Exhibit Unlocks the Mysteries of Degradation for the Next Generation

Special Guests LeVar Burton and Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL) to Attend Grand Opening

ORLANDO, Fla. (Mar. 11, 2013)—Orlando Science Center has teamed up with multiple industry partners to create “Corrosion: The Silent Menace,” an interactive exhibit experience. Presented by the U.S. Department of Defense Corrosion Policy and Oversight Office, this exhibit examines the natural phenomena that lead to corrosion and material degradation and intends to inspire the next generation of infrastructure preservationists. Featuring computerized simulation games designed for middle and high school students, "Corrosion: The Silent Menace," opens on Saturday, March 16 at Orlando Science Center.

The VIP grand opening will include remarks and appearances by: JoAnn Newman, president and CEO of Orlando Science Center; LeVar Burton (“Reading Rainbow” and “Star Trek: The Next Generation”), corrosion spokesman for the DoD since 2009; Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL); representatives from NASA, NACE International and SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings; and corrosion engineer majors and representatives from The University of Akron.

"At DoD, we believe middle and high school students should be exposed to the challenges that all communities face as they preserve their local infrastructure," said Daniel J. Dunmire, director of the DoD Corrosion Office. “The causes of corrosion on our bridges, highways and pipelines are rooted in complex scientific processes, and this new DoD-sponsored science exhibit unlocks the secret of those processes and how they can be mitigated,” he continued.

“One of our greatest strengths at the Orlando Science Center is presenting science concepts in a very engaging way so they connect with the public, especially children,” said JoAnn Newman, president and CEO of Orlando Science Center. “This partnership has enabled us to raise awareness about this silent menace while also demonstrating the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning and the need to inspire the next generation of workers.”

When visitors approach the exhibit, they will stand beneath a 150-square-foot trestle bridge made of rusty steel. Beneath this towering canopy of corrosion, they can choose from a menu of virtual experiences that graphically depict the science of corrosion and the industrial processes used to prevent it. These experiences are simulated using 3-D mapping technology courtesy of Ninjaneer Studios, an animation company located in Orlando.

In the game CORRSim Jr., students stand in front of a TV that tracks their movements using the Xbox 360 Kinect. Users take an interactive role in preventing corrosion by painting their bike and protecting it from the elements.

"By moving their hands in front of the screen, visitors can replicate the process of sanding, blasting, priming and painting" noted Anne Hanson, manager of Continuing Education and Outreach at The University of Akron's National Center for Education and Research on Corrosion and Materials Performance (NCERCAMP). "Each of these processes is vital when coatings are properly applied to ships, aircraft, cars, trains and commercial structures."

At the Corrosion Rack display provided by Battelle Memorial Institute and NASA Corrosion Technology Laboratory, students take a hand-held microscope and hold it up to different coupons or samples in order to appreciate how scientists collect data to discern how environmental and weather conditions can degrade materials in different ways.

"The coupons include different types of metals that have been exposed to harsh elements such as salty air, wind, rain and saltwater," Hanson said.

To help students understand the appearances of corrosion, different examples of the six forms of corrosion will be hidden around the exhibit.

"Students will assume the role of inspector and seek out specific examples of fretting, pitting and galvanic corrosion, for instance," Hanson said.

At the exhibit's Career Kiosk, students can hear from subject matter experts, government officials and students about the exciting opportunities and experiences that come with working in the corrosion prevention field.

"The kiosk allows visitors to understand the entire range of career specialties that comprise the field of corrosion science and engineering," said Susan Louscher, executive director of NCERCAMP. "At the kiosk, visitors can hear from inspectors, painters, technicians, corrosion engineers and scientific researchers that represent industry, DoD and universities with a corrosion engineering focus."

"Corrosion: The Silent Menace" will also feature artifacts from different sectors of industry and government to underscore the chemical, electrochemical and geological processes inherent in corrosion and degradation. This includes artifacts from a corrosion investigation performed by the NASA Corrosion Technology Laboratory at Kennedy Space Center to discover why the large Space Shuttle Crawler Transporter suffered cracking of its shoes.

The exhibit’s grand opening coincides with NACE International’s Annual Conference and Exposition, CORROSION 2013, held at the Orange County Convention Center March 17–21. More than 6,000 leaders from industry, government and academia will convene to discuss the latest technologies and issues, as well as make decisions on the most effective means of corrosion prevention. It is the world’s largest corrosion expo with more than 375 exhibitors.

The exhibit is made possible by the U.S. Department of Defense; Orlando Science Center; The University of Akron; Bruno White Entertainment; Battelle Memorial Institute; CorrDefense; MVE Systems, Inc.; NASA; Reading Rainbow; NACE International; NACE International Foundation; SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings; Ninjaneer Studios; and Echo Artz.

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