About greensborosciencecenter

The Greensboro Science Center offers three fascinating attractions in one wild destination! We are the only facility in North Carolina that offers an aquarium, museum, and zoo. Spend the day with us and come nose to beak with playful penguins, get eye to eye with awesome otters, explore the human body, experience Mother Nature’s fury and fun, and encounter exotic animals like gibbons, meerkats, and lemurs!

Volunteer Spotlight – Linda W.

Linda W. has been a dedicated volunteer with the Greensboro Science Center since October of 2016. She got her start in the Zoo Docent program, and by the fall of 2017, Linda was adding to her range of experiences. “In addition to being a Zoo Docent, I am also a Tier 2 Docent. This allows me to work with Keeper Carolyn in the Discovery House in animal husbandry, as well as to participate on two socialization teams. I also mentor new members and am a current Animal Encounter Team member,” Linda says.

Volunteer Spotlight | Linda Woodruff

With a wide variety of roles to choose from, Linda is quite the regular at the GSC. “Depending on my schedule, I try to volunteer twice a week — sometimes more.” With that additional time, Linda has pursued advanced programs with us. Individuals who are interested in our advanced programs must be active Docents who have volunteered with either our Aquarium or Zoo Docent programs for at least six months and have exceeded their shift minimums. Linda applied and interviewed for each program before being chosen.

A native of Lubbock, Texas, Linda recalls how she became so involved at the GSC. “A few years ago, when I worked in Greensboro, I discovered the GSC and would visit during my lunch hour, just to ‘de-stress’ and enjoy all of the exhibits and animals. I was so impressed with the passion and knowledge of the Docents and their enthusiasm about the Greensboro Science Center that I knew at some point, I wanted to become a volunteer.” Since then, Linda has accrued over 340 volunteer hours at the GSC.

When asked what Linda appreciates about our volunteer program, she stated, “It is amazing and geared to all individuals, regardless of age or background. The flexibility to create your own schedule allows each volunteer to commit to just the basic requirement or to take it to the next level and beyond, depending on the areas that excite and interest you.”

Although Linda has progressed to where she gets to spend time behind the scenes of the GSC, she still finds the core reasons for volunteering satisfying and fun. She says, “Engaging with the public during my Docent shift is especially rewarding. I have met people from several different states and countries and even got to try out my limited Norwegian vocabulary with some children from Oslo.”

In reflecting on her time in the Volunteer Program, Linda mentions, “I can honestly say that I have never encountered such a ‘welcoming’ facility and group of people where all staff members are eager to make you a success in your volunteer endeavor.”

For us here at the GSC, we are proud of and grateful for our volunteers, like Linda, who dedicate so much of their personal time to the education of our community and conservation of our world. Linda adds, “Looking back on the short two years I have been volunteering at the GSC, it is a certainty that I have benefited much more in relation to the time I give each month.”

Conservation Creation: Terrific Turtles

Ever wonder what the difference is between a turtle and a tortoise? To answer this, you must first know that all tortoises are turtles, but not all turtles are tortoises. This is because all tortoises and turtles belong to the Testudine family, meaning they are reptiles with a hard shell. However, turtles break off into other smaller families (dependent upon their traits). The most obvious difference is that tortoises only live on land, while turtles will spend at least some of the time, if not a majority of their life, in the water. Another distinguishing characteristic is that tortoises are herbivores (vegetarians), while turtles are omnivores, eating both plants and living creatures like insects.

While there are several differences between tortoises and turtles, one thing they have in common is their need for protection. Due to their hard outer shell, these animals are well equipped to protect themselves from the natural predators who see them as a potential meal. However, they are not prepared to save themselves from human threats (like habitat loss). This is why it is important to make sure that we don’t disturb wild turtles or tortoises when we see them and make sure to keep pets like cats and dogs inside so that they don’t become a potential predator for one of our shelled friends. We can also help by being cautious drivers. Many turtles have an internal homing sense and desire to stay close to their original home. This sometimes means crossing roads to find food or potential mates, then returning home. If you do see a turtle in the road and want to help, make sure that you move them to the side they are trying to get to, and only do this if you are safely able to do so.

Now… for some fun! This month, we will show you how to use bottles to make a turtle bank! If you want to take an extra step to help turtles and tortoises, consider donating to the following organizations, which we also support here at the Greensboro Science Center:

The Orianne Society: Nonprofit dedicated to the conservation of reptiles, amphibians, and the lands they inhabit.

The Turtle Survival Alliance : Nonprofit dedicated to conserving struggling turtle and tortoise populations through a variety of techniques including breeding programs and habitat protection.

 

DIY Steps

What you will need: plastic bottles, scissors, glue, fun foam or craft felt, a marker, craft supplies of your choice, and an X-ACTO knife or sharp blade (using adult assistance).

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Step 1: Using the X-ACTO knife, cut off the bottom of a plastic bottle, then use scissors to smooth out the edge.

Step 2: Place the bottom of the plastic bottle on top of your foam or felt, then use your marker to trace a circle around it.

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Step 3: Use your marker to draw a tail, a head and feet on to the circle, then cut out your turtle shape.

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Step 4: Put glue on the rim of the plastic bottle bottom from earlier and place it on top of your turtle base. Allow it to dry.

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Step 5: Use your X-ACTO knife to make a small slit in the bottom of your turtle.

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Step 6: Get creative! Add your own decorations to your turtle’s shell. If you use glue to adhere your embellishments, make sure to allow everything to dry before using your bank. You can also use your creation to store small household items such as buttons, screws or headphones!

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Greensboro Science Center Celebrates World Oceans Day

WOD-Instagram-STDOn Saturday, June 8, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., the Greensboro Science Center (GSC) is celebrating our oceans with special activities designed to commemorate World Oceans Day. Guests are encouraged to come dressed in their best Hawaiian shirt and sun hat to celebrate this year’s theme: Together We Can Protect and Restore Our Ocean.

Participants will learn how we can work together to create cleaner oceans and a better future. Activities include a creek clean-up, a bubble station, crafts, educational aquarium talks, and fun giveaways. Octonauts and Dr. Seuss coloring pages, as well as ocean-themed temporary tattoos, will also be available.

In addition to the activities outlined above, partners from throughout the community will be on site offering additional activities and demonstrations, including:

  • Greensboro Recycling will show guests how to reduce use of single-use plastics.
  • Stormwater SMART will allow guests to explore human impact on the water cycle.
  • Air Awareness will demonstrate light bulb efficiency.
  • Greensboro Water Bar will offer samples of water sourced from across the county.
  • Reconsidered Goods will show guests how to make recycled plastic bottle cap lei necklaces.
  • Haw River Assembly will join GSC staff in leading a creek clean up and macroinvertebrate study.

Educational talks throughout the day include:

  • 10:00 a.m. – Penguin Feeding
  • 11:00 a.m. – Shark Reef Dive
  • 3:30 p.m. – Penguin Feeding
  • 4:00 p.m. – Shark Reef Feeding

World Oceans Day activities are 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.

Merging Art & Science: Bringing Back the Bison

Guest blog by long-time GSC supporter and Board Member, Gary Brown

Do you remember local artist Ogden Deal’s “American Bison” sculpture? Many recall it as an icon that once graced the entrance to the Country Park Zoo starting back in 1971.

Bison #3

The Sculpture’s History

The Greensboro Junior Museum, founded in 1957 by the Junior League and the Greensboro Parks and Recreation Department, hired a full-time CEO, Edward Von der Lippe, in 1966, who began developing a small petting zoo as part of the museum. In addition, live bison were incorporated into the facility, which became the Natural Science Center of Greensboro in 1972. Hundreds, if not thousands, of children had their pictures taken seated on the bronze “American Bison” over the years.

The Issue

Over time, unfortunately, weather has taken its toll on the amazingly detailed copper and bronze “skin”, which covers an armature (or framework) of bones comprised of welded steel rebar. In 2007, I took a series of close-up photographs of erosion of the metal on the legs, exposing rusted rebar, and began consulting with several local artists to review options for repairs. However, we were not successful in finding someone who felt they had the expertise for the task. We ultimately became concerned for the safety of Animal Discovery Zoo (which was the sculpture’s most recent location at the GSC) visitors, especially children, so in November 2013, the bison was taken off site to a pasture to keep company with a herd of cows.

Click here to see up-close photos of the sculpture’s erosion.

The Solution

When I became involved with the Rotary Carousel building project, it occurred to me that with the amount of space in that building, it would be an ideal location for the “American Bison” to be on display and used as a photo opportunity. I knew that the Rotary Carousel, LLC was already planning to have a Rotary International horse on display as a stationary animal (separate from the carousel) to be used also as a photo opportunity. With the exotic animal theme of the carousel, it seemed that the bison would only be a natural fit.

Jim Gallucci is a very well-known and accomplished sculptor in Greensboro, whose excellent work I became familiar with through Greensboro Beautiful, Inc. I called Jim and explained the background of the “American Bison” and that I wanted his opinion about restoration possibilities. Jim was quite excited and shared that Ogden Deal was the guy who was most responsible for Jim getting established as a metal sculptor in Greensboro. Ogden got him included in an artist’s show at the Courthouse, once upon a time. He also said he was familiar with, and had repaired, a number of Ogden’s pieces over the years. Gallucci met me at the site the next day and was excited to see the bison. After a very detailed and thorough examination, he went through a long list of what needed to be done to reinforce it and put it back into its original splendor. He said it would be about two months of work but that it would be a valuable piece once restored.

When I asked him the bottom line, he indicated it was over $25k of work that he would do for $15k. Given the fact that I firmly believed that Jim was the one guy we can trust to do it “right”, I had no hesitation about moving forward. He is close to completing the project and now says that with over 300 man hours of work, the total “cost” will be about $33k, with him providing an “in-kind” gift of the $18k in excess of our agreed upon price.

Bison #5

About the Artist

I located Ogden Deal’s son, Chuck, who was extremely excited (as now is his brother Jeff), and said that he had a lot of old pictures of the bison being constructed as well as the original miniature wooden model that his dad used as a guide. We also discussed the great number of other sculptures that Ogden Deal created in our community: O.Henry as a Child, the bust of Edward R. Murrow, a number of Greensboro park sculptures, several turtles and frogs in Country Park, etc. See the attached list of Ogden Deal sculptures in Greensboro dating back to 1968.

He continued sculpting for another 12+ years until his death in 1985, and much of his work is in public spaces in Greensboro. Ogden Deal was also a highly-regarded Guilford County Commissioner.

The Greensboro Works of Ogden Deal

TITLE:    "Strong Song"

DATE:     1966

LOCATION: 301 N. Elm Street (U. S. Trust Center)
TITLE:    "Anthem" 7’ Steel Sculpture

DATE:     1968

LOCATION: West Market & Friendly Crossover
TITLE:    “Metaphor" 12’ Steel Sculpture                  

DATE:     May 1970

LOCATION: Youth Plaza located at the intersection of Lindey, 
Summit and Church 

COMMENTS: Known as the Youth Plaza because it was financed and 
undertaken by the Greensboro Youth Council and the Greensboro 
Beautiful Committee to honor our youth. A unique part of the 
sculpture is the foundation composed of a mosaic of hands that 
are actual prints of hands of teenagers who worked so diligently 
on the project.
TITLE:    "Edward R. Murrow" Over life-size Bronze Bust                      
DATE:     1970

LOCATION: 130 Summit Avenue (Greensboro Historical Museum Garden)
TITLE:    "Fishing Man"

DATE:     1970

LOCATION: Hagan-Stone Park Marina (Pleasant Garden, NC)
TITLE:    "American Bison"

DATE:     1971

LOCATION: Country Park Zoo Entrance

COMMENTS: Sculpture is life size, approximately 6' high and 8' 
in length. The bison has become a symbol of ecological concern, 
because of its past brush with near-extinction due to slaughter.
TITLE:    "O.Henry as a Boy" Sculpture

DATE:     1972

LOCATION: 130 Summit Avenue (Greensboro Historical Museum Garden)
TITLE:    "Alphorm" Sculpture

DATE:     1972

LOCATION: Blanche Benjamin Branch Library

COMMENTS: Sculpture is an "ABC" (in flowering form) stacked on top 
of each other. The name is derived from the two words "alphabetic 
form."

Get Involved

Donate to the restoration of the “American Bison” sculpture by clicking here.

Museum Week – Women In Culture

This year, Museum Week is all about Women In Culture, so it’s the perfect time to tell you about one of our very own wonderful women, Laura!

Laura Adamonis | Takeover Tuesday 145.JPG

Laura, the GSC’s Robotics Coordinator

As the Robotics Coordinator at the GSC, Laura maintains robotics classrooms for kids age 5-14 years old, creating class themes and lesson plans. She’s also involved in our YAM (Young Adult Mentor), Robotic Ambassadors and Teacher Assistants programs – programs designed for students who have aged out of our camps and classes but would like to remain involved in robotics through volunteering their time to help with teams and classes.

We took a few minutes with Laura to hear about the role of women in our culture.

What does the GSC do to support girls in STEM and what specifically is your role in this?

At the GSC, we support girls in STEM by providing classes in brick building, programming, design, coding, and a girls-only FIRST Lego League team, the Flying Robo Puggles. We also support up to five FIRST Lego League teams and four FIRST Lego League Jr. teams, open to all students. As the GSC’s Robotics Coordinator, I directly provide support to all of these initiatives.

Why do you think it’s important to encourage girls to get involved with STEM?

I think it’s important to encourage girls to get involved with STEM because as they get older, they’ll need confidence to share their ideas. Traditionally, there’s often a focus on male ideas and points of view, more so than the female perspective. As a society, we still have this bias but need to get to a point where gender doesn’t matter. What matters, instead, is a person’s skills and knowledge.

Can you share a success story?

Meenakshi Singh is a young lady who came to the GSC to join the girls-only Flying Robo Puggles in 2012. She spent three years on the team, then became a YAM for four years. As a YAM, she shared her experience being on a team and supported the students with their ideas and projects. This year, Meenaskshi is graduating high school from NC A&T STEM Early College and was a member of FIRST Tech Competition (FTC) team, Wannabee Strange, where she was one of the main robot programmers over the last two years. It has been so wonderful to watch Meenakshi share her love of robotics and to see her find her passions in life. Meenakshi will be attending MIT in the fall to study electrical engineering and computer science.

Left: Meenakshi working on coding the robot. