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Orlando Science Center

The Orlando Science Center (OSC) is a private not-for-profit corporation, organized under the laws of the State of Florida, USA, and located in Orlando.

Its purposes are to provide experience-based opportunities for learning about science and technology and to promote public understanding of science. The Orlando Science Center is accredited by the American Association of Museums (AAM) and is a member of the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC). The Orlando Science Center is member supported and sponsored in part by United Arts of Central Florida, Inc., the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Arts Council.

 Hours

The Orlando Science Center is open year round, and is closed on Wednesdays and four other days throughout the year, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. Summer hours (June 19 - August 21): Sunday - Friday 10am-5pm and Saturdays 10am-10pm.

History

Incorporated in 1955, the Central Florida Museum (CFM) opened in Orlando Loch Haven Park in 1960. For its first decade, it was an anthropology museum with collections of artifacts relating to Florida and the Caribbean Basin. In the early 1970s, the CFM's board of directors voted to change directions and to become a "hands-on" science and technology center. In 1973 the institution was re-named to honor a famous native son and astronaut, John Young. In 1984, as part of an expansion and change of philosophy, the institution's name was changed to Orlando Science Center. In 1985 another major expansion created a permanent physical sciences hall, a traveling exhibit hall, and Curiosity Corner, a hands-on exhibit area dedicated to pre-school and early primary age children. During the final expansion to the original facility in 1990, NatureWorks, a prototype for OSC's centerpiece natural science exhibit was created. In May 1992, the Board and staff developed a comprehensive master plan for the Orlando Science Center, including a blueprint for construction of an entirely new science center. Construction of the new science center began in early 1995.

The new 207,000 sq ft (19,200 m2). Orlando Science Center celebrated its grand opening on February 1, 1997. It is six times larger than the original facility, which closed December 31, 1996. The current president and CEO of the science center is JoAnn Newman.

Current exhibits


As of November 18, 2010, here is a list of the current exhibits within the Orlando Science Center (In order from 1st floor).

Dr. Phillips CineDome - shows giant screen films and a planetarium-like show. The CineDome is an 8-story tall structure where films are projected on a screen before an audience in steep stadium seating.

NatureWorks 1st Floor - Exhibit hall that describes the richness of the natural world, with a focus on the diverse ecosystems of Central Florida.Such as, plants and animals of coral reefs, salt marshes, mangrove swamps and other Florida environments. You can learn how living and non-living things interact with each other and their environment.

KidsTown 1st Floor - Miniature town that introduces science concepts through whole-body experiences, hands-on interactives and imaginative role-playing. Water tables, automotive garage, orange juice processing plant and more.

Science Park 2nd Floor - Provides exhibits that focus on light, sound and waves, electricity and magnetism, nature’s forces and simulation. Get the Message 2nd Floor - Shows the wide variety of communication tools available to us from past and present and shows the importance of communication in society.

Charlie & Kiwi's Evolutionary Adventure 2nd Floor - See evidence that dinosaurs are the ancestors of modern birds. All Aboard 2nd Floor - Kids can learn about traveling through child-sized models of trains, planes and the space shuttle. Careers for Life (3rd Floor Exhibit Hall) - The Careers for Life exhibit showcases the types of careers that save and help the lives of others. Its main purpose is to create awareness, inform and educate anyone about healthcare careers. Our Planet, Our Universe 4th Floor - A permanent exhibit on astronomy and earth science. Divided into sections: Earth, Wind & sky, Planets and Portals and Gravity, waves and warps. Channel 9 Severe Weather Center 4th Floor - Find out how weather is created, listen to Tom Terry walk you through weather prediction methods and put together and deliver your own TV weather forecas. Crosby Observatory 6th Floor - Florida's largest public refractor telescope as well as an array of smaller yet still powerful telescopes strategically placed for star gazing from 5-9 on the first and third Saturdays of the month.

Facility rentals

The Orlando Science Center offers its facility to host meetings, special engagements, and weddings. The venue offers 50,000 square feet (4,600 m2) of exhibits, a private theater, and IWerks movies.
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