Oh what a night!

Star Party2015 promises to be an amazing year to spend some warm evenings outside looking at the moon, the stars, at least ten meteor showers, and other astronomical events. To help kick off your stargazing activities; the Greensboro Science Center will be hosting a Star Party on April 24th at 8 PM as a part of the NC Science Festival. This is a free event open to the public. We will have a number of telescopes set up in our parking lot and experts to help point the way. You may also want to bring a pair of binoculars or your own telescope. And as if that isn’t enough excitement for one night…the Greensboro Science Center will be hosting a special program entitled The Secret Life of Penguins as part of its second annual Tuxedo Trot (see previous post for details). The insightful presentation shows the audience the facts and some strange tidbits about these fascinating birds. A Greensboro Science Center Senior Zookeeper will be on hand to reveal secrets about the Center’s own bird colony. As a special treat, a live penguin will be joining the event for what promises to be a very memorable evening.

Carmen and Kuechly: Panther Fans

Carmen and Kuechly: Panther Fans

This special addition to the Tuxedo Trot will be held on April 24th from 7-8pm at the Greensboro Science Center. Tickets to The Secret Life of Penguins are $5 for runners and $10 for non-runners. Tickets can be purchased online with race registration or by calling the Greensboro Science Center at 336-288-3769. All proceeds – 100% – from both the Tuxedo Trot and The Secret Life of Penguins will be donated to The Southern African Foundations for Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB). SANCCOB is a non-profit organization devoted to conserving seabirds, especially threatened species such as the African penguin. SANCCOB’s primary objective is to conserve African penguins and other seabirds through rescue, rehabilitation and release of ill, injured, abandoned and oiled birds. Additional registration information can be found online at http://www.tuxedotrot.com.

For the Birds…

Tuxedo TrotDo you want an event that is for the birds: penguins specifically? Then the Tuxedo Trot hosted by the Greensboro Science Center is for you!

The second annual Tuxedo Trot: Run for the Penguins, will be held on Saturday, April 25th, which coincides with World Penguin Day. The Tuxedo Trot is a 5K and Kids’ Fun Run event whose proceeds benefit the conservation of African penguins.

The 5K will begin at 8am at the Greensboro Science Center, located at 4301 Lawndale Drive. Whitney Way Thore, Greensboro native and local celebrity will be starting the race this year.

The route for the 5K will take participants around the scenic Country Park loop twice. The course is very spectator-friendly, so bring your own cheerleaders!

Prizes will be awarded for top finishers. Along with the chance to win awesome prizes, registrants will receive an amazing race T-shirt (T-shirts are only guaranteed for the first 500 registrants – so register early!), a fun souvenir, and the satisfaction that comes with helping save a species Registration for the 5K is $40 until April 23rd at 9am. Registration is $45 at packet pick up and the day of the event.

Participants will also receive admission to the Greensboro Science Center on race day to enjoy – among other things – the playful antics of the Center’s very own African penguins.

Random drawings will be held too – so everyone has a chance to win something special. Prizes include penguin encounters, penguin paintings, gift certificates, and gift baskets generously donated by local businesses.

The Kids’ Fun Run begins at 9am. It is designed for children 10 years old and younger. The course for this event winds through the Center’s Animal Discovery Zoo. It will include a series of fun obstacles for participants to navigate around, including Lemur Limbo and the Hay Bale Hop. Registration for the 5K is $20 until April 23rd at 9am. Registration is $25 at packet pick up and the day of the event.

Participants are encouraged to dress like a penguin – whether it is a simple black and white outfit, an actual tuxedo, or event feathers and a beak! Prizes will be awarded for best costume, so be sure you dress to impress.

Tuxedo Trot Participants

2014 Tuxedo Trot Participants

Introducing Kuechly

We, here at the Greensboro Science Center, are getting excited for Super Bowl XLIX this weekend! Perhaps no one is more excited than our most adorable football fan, little Kuechly.

