Tigers Return to Greensboro

On Friday, January 10, 2020, two-year-old Sumatran tiger brothers, Rocky and Jaggar arrived at the Greensboro Science Center (GSC) from Florida’s Jacksonville Zoo. The pair is currently being housed behind the scenes as they acclimate to their new surroundings. An exhibit debut date has not yet been determined.

Jessica Hoffman-Balder, the GSC’s VP of Animal Care and Welfare says, “Rocky and Jaggar arrived safe and sound Friday afternoon. They did very well with transport and settled in quickly to their new home.”

VIDEO: Tigers arrive at Greensboro Science Center

The GSC’s tiger exhibit has gone through extensive renovations over the past two years. The original holding facility was completely rebuilt to support a breeding pair of tigers, which allows the GSC to actively participate in the Sumatran tiger Species Survival Plan (SSP) in the future. The new building features four individual rooms that can be combined as needed to form larger rooms. This allows for a future denning space – as well as a separate area for mom and cubs if a breeding recommendation is received from the SSP.

The exhibit space itself has also seen significant changes. Waterfalls, bridges, rocks, scratching posts, climbing structures, shade structures and a cave have all been recently added. In addition to providing guests with a more aesthetically pleasing view, animal care staff hope these changes will provide the animals with plenty of mental and physical stimulation.

Rocky and Jaggar will spend the foreseeable future adjusting to their new home and keepers. They’ll slowly be granted access to the exhibit space to explore their surroundings while the GSC is closed. Once the animal care team is confident the animals are well adjusted and ready to meet the public, an official opening date will be announced.

2020 Trivia Night Dates Announced!!!

The Greensboro Science Center (GSC) is excited to announce the dates for seven Trivia Night events coming to its Science Advancement through Innovative Learning (SAIL) Center in 2020. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and trivia will begin at 7:00 p.m. on each of the following evenings:

  • January 14
  • February 11
  • March 10
  • April 14
  • September 8
  • October 13
  • November 10

Participants are encouraged to form team of up to six individuals. Trivia is divided into three rounds made up of 10 questions each. Each round is themed differently to cover a variety of topics, but science is always featured prominently.

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Jessica Gouge, the GSC’s Events Manager, says, “We’re excited to begin a new year of Trivia Night events! We are hoping these free, after-hours opportunities will become fun, regular outings for members of our community. There will be plenty of opportunity for all types of knowledge, from science to pop culture, so we encourage everyone to give it a try and see if they can win the Golden Flamingo!”

Trivia Nights are free to attend and complimentary snacks and drinks are provided.

Run for Penguins at the Greensboro Science Center

GREENSBORO, NC — Registration for the Greensboro Science Center’s (GSC) 7th annual Tuxedo Trot: Run for the Penguins, sponsored by Greensboro Pediatricians, is now open. This 5K and Kids’ Fun Run will take place on Saturday, April 25. The 5K begins at 8:00 a.m. and the Kids’ Fun Run begins at 9:00 a.m. 100% of event proceeds will be donated to African penguin conservation efforts.

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Registration fees for the 5K are as follows:

  • $25 through February 29, 2020
  • $30 from March 1 through noon on April 23, 2020
  • $35 at packet pick-up and on race day

Registration fees for the Kids’ Fun Run are as follows:

  • $15 through noon on April 23, 2020
    $20 at packet pick-up and on race day

In 2019, the event raised $9,186.50, which was donated to the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB). Since this event’s inception in 2014, $60,000 has been donated to SANCCOB for the conservation of wild African penguins.

Kelli Crawford, Tuxedo Trot Race Director says, “In April, I attended the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Mid-Year Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. After a meeting for African Penguin SAFE – a program designed to save this species from extinction – I had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Stephen van der Spuy, CEO at SANCCOB. After introducing myself and explaining where I work, he immediately mentioned the Tuxedo Trot and remarked how incredible it is that people in North Carolina dress up like penguins and run 3.1 miles to support the birds he and his team care for in South Africa. From halfway around the world, you are helping us make a difference for these charismatic black and white birds who need our help. And you are supporting the work of a great team who devote their lives to their care. We look forward to seeing you on race day!”

Registration and sponsorships are available online at www.tuxedotrot.com.

