5 Ways Orlando Science Center Can Help With Your New Year’s Resolutions

Check out a few ways science can help with your New Year's resolutions!

As we ring in the New Year, many take the opportunity to reflect on the past as they look to the future. Self-improvement can come in many forms. Whether you're looking inward to focus on self-care or looking for ways to help make the world around you a better place, or both, a little science can help with your New Year's resolutions!  


 

Learn something new 

Whether you're crazy about chemistry or wild about nature, the Science Center has something for everyone!

From the deep sea to deep space, go on a larger-than-life adventure in one of our giant screen theaters. Or try some exciting hands-on science experiments in a real chemistry lab in Dr. Dare's Lab. If you really dig dinosaurs, stomp into DinoDigs to uncover fossils, join a Dino Safari, or learn about these ancient creatures from the inside out with the new Poozeum coprolite and dino poo display! See what's happening during your visit!

A mother and her children examining colored filtered in an experiment about light.

Get more active

Put on your walking shoes, because, with four floors of interactive exhibits, there's no doubt you'll be making countless circuits around the Science Center!

Flex your mind and your muscles as you learn about the pulley system in Kinetic Zone. Or put the 'FUN' in FUNdamental motors skills in KidsTown, featuring seven dynamic and interactive zones for any stage of development your little learner is in!

a man pulling himself up on a pulley seat

Give back to the communtiy

Orlando Science Center’s adult and youth volunteers and interns all carry out our mission to inspire science learning for life. Whether their role is to directly interact with guests or work hard behind the scenes, every team member plays an important part in contributing to our organizational success.

Donate your time to bring the Science Center to life in a way that complements your expertise and interests, explore exciting real-world STEM careers, learn new skills, and more!  

A volunteer holds up a tortoise for guests to get a closer look.

Make healthier choices

Food might be the true universal language. We need it to sustain ourselves. We use it to comfort ourselves. But making healthier food choices begins with learning more about our food. 

The new Food Heroes exhibit presented by OrlandoHealth explores the interconnectedness of the food system, and those people fighting to make it more equitable, sustainable, and healthier for everyone. Learn about local food systems and the organizations making a difference right here in Central Florida. 

a man giving a presentation

Try a new hobby

Being a maker is all about creativity and experimentation. From computer coding to sewing, you can never learn too many skills! 

Stop by The Hive: A Makerspace on your next visit to try an engaging and hands-on Open Make activity or visit our OSC at Home blog for projects you can do right at home! 

Guests enjoying The Hive A Makerspace

Dinos In Lights Holiday Show – Now Playing through January 4

Join STAN the T-Rex and his fossil friends in DinoDigs as they show off their twinkling talent in a festive display of music and light. Each family-friendly show will begin every half hour and runs for four minutes, concluding with a wintry surprise.

Stellar Virtual Speaker Talk

Houston, we’re go for lunch!

Join us Friday, July 9 at 12 p.m. for a live virtual talk with a member of NASA’s Artemis Mission. Grab some lunch as we learn about the technology and challenges that will be taking astronauts back to the Moon and beyond!

Launch into 4Roots Cafe on Level 1, or join the stream from anywhere on WebEx.

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.

Design Zone: Final Days!

Traveling Exhibit Hall – Level 2

Behind every half-pipe, there’s a vert. Behind every dance mix, there’s a beat. Behind every thrill ride, there’s velocity. Design is everywhere we look and in everything we do, and math is behind it all.

Design Zone allows visitors to get hands-on with mathematical concepts like patterns, variables, scale, and ratios and experience how they’re used by artists, architects, engineers, musicians, and other innovators.

Check out the Building Guide to see a map and information for our current exhibits. 

Download Building Guide

Design Zone has three interactive areas, and over a dozen hands-on exhibit pieces allowing you to create your experience!

  • HEAR IT!
    Step into Club OSC and learn about the relationship between math and music as you learn about pitch, rhythm, and audio visual representations of sound!

  • SEE IT!
    Enter the Digital Design Lab and see how designers use scale, patterns, grids, and more in everything from video games to architecture!

  • MOVE IT!
    Roll into Action Park and discover how math and physics are behind anything that moves. Design a roller coaster, build your own skate park, or race your bike to the finish line!

In Design Zone, you’ll solve real-world challenges and discover that math isn’t just a subject in school—it’s one of the coolest creative tools we have to design and invent everything in the world of art, music, entertainment, and extreme sports.


Design Zone was created and designed by Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI)

Private Experiences – Choose Your Own Adventure!

Orlando Science Center’s private experiences are more than tours… they’re fully immersive and hands-on adventures that allow you to shadow our incredible staff while you join us on a fun, educational journey to take a deeper dive into the inner workings of your Science Center!

These 90-minute private programs are offered for groups of 3–10 guests from the same party who would like to visit the museum before we open to the general public or as we are winding down at the end of the day.

Choose Your Own Private Adventure!

Did you know that our fully functioning makerspace is used to create everything from a felt succulent garden to large interactive exhibit pieces? What else will you discover on your private adventure?

A family with young children explores animals together in the NatureWorks exhibit.

NatureWorks

Become a Keeper for a Day!

Offered Saturdays & Sundays from 8:30 – 10:00 am.
The NatureWorks Private Experience will only be available through February 2022. Weekday reservations available upon request.
Adventure is open to all ages but we suggest one adult per two youth.

Embark on a behind-the-scenes tour through this fan-favorite exhibit which emulates animal habitats found in nature. Throughout your guided experience, you will participate in animal touches and feedings while learning about animal husbandry and the care that goes into keeping our animals happy and healthy. Once you’re familiar with the lay of the land, it’s time to learn the ropes and become an animal keeper!

Did you know our animal ambassadors are big fans of food prep? Our animals’ diets are designed to fit each of their unique nutritional needs. Help us prepare the day’s meals and feed some of our four-legged friends!

Enrichment is also a crucial part of our animals’ health and wellbeing. Learn how keepers use enrichment to keep animals physically and mentally fit. This will be demonstrated while an animal ambassador paints a two-colored masterpiece for you to take home as a keepsake for your exciting day!

Meet an animal ambassador! Once you've finished your animal keeper training, there will be time for a special opportunity to interact with an animal ambassador* and pose for photo-ops. 

*Animal encounters are just as enriching for the animals as the humans who participate in them but, like humans, sometimes they want to stick to their own schedule. Animal well-being is our top priority, so if a particular animal does not want to participate in that day’s private experiences, our staff will select another exciting animal ambassador for you to meet!

Two cregivers and ayoung child work on a craft activity together in The Hive.

The Hive: A Makerspace 

Join the Maker Movement!

Offered Saturdays & Sundays from 9:00 – 10:30 am OR 4:00 – 5:30 pm
Weekday reservations available upon request.
Workshops are best suited for makers ages 8 and older.

Go forth and create! In this collaborative workspace, you can try new tools, build new skills, and create something one-of-a-kind to take home. Makers are MacGuyvers. Through the simple act of making something, you are strengthening essential skills in problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration.

These private experiences will challenge you to bring your ideas to life, and every choice you make will lead you to something new. Makerspaces cultivate community so enjoy sharing your creations with each other.



Being a maker is all about creativity and experimentation, so select one of the following projects for your group’s private experience to explore and make your own:

3D Design for Printing

Get an overview of 3D printing technology, the software involved, and some applications for 3D printers in the world. Learn basic 3D modeling skills as you work together to create a custom 3D-printed piece! Discover how this technology is revolutionizing so many industries by turning creative ideas into realities. Your only limits are your imagination!

Make Your Own Mouse Ears

Create your own ribbon-wrapped mouse ear headband by using 3D printed ear loops. Design an original garden headband with faux foliage or choose from a variety of materials to adorn your very own headwear that can’t be mass-produced. Each piece is unique to the creator. How’s that for custom fashion?

Sew a Felt Succulent Garden

You don’t need a green thumb to create a flourishing succulent garden made of felt! Make a small magnet or desk garden using laser cut felt shapes. Learn techniques to make five varieties of succulents and cacti using plush sewing techniques as well as hot glue rolled or wrapped succulents. Create a unique and beautiful small personal garden just for you or share it with someone special. Enjoy this gardening without breaking a sweat or getting your hands dirty.

Pricing

Private Experiences

Members / Non-Members:
$200 / $250 for up to 5 people


Additional Guests

Members / Non-Members:
$25 / $30 each for ages 12 and up
$20 / $25 each for ages 3–11

Private Experiences can host up to 10 guests and we suggest at least one adult per two youth. Programs are non-refundable.

Packages do not include General Admission to Orlando Science Center for non-members. Admission tickets can be added before or after your program for a reduced rate during your visit.

Know Before You Go


 

  • Guests age 3 years and older are required to wear a face covering at all times while visiting Orlando Science Center and while interacting with staff.
  • Any equipment used will be thoroughly sanitized between programs.
  • Guests may bring a camera but for some behind-the-scenes programs there may be areas where you may be asked not to photograph or video record.
  • Program elements are subject to change without notice due to animal needs, weather, or staffing issues.Please review our Safety Guidelines for more information on planning a healthy visit.

Book Your Adventure!

To learn more about our adventure options, check availability, or make a reservation, please call 407.514.2290 or email groups@osc.org.


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

The Hive: A Makerspace

Makerspace – Level 3

Come see what all the buzz is about! In The Hive, the possibilities are as vast as your imagination. Learn how to sew a button, fold an origami crane, design a figurine using 3D modeling software then bring it to life with a 3D printer, or solder a circuit board – there’s always something new to try! 

Many of the best designs come from collaboration. The Hive is a space that cultivates community and emphasizes the learning opportunities in every failure and success. Being a maker is all about creativity and experimentation.

The Hive is designed specifically for makers ages 8 and up. Makers 8-12 must be accompanied by an adult. Maker activities for ages 7 and under are available in the KidsTown Studio.

Two guests making crafts together with 3-Doodler pens in The Hive: a Makerspace.