Kuechly On Her Panthers Blanket

Kuechly On Her Panthers Blanket

Even though our beloved Carolina Panthers won’t be playing on Sunday, Panther Pride is certainly still alive and well at the GSC… In fact, we support our home team so much that we’ve named a penguin after one of our favorite team’s players… Meet Kuechly (pictured below with her sibling at about 10 days old), who was born on December 8, 2014 to penguin parents Pilchard and Possession.

Kuechly and Her Clutch-Mate

Kuechly and Her Clutch-Mate

You might be wondering why we named this little girl after Kuechly instead of another Panther. Well… let’s just say our lead penguin keeper MAY have just a SLIGHT crush on the real Luke Kuechly. Her birds, her rules, right? (Don’t worry, fiancé Drew… she assures us her heart is still yours.)

Carmen and Kuechly: Panther Fans

Carmen and Kuechly: Panther Fans

Luke Kuechly, if you’re reading this… We’d like to invite you to come meet little Kuechly! Just let us know when your schedule allows and we’ll set up a penguin meet and greet with your namesake. We’d also love for you to join us for our second annual Tuxedo Trot on April 25, 2015 (World Penguin Day). It’s a 5K and fun run we’ve created to raise money for SANCCOB, a non-profit organization devoted to saving endangered wild African penguins. Check it out here: http://www.tuxedotrot.com/

Please note: Kuechly is not on exhibit just yet. She’s still growing in her waterproof feathers and will join the rest of her colony when she sharpens her swimming skills!

Come Jam with Us!

On Saturday, January 24, the Greensboro Science Center will be transformed into an island oasis for Pajama Jam, sponsored by Chick-fil-A. From 6:00 – 9:00pm, families are invited to escape winter’s wrath and join us for a Caribbean themed pajama party featuring great games, live music, awesome activities and tasty treats courtesy of Chick-fil-A.

Pajama Jam

Pajama Jam

Join the Conga line, show off your best dance moves or play Driftwood Limbo to cool Caribbean beats played live on a steel drum. Play penguin bowling, surfboard ring toss and go fishing for great prizes. Get a temporary tattoo and make cool crafts to remember the night!

Underwater adventures await party-goers in the OmniSphere Theater. You’ll also be able to meet some entertaining aquatic animals in the SciQuarium!

Chick-fil-A Cows will be grazing through the Center, dressed in their best jammies, ready to pose for photos! After all of these exciting games, crafts and activities, guests are sure to have worked up an appetite! Well, have no fear… Chick-fil-A will be serving up snacks free of charge to participants.

Admission to the Pajama Jam is $10 (plus tax) for Greensboro Science Center Members and $12 (plus tax) for Non-Members. Children 2 and under are free. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased on site or over the phone at 336-288-3769. Capacity is limited but walk-ups are welcome, based on ticket availability.

Be sure to dress in your best pajamas (you too, grown-ups!) and jam with us at the Pajama Jam!

It’s COLD Outside!

There’s no denying it. It’s just plain cold outside today. When the temperatures drop, Greensboro Science Center visitors tend to (understandably) plan their day around access to heat and hot coffee. So, for those of you who are considering a visit this winter, we thought we’d help you out by answering a common question we receive this time of year: What’s the best way to enjoy the Greensboro Science Center when cold temperatures arrive?

We recommend starting your day in The Fresh Market Café with a cup of hot coffee and maybe a muffin to warm up after the chilly trek in from the parking lot. From there, take some time to explore the museum while you wait for the temperatures to warm up. Starting in the lower level of the museum, check out some amazing reptiles and amphibians – from an ancient alligator snapping turtle to colorful (and quick) dart frogs, there are a variety of animals to learn about and enjoy. Don’t miss a visitor favorite – the two-headed turtle!

Triceratops in the Dinosaur Gallery

Triceratops!

Upstairs, you’ll have the chance to enter an ancient world as you stand next to a T. rex, stegosaurus and triceratops in the dinosaur gallery. Check out some amazing fossils from different eras in our planet’s history and watch some entertaining and educational short videos featuring Indiana Bones!

In the Extreme Weather Gallery, you can experience all types of extreme weather… including bitter cold… without setting food outside! Grab a Category 5 hurricane with your bare hands, attract electricity as you reach for lightning and feel the force of a tornado as you explore the fury and fun of Mother Nature.