Greensboro Science Center Debuts Hands-On Harley-Davidson Exhibit on January 25

Hands-On Harley-DavidsonTM, a traveling exhibit created by the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum in partnership with the Harley-Davidson Motor Company, is coming to the Greensboro Science Center (GSC) this January. GSC members and members of the media are invited to preview the exhibit on Friday, January 24, 2020 from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. The exhibit will open to all GSC guests on Saturday, January 25, 2020 and remain open through May 17, 2020.

Hands-On-Harley-Davidson

In conjunction with the exhibit, the GSC is partnering with Riding High Harley-Davidson to provide children ages 3 – 7 the opportunity to test drive an IRONe Electric Balance Bike. The Riding High Harley-Davidson Electric Balance Bike Experience will be offered during the following times for the length of the exhibit:

  • Saturdays: 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m., 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Sundays: 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m., 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Please note: a parent or legal guardian must accompany children and sign a waiver in order to participate in this experience.

Hands-On Harley-Davidson invites children to participate in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) activities as they explore a pretend motorcycle dealership featuring two kid-sized motorcycles inspired by a Harley-Davidson Road King®.

Guests will have the opportunity to “Dream It!,” “Build It!” and “Ride It!” as they create a motorcycle using interchangeable custom motor parts and accessories, including seats, saddle bags, mirrors, and a variety of engine components. Once their bike is built, children can gear-up, climb on and select interactive videos that provide a first-person riding experience. Working turn signals, audio and wind effects, and a throttle that controls the speed of the ride complete the experience. An international map and computer activity provides math challenges and maintenance information for fuel, exhaust and other systems to ensure a safe trip.

The pretend dealership’s service department shows children a video of real mechanics hard at work. Outside the dealership, a second bike with interchangeable parts and costumes lets children role-play as a motorcycle-riding community service-officer, and includes a “see yourself” component along with opportunities to learn about traffic safety, protective gear and preparing for a trip.

Admission to Hands-On Harley-Davidson as well as the Riding High Harley-Davidson Electric Balance Bike Experience is free with general admission or GSC membership. General admission is $14.50 for adults ages 14 – 64, $13.50 for children ages 3 – 13, and $13.50 for seniors ages 65+. Children 2 and under are free.

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About the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum

The Betty Brinn Children’s Museum is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to providing educational resources that promote the healthy development of children in their formative years – from birth to age 10. The Museum’s mission is supported by the development of hands-on exhibits and programs for children, and adult education programs that focus on early childhood brain development, learning styles, parenting skills and how the Museum environment can be used to promote a young child’s cognitive, emotional, social and physical growth.

About The Harley-Davidson Foundation and Harley-Davidson

The Harley-Davidson Foundation seeks to meet the basic needs of the communities where we work, improve the lives of our stakeholders and encourage social responsibility. Established in 1993, The Foundation pursues partnerships with charitable organizations focused on education, health and the environment. For more information, see http://www.harley-davidson.com.

Harley-Davidson Motor Company produces heavyweight custom, cruiser and touring motorcycles and offers a complete line of Harley-Davidson motorcycle parts, accessories, riding gear and apparel, and general merchandise. For more information, visit Harley-Davidson’s website at http://www.harley-davidson.com. 

About the Greensboro Science Center

The Greensboro Science Center is a premier family attraction in North Carolina that offers the state’s first accredited inland aquarium, a hands-on science museum, an accredited Animal Discovery Zoological Park, a state-of-the-art OmniSphere Theater, and SKYWILD, an animal-inspired treetop adventure park. The GSC is also NC’s only dually accredited AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) and AAM (American Alliance of Museums) science attraction – an honor only 14 attractions in the nation can claim. The Greensboro Science Center is located at 4301 Lawndale Drive in Greensboro and is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization. For more information, visit http://www.greensboroscience.org.

Conservation in Action: Mona Rhino Iguana Survey

Post by Lindsey Zarecky, VP of Conservation & Research

During the month of October, four GSC staff members journeyed to the Caribbean to participate in a laborious data collection study to help protect the endangered Mona iguana. Mona Island, affectionately referred to as the Galapagos of the Caribbean, is home to many rare and endemic species. This 34-square-mile island is located between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic on the Mona Passage.

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One of the endangered species on the island is the Mona Rhino iguana. This large-bodied, slow-growing, ancient-looking lizard thrives in the hot, humid environment found on the island. Today Mona does not have any permanent residents as it is a difficult island with no freshwater access, tough terrain, and unfriendly vegetation. But, humans have lived there in the past, utilizing the many caves on the island. And, explorers visited in the past and brought with them other vertebrate species, which are now a major threat to the iguanas and other native wildlife. Feral pigs, cats, goats, and rats threaten the future for the iguanas as they predate on the eggs, hatchlings and juvenile iguanas, compete for resources, and destroy nesting habitat.

Over 20 years ago a population survey was completed and estimated there to be around 5,000 iguanas. This is a very low count compared to similar iguanas on other islands. Even more concerning is the lack of recruitment by the species, with only 5-10% of the population being juveniles. In order to enact change and remove invasive species, we first need to understand the population.

Therefore, in October 2019 GSC staff joined our Puerto Rican partners on Mona Island. After a 6-hour boat ride, our team arrived on Mona Island – a towering rock of limestone, greenery, soil and sand. Eight teams of two people set out to lay 200-meter-long transects around the island in a randomized pattern. Those transects were then surveyed over the next three weeks. Every iguana seen while walking the transect was counted and included in the study. Each transect was surveyed multiple times and data is currently being compiled. The same survey will be replicated in October 2020.

Staff had the opportunity to experience the beauty and challenges found on Mona Island. The terrain is jagged and unforgiving. The temperature is hot, the bugs voracious, and the cacti are prevalent. But, there were also moments of wonder and beauty as we stepped on rock very few others have or will ever get to explore. The endemic plants and animals provided rare photobook memories. And the people we worked with were just wonderful and by far a highlight of our experience.

For many years, the GSC has been informing guests about conservation of species. But providing a hands-on, field experience in such a physically and mentally demanding island left lasting impressions on the staff who participated. We can only hope this work and the work we will do next year provide the data needed to support our goal of protecting Mona iguanas through removal of vertebrate invasive species. Stay tuned – we will continue to bring you more information about the great conservation work and scientific research taking at the GSC.

Final Sensory Friendly Night of 2019 Scheduled for November 19

GREENSBORO, NC — On Tuesday, November 19 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., the Greensboro Science Center (GSC) will host its final Sensory Friendly Night of 2019. This after-hours event is designed specifically for guests with sensory-related challenges, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, and their families.

Martha Regester, VP of Education, says, “We want everyone to experience science adventures at the Greensboro Science Center, and we know that sometimes the noise, lights, sounds, and smells – and crowds – can be overwhelming. We are really excited to open our doors with a more relaxed night for families with someone whose autism or anxiety makes a visit more challenging during regular operating hours.”

Sensory Friendly Night tickets are free for GSC members and $5 per person for non-members ages 3 and older. Children 2 and younger are free. Tickets can be purchased on site at the GSC’s admission window the evening of the event. Tickets include admission to the GSC’s museum and aquarium, with special quiet and activity zones, games, and sensory backpacks available for loan. The zoo will not be open.

Guests are encouraged to visit the GSC’s website to access downloadable materials that will help prepare for the evening’s activities. Downloadable resources include a map that highlights locations of exhibits and activities as well as locations with sensory extremes, such as loud noises, unusual smells, and bright or dark lighting conditions. A printable photo board denoting the activities available through the evening is also available so guests can build their own schedule prior to arrival. A social narrative is available to prepare guests about what they can expect during their visit.

Although November 19 is the final Sensory Friendly Night for 2019, the GSC is planning to continue these inclusive science opportunities in 2020. 2019 Sensory Friendly Night events have been made possible by the Lincoln Financial Foundation. Special thanks goes to the University of North Carolina TEACCH Autism Program for GSC staff training as well as the Autism Society of North Carolina for their support of this program.

 

Greensboro Science Center Honors Members of the Military with Free Admission Veterans Day Weekend

GREENSBORO, NC — In honor of Veterans Day, the Greensboro Science Center (GSC) is offering free admission to veterans as well as active duty and retired military personnel from November 9, 2019 – November 11, 2019. Guests accompanying service members will receive reduced admission of $12.50 (plus tax) per person. A valid Veteran or Military ID is required.

In addition, veterans, military personnel and their guests are invited to participate on the GSC’s high ropes course, SKYWILD, for the reduced rate of $35 per person. Participants may reserve their adventures online at skywild.org using code THANKS19. A valid Veteran or Military ID must be presented at check-in.

Erin Sherrill, Guest Services Operations Manager, says, “We could never thank our military members enough for all that they have done for our great country. The GSC looks forward to hosting these individuals and their families during this very special time of year.”