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Did you know that tornadoes in the winter could be considered more dangerous? Tornadoes normally need warm, moist air to form therefore they are less common in the winter. However, when the conditions are right for tornadoes this could lead to a deadly problem. Thunderstorms in the winter have been known to be faster therefore the winds that spawn the tornadoes are naturally at an elevated speed.

These tornadoes, being equal in strength but faster in speed, can lead to several problems. The speed of the tornado can severely limit the response time available to receive warning. Not having enough time to prepare and take necessary safety precautions, such as finding shelter, can lead to serious destruction. Therefore on the safe side, make sure to take tornado watches very seriously because you never know when a tornado might form.

Tornado


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This past year over 300 High School teams competed in a competition involving obstacles, not by the use of physical actions, but by the use of robots. How would you like to be involved in a revolutionary science competition? The FIRST Robotics Championship takes a year of preparation concluding with a 3-day competition event. At the beginning of the year, each team receives all the necessary tools including strings, wires, gears and metal pieces to begin the production of their own robots. They then compete in a regional competition in anticipation to make it to the finals. During the finals, the teams break into groups where they vigorously compete in a game called “breakaway” which is similar to soccer with added obstacles, until one team is crowned the champion.

FIRST_1

This mission of the FIRST Robotics competition is getting students involved in science and technology. The highest honor is the Chairman’s Award, and the team named Miss Daisy, from Wissahickon won this past year. Although they were not in the final round, they have been competing for the past 11 years and always engage their entire community in the process.

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The FIRST Robotics competition is a great way for students to excel in science using a hands-on approach. Using only the materials received in a box, these students can create functional robots, something they can be very proud of. If you would like a chance to become a science inventor, this website provides all the information necessary to start your own team!


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NASA’s Kepler Mission is a space observatory built to discover Earth like-planets. The Kepler Mission is to explore the structure and diversity of planetary systems beyond our Galaxy, the Milky Way.

On January 10th, NASA confirmed the discovery of its first rocky planet, named Kepler-10b. Not only was it the first rocky planet, but also the smallest planet ever found outside of our solar system. Data collected on the “exoplanet” was collected from May 2009 through January 2010. This discovery has provided evidence of a rocky planet orbiting a star, besides our sun. Although this planet is not in a habitable zone, it is still an exciting discovery for NASA’s Kepler Mission, which results in a promising outcome for more discoveries to come. In the quest to find a planet similar to Earth that enables life form, NASA is on the right path.

To find out more information about the Kepler Mission or their new discovery, click here.

Kepler


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Hello from “SEM Jim”. I will be giving demonstrations using the Scanning Electron Microscope on Monday, January 17. This time we will be looking at the capability of the SEM to determine the elemental composition of samples (what things are made of). The SEM uses a technique called energy dispersive X-Ray spectroscopy to do this.

Come see me on January 17 for a cool demonstration. Check your program guide for demonstration times or come by the SEM lab on Level 4 at the back of DinoDigs anytime between 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Hope to see you there!


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NatureWorks staff and the exhibits department are in the process of renovating a portion of the former Trading Center. The new theme for the room will be - Adaptation Station. Animals housed in this exhibit will be chosen for their interesting adaptations such as camouflage, defense mechanisms, types of reproduction, and ways for finding and consuming food. The first phase of this renovation will be constructed soon and the following species are planned for exhibit.

 

Tentacled snake, Erpeton tentaculatum

This snake is found in Thailand, Cambodia and South Vietnam. It inhabits ponds and sluggish bodies of water with heavy vegetation and cover. They are fully aquatic and are so camouflaged they look like a submerged stick. They are unique among snakes in they have two scaly, projections on the tip of their nose. These are thought to be sensory in nature and allow them to sense the position of their fish prey in murky water. Their entire feeding mechanism is fascinating and more information will be coming soon.

erp

 

Read more...


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The periodic table contains the 118 unique elements that are currently known to exist on the planet. You can find it proudly displayed in most high school chemistry classes and it is a tool that teachers encourage their students to use on tests. In his book, The Disappearing Spoon, Sam Kean examines each individual element that makes up the periodic table by revealing their unique stories and origins. Here are just a few elements that are pretty awesome:

  • Hydrogen (H) is one of the main elements that make up stars (and because it is highly reactive, we use it in balloons for KaBoom shows).
  • “Self-sterilizing” Copper (Cu) tubing is used in air-conditioning ducts because copper will disrupt the metabolism of certain bacteria and fungi.
  • Gallium (Ga) has a melting point of 84°F, which makes it one of the few metals that can melt in the palm of one’s hand. A popular practical joke among scientists was to take a Gallium spoon and give it to a colleague with a hot cup of tea, only to have it disappear.

Visit this link for additional information about The Disappearing Spoon.

If you love chemistry and want to experience some hands-on experiments, stop by Dr. Dare’s Laboratory on your next visit to the science center.


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FLHSR

Florida is on track to open America’s first High Speed Rail service in 2015. The trains first route will connect the Orlando International Airport to Downtown Tampa. “Trains are projected to reach speeds of at least 168 mph.”

high-speed-rail

The rail lines are planned to run along I-4, between the east and west bound traffic. Future lines to Miami include one to run along Florida’s Turnpike, and the other to connect Brevard Counties Shores.

Along with the Orlando Sunrail, expected to open in 2013, this will change the way Central Floridians get around. As Mayor Buddy Dyer put it, “No where in America has any area gone from basically no rail, to such a great system.”

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For More information on Florida High Speed Rail, or the Orlando Sun Rail visit there websites listed below. Also visit the My Fox Orlando site for a video.

http://www.floridahighspeedrail.org/

http://www.dot.state.fl.us/planning/economicstimulus/hsr/

http://www.sunrail.com/

http://www.myfoxorlando.com/dpp/traffic/092310bullet-train-plans-in-motion?CMP=201010_emailshare


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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