In HealthQuest, you can explore your insides with entertaining and educational interactive experiences. Pick a giant nose, smell intestinal gas and force vomit from a gut… all in the name of science, of course. After learning about how the choices you make effect your health, take a break for a nutritious lunch at The Fresh Market Café.

In the afternoon, if the chill doesn’t keep you indoors, make your way out to Animal Discovery Zoo. Keep in mind as you’re visiting that if it’s really chilly, many animals may be in the indoor part of their exhibits. Several species are just like you; they don’t want to be outside in these cold temperatures all day. Many of our animals enjoy access to their heated homes and some – like crocodiles and tortoises – will stay inside all winter for their safety…. they simply weren’t made to withstand cold temperatures.

On the coldest days, tigers may be the only outdoor exhibit where you’re likely to see animals. The Discovery House, home to small, friendly mammals, birds, and reptiles, is also open for visitors to enjoy. Docents may be on hand to allow guests to touch some of our friendly critters.

Tiger in snow

Tiger in snow

Cold afternoons are a great time to sit back, relax and take in a film. The OmniSphere Theater offers a different show each hour. From undersea exploits to sky-high adventures, there are a variety of films to choose from. The schedule changes several times throughout the year, so be sure to check our website for the current schedule.

And even though it’s cold outside, it’s always warm in the SciQuarium! Wrap up your day enjoying the antics of African penguins, rare fishing cats and a Caribbean reef community featuring sharks, stingrays, eels and more. You’ll want to be sure to catch at least one Animal Experience – for example, a penguin feeding, otter enrichment or shark feeding. Although the schedule is subject to change, you can find our daily schedule on our website.

Fish in Amazon Edge

Fish in Amazon Edge

So, back to the question at hand… What’s the best way to enjoy the Greensboro Science Center when cold temperatures arrive? In short, we recommend you wear a hat, bring your family along, and experience the indoor offerings you’re often too busy to enjoy when visiting in warmer weather!

Casper, the Friendly Goat

Although he’s not yet on exhibit, we couldn’t resist introducing you to Casper the Friendly Goat this Halloween.

Casper

Casper, the friendly goat

Casper is an approximately 6 month old Nubian Goat adopted by the Greensboro Science Center earlier this week. Around 2 months ago, Casper was surrendered to the Guilford County Animal Shelter after being attacked by a dog. The shelter called Red Dog Farm, a local non-profit organization dedicated to the rehabilitation, fostering and adoption of animals of all sizes. The organization took Casper in and paired him with Dick Young, a foster parent, to recover from his injuries and prepare for adoption.

Casper

Casper

Dick took great care of Casper. When he first arrived at his foster home, he was injured, skinny and skittish. Dick worked with a veterinarian to treat his wounds, beef him up a bit, and help him become more sociable. Now, he seems to really enjoy being around people and should be a great addition to the Center’s Friendly Farm.

Jessica Hoffman, the Center’s Curator of Birds and Mammals, said she has been waiting quite some time for a Nubian Goat to adopt. A dairy goat known for its characteristic floppy ears, the Nubian goat is typically an affectionate animal who likes people.

Due to his young age, zookeepers are hopeful that Casper will have fun testing his skills on the agility challenges recently added to the petting zoo area by Johnson Controls. Casper is currently in quarantine, so be sure to stay tuned to our Facebook page for more information about when he’ll be joining the other goats in the Friendly Farm. You’ll be able to easily identify him… our Nigerian goats are all dark in color while Casper, as his name suggests, is white as a ghost!

Casper

Casper is white as a ghost!

Javan Gibbon Duke Off Exhibit

Members and Visitors:

Duke, the Center’s beloved juvenile gibbon, will be off exhibit for a few weeks. Like a rambunctious young boy, he broke his arm and is now being treated by staff and our highly trained in-house veterinarian. The broken bone will be repaired by an orthopedic specialist at the NCSU Vet School.

If you want to help, please donate NEW towels and blankets, which Duke loves to nestle with. Monetary donations are also accepted.