Check out the Building Guide to see a map and information for our current exhibits.

Download Building Guide

The Hive Shop

More Ways to Enjoy Your Favorite Makerspace and Support Your Science Center

Stop by The Hive on Level 3 to purchase today!

Hive @ Home Kit: $10

Any space can become a Makerspace if you have the right tools! Take home a Hive @ Home kit and get all of the materials and instructions to do one project from a Hive workshop from the safety of your own home. Projects vary from month to month and limited quantity are available while supplies last.

Hive Shop Goodies: $2-10

Swing by The Hive and see what’s in stock! While showcasing our 3D printers and laser cutters to guests, our team regularly creates unique OSC products! Show off your love for your Science Center with a custom Hive sketchpad and wood and acrylic accessories including pins, buttons, earrings, keychains, and more!

Make Your Own Button: $2

Choose your own design and press your own button! Flip through our button binder and select your own design then work with our Maker staff to press and seal your own custom-made button! Once completed, you can pin and wear your new swag out. Don’t forget to imPRESS your friends by telling them you made it yourself!

All proceeds from The Hive Shop help provide vital funds needed to continue to offer programs and services that impact our community. From our hardworking staff, we thank you for your trust, unwavering support, and continued investment. We simply couldn’t do it without you!

Fusion: A STEAM Gallery

Gallery – Level 3

Today’s innovators recognize the critical role of art-related disciplines in solving 21st-century problems.

Fusion: A STEAM Gallery shows that art and design aren’t removed from science – they are essential complements.

You’ll find permanent pieces in the Fusion collection that highlight this relationship, including an interactive, visual theremin by Ginger Leigh; a one-dimensional dungeon-crawler game by Robin Baumgarten; a motorized color projection piece by Ryan Buyssens; and a multi-layered tribute to victims and survivors of the Pulse tragedy by Christy McCutchen.

Traveling exhibitions are featured throughout the year with an emphasis on local artists.

For gallery inquires please email: djohnson@osc.org.

Artwork from animated film - part of Behind the Frames: Student Works from the UCF School of Visual Arts and Design.
Artwork from animated film - part of Behind the Frames: Student Works from the UCF School of Visual Arts and Design.
Artwork from animated film - part of Behind the Frames: Student Works from the UCF School of Visual Arts and Design.

On Display:

January – February 2022

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

The works presented are seldom exhibited preproduction and production images created for the development of graduate and undergraduate animated films. Displayed here are character design sheets, production stills, background paintings and concept sketches from recently released and current projects.

UCF is 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. Our 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.

Featured Artists: Tiffany Marin, Sunny Zheng, Paige Thorsen, Jamie Lachnicht, Hane Harnett, Alexa Bowen, Hannah Huffman, Chi Pham, James Angle, Victor Uzcategui, Melany Di Pietro Cecere, Cristina Mateo

NatureWorks

Exhibit Hall – Level 1

In NatureWorks, you’ll learn about the amazing animals and plants that inhabit coral reefs, mangrove forests, cypress swamps and other Florida environments, along with other areas around the world. 

Discover what lies deep within the Floridan Aquifer, learn how to identify some of Florida’s native and invasive species, and observe animals in their unique habitats to understand their amazing adaptations!

Within the exhibit hall, there are frequent opportunities to hear from a NatureWorks animal keeper and encounter some of our Animal Ambassadors up close at their scheduled encounters!

Orlando Science Center strives to inspire all of its visitors to care for and protect wildlife both near and far. It is our hope that your visit to the Science Center will encourage you to learn more about our animals and the actions you can take to protect their wild counterparts.

Check out the Building Guide to see a map and information for our current exhibits.

Download Building Guide

Frequently Asked Questions

Who takes care of the animals at the Science Center?

Our experienced keepers ensure the highest quality of animal care and welfare. The keepers at Orlando Science Center all hold specialized degrees in a variety of life science disciplines including Biology, Environmental Science, and Zoo Animal Technology.

Our animal staff has years of experience caring for a variety of animals and are well versed in the animal care standards established by the United States Department of Agriculture and Fish and Wildlife. The Science Center also works with several licensed exotic animal veterinarians to provide top-quality nutrition and veterinary care to all of our animals.

Where does the Science Center get its animals?

The Orlando Science Center has a Responsible Population Management policy that dictates all animal acquisitions and transfers. Our policy prioritizes the long-term sustainability of living animal populations and the health and welfare of our animals.

Many of our animals were donated to us by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Fish and Wildlife removes invasive species from the environment and places them in zoos and nature centers. We also house animals that Fish and Wildlife confiscated from people who possessed them illegally.

Several of our animals come from FWC’s Pet Amnesty program which rehomes animals that Florida residents can no longer care for. We are proud to provide a safe and enriching home for these animals.

What if I have a question about the animals at the Science Center?

Next time you’re in the NatureWorks exhibit, come say hi to one of our staff members or volunteers. They love talking about animals! You can also contact us at nature@osc.org for any inquiries regarding our animal collection