 were chosen to make up the elite 332nd Fighter Group, who would go on to be known as the Red Tails. They were sent to various European bases to fly escort for heavy bombers of the 15th Air Force during raids deep into enemy territory, earning an impressive combat record. Because they had one of the lowest loss records of any escort fighter group, bomber crews often requested to be escorted by the Red Tails. Of the 356 Red Tail pilots, 80 were killed, 32 were prisoners of war, and 17 were shot down, but evaded capture.

a photo of a dozen Red Tail pilots standing in front of a plane

Before the Tuskegee Airmen, no Black American had ever been a United States military pilot. During World War II, many U.S. states still upheld Jim Crow laws, a series of racist legislation that enforced the “separate but equal” treatment of Black Americans. These laws were used as justification for blocking previous attempts by Black American soldiers to become pilots. The Tuskegee Airmen were subjected to systemic racism, prejudice, and discrimination both within and outside the army. In spite of these adversities, they trained and flew with distinction while simultaneously fighting for their own civil rights. Even after proving their worth as world-class pilots, the Tuskegee Airmen still encountered segregation and were not permitted to fly alongside their white counterparts. The United States Armed Forces remained segregated until 1948.

The Red Tail Pilots of the Tuskegee Airmen played a crucial role in preparing the nation for racial integration in the military. Their heroic example continues to inspire future generations to reach to the skies and realize that all things are possible, even in the face of extreme adversity. 

The Tuskegee Red Tails monument is designed to inspire academic success in science, technology, engineering, and math fields, especially in aviation. With the understanding that diversity drives innovation, increasing the success of underrepresented and marginalized students in these fields is crucial in growing a STEM workforce that resembles the nation’s demographics at large.

The Tuskegee Red Tails statue stands in honor of the perseverance and success of the Tuskegee Airmen, and serves to recognize the vital contributions of Black Americans in United States history. The monument was funded by Syd Levy of United Trophy and dedicated by the City of Orlando, Orlando Science Center, and Vision of Flight, Inc.

The Red Tails Monument, a 12-foot bronze spire leading up to four P-51 Mustang aircrafts in the “missing man” formation.

Explore more Black history monuments around Central Florida

This is by no means an exhaustive list of important historical locations in and around Central Florida. From the Ocoee Massacre marker to the Mary McLeod Bethune Home in Daytona, the Mount Moriah Church in Port Orange and the Zora Neal Hurston Museum in Eatonville, explore more than 40 sites significant to Black history in Central Florida with this interactive map.

Hannibal Square

Officially founded in 1881, Hannibal Square originally consisted of African Americans who worked for the South Florida Railroad and Winter Park’s wealthy families. On Oct. 12, 1887, it became the site of one of the country’s earliest Civil Rights marches, when Gus Henderson led a group of Black residents across the town’s dividing railroad tracks to vote in the election that officially incorporated Winter Park, including Hannibal Square. What’s more, two Black residents were elected aldermen, serving from 1887 to 1893.

Hannibal Square in Winter Park

Tinker Field History Plaza 

The original field and buildings at Tinker Field were dedicated in 1923. Named for Joe Tinker, many Baseball Hall of Famers played here, including Jackie Robinson, Rod Carew, Bert Blyleven, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, and Harmon Killebrew.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his only speech in Central Florida, “Integration Now,” on the Tinker Field pitcher's mound less than a month before his death in 1964. 

a photo of Tinker Field baseball field and stadium

Wells’built Hotel

In 1926, Dr. Wells constructed a hotel that provided lodging to African Americans during segregation when hotel rooms were not available to them in other areas. Famous guests include Jackie Robinson, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, and Justice Thurgood Marshall. The Wells’Built Museum of African American History is now located here, featuring memorabilia, artifacts, and a guest room with authentic furnishings of the 1930s. 

 

black history monument in central florida - Wells’Built Museum of African American History

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, Star Wars Episode 1: Racer, Pokken Tournament DX, Dragon Ball FighterZ, and more!

*Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 11:00 a.m. Tournament Key: 

This year’s Super Smash Bros Ultimate Tournament will be separated into age brackets. Players in Grade School and Middle School will compete in Bracket A, while High School and above will compete in Bracket B.

At 11:00 a.m., Brackets A and B will compete simultaneously. The champions of each bracket will then face off to see who is the best of the best!

At 3:00 p.m., players of all ages will be welcomed for open play in Bracket E. 

A - Grade School and Middle School
- High School and Above
E - Any Age

Schedule

Friday, February 18, 2022

  • 11:00 a.m. - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate A (1 v 1, 16 cap, Nintendo Switch)*
  • 11:00 a.m. - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate B (1 v 1, 16 cap, Nintendo Switch)*
  • 1:00 p.m. - Dragon Ball Fighter Z (1 v 1, 16 cap, Nintendo Switch)
  • 3:00 p.m. - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate E (1 v 1, 16 cap, Nintendo Switch)*

Saturday, February 19, 2022

  • 11:00 a.m. - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate A (1 v 1, 16 cap, Nintendo Switch)*
  • 11:00 a.m. - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate  B (1 v 1, 16 cap, Nintendo Switch)*
  • 1:00 p.m. - Star Wars Episode 1: Racer (1 v 1, 16 cap, Nintendo Switch)
  • 3:00 p.m. - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate E (1 v 1, 16 cap, Nintendo Switch)

Sunday, February 20, 2022

  • 11:00 a.m. - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate A (1 v 1, 16 cap, Nintendo Switch)*
  • 11:00 a.m. - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate  B (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 E (1 v 1, 16 cap, Nintendo Switch)

Monday, February 21, 2022

  • 11:00 a.m. - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate A (F1 v 1, 16 cap, Nintendo Switch)*
  • 11:00 a.m. - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate  B (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 E (1 v 1, 16 cap, Nintendo Switch)

Otronicon Waiver and Release Form for Game-play, Competitions and Special Content

All players under (18) years old on the first day of the Otronicon event must submit a consent form upon entry to the event, signed by a caregiver, in order to participate in competitions. Any cash prizes won by minors will be awarded directly to that minor participant.

Waivers may be completed online or in person. If a minor is dropped off or is attending alone, the caregiver must be present with the minor on the first day in order to validate their electronic signature on this form.

Caregiver only need to complete one form per child per day for the entire event. Waivers will be kept on file for all (4) days of the event.

To expedite the check in process, caregivers may bring a print out of the email (or show on your phone) along with a valid photo ID to the waiver table. The name on the photo ID must match the caregiver's name on the email confirmation.

Registration for all competitions is onsite at Orlando Science Center. There are no online registrations for competitions.


General Rules

  1. Admission to the Orlando Science Center is required for all competitions.
    Registration is required for all competitions. This is done on-site at the Orlando Science Center.
  2. You must be registered for your competition no later than 15 minutes before competition start time but be aware that competitions many times reach their max capacity before this deadline.
  3. Each competition is $5.00 to compete per person, per game.
  4. Players must use only the controllers provided by Orlando Science Center. No outside controllers are allowed and may be confiscated.
  5. Competition is greatly encouraged, but excessive taunting or threatening will not be tolerated.
  6. Games started only with official PKG staff (Ref's) permission.
  7. Players will not tamper, unplug, or touch any of PKG's equipment without permission.
  8. No pausing of any game. No intentional glitching. No disrespecting fellow players/staff members.
  9. Intentional cheating will result in expulsion from the tournament.
  10. All decisions made by Orlando Science Center or Powder Keg Games are Final, and not subject to appeal.
  11. Suspected cheating or foul play must be immediately reported to PKG staff (Ref).
    Accumulating 3 warnings will result in expulsion from tournament, and possibly the premises.
  12. Prizes and competition details subject to change without notice.

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.

The Science of Self-Care

January at the Orlando Science Center is Self-Care Aware Month!

But what does "self-care" mean anyway? We're here to tell you, it's more than just spa days and daily chocolates! 

When you think of self-care, chances are you think of taking daily walks, meditating, reading, playing music, or any other activity that makes you happy. These activities are external to you, meaning they’re things that happen outside of your body. But stress is an internal experience. You feel it inside your body, and it impacts each of us a little bit differently.

Some people might have trouble sleeping, while others might experience scattered thoughts when facing stressful situations. Some people may even have difficulty breathing! So how do we battle these internal feelings of stress?

The scientific answer is to regulate your nervous system. Your nervous system controls everything you do – walking, thinking, feeling, and even breathing. It’s important that any kind of self-care you practice cares for your entire nervous system – both your body and your brain. There are some activities that scientists recommend to help you do this, including mindful breathing, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation, which involves intentionally relaxing one muscle at a time.

When you make self-care a routine part of your life, research suggests that you can reduce stress and avoid burnout, which is a feeling of emotional, mental, and even physical exhaustion that can be caused by prolonged stress. Tuning into yourself and enhancing your emotional self-awareness through regular self-care is a great way to create balance in your life.

Here's a list of science-based activities to help you practice self-care at home:

  1. Is reading your favorite way to unplug and spend time with yourself? Make yourself an Iridescent Bookmark to help keep your place.
  2. Take your meditation outside, and then tune into your body and your surroundings with this Outdoor Scavenger Hunt.
  3. Do you like to fidget? Give your fingers something to do while you take some mindful time for yourself with these Embroidery Techniques.
  4. In Japanese culture, origami cranes have come to symbolize a sense of peace. Find your inner peace with the Art of Paper Folding.
  5. Practice your progressive muscle relaxation in a warm bath using some Homemade Bath Fizzers.  
  6. Color psychologists study how different colors can impact your mood, creativity, and behavior. Surround yourself with colors that you associate with comfort or happy memories to promote stability and relaxation. Science suggests these might be blues or greens for the majority of people. You can do this with your clothes, your pens and pencils, your water bottle, and more!
Embroidered Deer and Embroidered Dog
Origami T. Rex Dinosaurs
Kids making bath fizzers at the Orlando Science Center

Interested in the science behind this article? Here are some of the sources we used to learn more about the science of self-care:

5 Way To Go Green This Holiday Season

Check out 5 ways you can go green (and save some green) this holiday season! 

'Tis the season of red and green, but how green are you actually being? Americans create 25% more waste from Thanksgiving to New Year’s than any other time of year. That’s an extra 1 million tons of trash per week! Here are a few ways you can go green this holiday season without looking like the Grinch!

That’s a wrap on wrapping paper!

It’s a common misconception that wrapping paper can be recycled simply because it’s paper. However, coated, glittery, and textured paper materials cannot.

When these unrecyclable materials get mixed in with recyclable products, it can result in the whole lot being thrown away. Instead, try using paper materials like newspapers, old maps, comics, or make your own!

recycle wrapping paper to go green for the holiday

Out with the old and in with the new

When you upgrade to new tech, don’t just toss out your old devices, recycle them! A United Nations study reported that 44.7 million tons of e-waste was discarded in 2016, and only 20% of it was disposed of properly. Here are some easy ways you can recycle, or donate and make a difference:

  • Call2Recycle is a nationwide organization that recycles old devices and batteries. You can simply mail in old tech without leaving your house, or enter your zip code to find a convenient location near you!
  • Does your old phone still function? The World Computer Exchange is a nonprofit organization that works to get developing countries into the digital age. They accept everything from computers to graphing calculators.   

Sew what else can I do?

Handmade gifts are a great way to show someone how you feel without creating excess waste. From bath bombs to jewelry making, you can’t go wrong with a personal touch.

Upcycling is another great way to save the planet and a little money. Old board games are a great way to customize a picture frame. Or grab some old clothing and embroider an embellishment.

Visit our OSC at Home blog for inspiration, or check the daily schedule for maker activities like our Mosaics, Mobiles, Math! Workshops happening around the building on your next visit! 

hand made gifts to go green for the holiday

Last but not leftovers

According to the WorldWatch Institute, Americans generate three times as much food waste between Thanksgiving and New Year’s as we do the rest of the year. Resolve to go green this year, by starting a compost! Are you a local? The City of Orlando will help you get started for free!

Composting is not as difficult or as disgusting as you might think! It can divert up 30% of food waste from a landfill and back into healing the Earth while offering a natural alternative to chemical fertilizers. Here is a simple step-by-step guide to creating your compost starting with the end of your Christmas tree!

Think outside the plastic box

Tired of giving gifts that will be outgrown or outdated in a few months? This holiday season, ditch the plastic packaging and gift an experience.

You can avoid creating excess waste by gifting tickets to movies or events, certificates for chores or date night, gift cards that can be reloaded and re-gifted, or gift a membership to a favorite theme park or science center!