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The JPMorgan Chase Foundation awarded a $50,000 grant to the Orlando Science Center for a Science Literacy Program at Evans High School. The program will provide Teacher Professional Development (TPD) to science teachers in order to increase inquiry skills and content knowledge, model creative techniques and offer strategies for encouraging problem-solving and critical thinking to the students of Evans High School.

“Partnerships like this one can be a tremendous support to our schools by enhancing their resources and providing science education in a way that really connects with students,” said Science Center President JoAnn Newman. “Chase’s support is enabling the Science Center to do what we do best and helping us to reach the kids that need us most. It really is a win-win for everyone.”

Along with these tools for the teachers; students will be provided with hands-on classroom activities relatable to "real world" science, technology, engineering and mathematical (STEM) applications. It is the hope of the Science Center to increase the number of students who choose to do science-based activities outside the classroom.

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Who says that tigers and orangutans can’t be friends?  National Geographic Kids Magazine reported that zookeepers at Taman Safari Zoo in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia have helped form friendship bonds between meat eating tiger cubs and baby orangutans, who in the wild spend their time in trees to avoid predators like tigers.

tiger-orang-snuggle-lg

The reason zookeepers decided to pair up these unlikely friends was because both sets of animals were essentially orphans. Tiger cubs, Demis and Manis, were rejected by their mother so the zookeepers paired them with another set of orphans, Nia and Irma the orangutans. The four-some were quick friends and played with toys, wrestled, and took naps together.

Zookeeper Sri Suwarni noted that even though they kissed each other and were great friends, as the tigers got older, their more aggressive side came out and they had to be moved to another exhibit. Suwarni is not giving up on peaceful relations between carnivorous cats and tree swinging primates. Now two more apes that Suwarni is raising have made friends with a leopard cub!


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Is that a bird? Or a plane? Nope, it’s a weather balloon! Regularly misinterpreted as a UFO, weather balloons can serve as a reliable source when looking at the weather. Weather balloons were first used in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Now, they are not as common as they once were but still can be used to find out more facts about the atmosphere around us. Weather balloons are packed with instruments and then sent up to receive information about the weather around us. The weather balloon reports information about the atmosphere pressure, temperature, humidity, and wind speed.

The actual instrument used is called a radiosonde. The radiosonde is actually what receieves and transmits the information. The balloon is used as a hoisting method and the radiosonde does the rest of the work. Weather balloons can be used as a prediction tool or to measure weather in current time. Weather balloons are also used to monitor pollution, research, aviation interests, photography, and videography. So next time you look up and think you see a UFO, you might just see a weather balloon doing its job.

Weather_Balloon


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National Geographic’s Little Kids website has found a fun and messy experiment to teach your little kid about the liquid and solid phases of matter. Before conducting the experiment read over all the directions with your child and have them form a hypothesis, what they think will happen. Encourage their curiosity by having them feel all the components of the experiment, water and cornstarch, before making their hypothesis. Once they have decided on their hypothesis conduct the experiment.

Blue_Goo

Here’s what you’ll need for this cool experiment:

  • Newspapers (This can get very messy!)
  • Mixing Bowl
  • 16 ounces of Cornstarch
  • Measuring Cups
  • Water
  • Blue Food Coloring (or whichever color your child prefers)

 

Experiment Procedures:

  1. Pour the 16 ounces of cornstarch into the mixing bowl.
  2. Use the measuring cups to add 1 ½ cups of water to the cornstarch.
  3. Add about 15 drops of food coloring to the mix.
  4. Here is the fun part! Use your hands to mix the experiment ingredients.

Now they you’ve made your blue goo ask your child some questions as they play with it. Was their hypothesis correct? Or was it incorrect? How does the blue goo feel? Does it feel more like the water or the cornstarch? Point out to your child that if you squeeze the blue goo in your hand it feels like a solid but if you open your hand it spreads out like a liquid. The blue goo can act as both a liquid and a solid!


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According to the Jane Goodall Institute, there were approximate 1 million wild chimpanzees at the turn of the 20th century today there are only 170,000 to 300,000. Wild chimpanzee communities have been negatively impacted by deforestation and the bush meat trade. In order to save the chimps, JGI supports communities so that they can manage their own natural resources.

You don’t have to travel all the way to Tanzania to see where a difference is being made. The Center for Great Apes in Wachula, Florida provides a sanctuary for both chimpanzees and orangutans - their larger, hairier (and more orange) cousins. Many of their residents were used in research and the entertainment industry. Some of these great creatures were even kept as house pets!

The individual intelligence and complex social structure of primate society make in next to impossible for chimpanzees raised as pampered pets or actors to interact with their own kind. They simply lack the social skills necessary to survive in the group environment most zoos provide. Desperate owners of what were once adorable baby chimps search for a home for the beloved pet that has simply grown to strong to handle safely. As a result, these creatures are often sold to breeders or other unscrupulous businesses. At this time there are 12 chimpanzees on the waiting list to live out their days at the sanctuary. Due to the high cost of caring for these animals ($10,000 to $20,000 per year) the center must limited the number it can care for.

To learn more about what you can do to save the great apes visit www.janegoodall.org or www.centerforgreatapes.org.


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Answer: They both are going to help save the very endangered cheetahs in Africa!

Dr. Laurie Marker proposed using wood chippers and guard dogs to help out wild cheetahs in Africa. Because cheetahs move so fast, up to 70 miles per hour, running through thick, prickly thorn bush undergrowth was blinding them. This prickly thorn bush is starting to cover Namibia, so the injured cheetahs were preying upon livestock, causing farmers to trap and/or kill them. The wood chipper will cut down the prickly thorn bushes and the chips from the bushes will be sold as ecoblocks, which is used for fuel in South Africa and Europe.

Dr. Marker, along with the Cheetah Conservation Fund, have set up a program to give farmers large Turkish Kangal dogs to scare off cheetahs. These dogs are special because they bond with the herd. The result of these dogs have shown an 80% drop in livestock losses, which means fewer cheetahs are being killed by farmers.

Who knew two very simple solutions would help save endangered cheetahs?

Cheetah

Misty is an Animal Care Technician at the Science Center and is found in NatureWorks. Animals and Ecology are her passions and she jumps at every opportunity to talk about it. Stop in and say Hello!


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Central Florida Families Can Enjoy the Science Center, Mission Nutrition 4, Curious George and More for Just $5/Person

Saturday, February 19, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

ORLANDO, FL - (February 14, 2011) - The Orlando Science Center, in partnership with the Walmart Foundation, has announced the next “Walmart $5 Day” will be Saturday, February 19. Thanks to Walmart’s generous support, all guests to the Science Center on February 19 will enjoy exhibits, films and live programs for the significantly discounted price of $5. General admission fees are usually $17 for adults and $12 for kids (ages 3-11).

This year marks the second year for this partnership between the Science Center and the Walmart Foundation. Walmart $5 Day provides admission to all the Science Center’s exhibits, films and programs, including a special day of activities and displays on health and wellness. For many, this event presents the opportunity to experience the Science Center for the first time. Walmart Market Manager for Central Florida Steven Daniel said, “These are the types of community programs we are proud to sponsor for our Central Florida neighbors.”

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Orlando Science Center • 777 E. Princeton Street • Orlando, Florida 32803 • Phone: 407.514.2000 • Toll Free: 888.OSC.4FUN • Email: [email protected]
  Orlando Science Center is supported by United Arts of Central Florida, host of power2give.org/centralflorida and the collaborative Campaign for the Arts.
This project is funded in part by Orange County Government through the Arts & Cultural Affairs Program. Privacy Policy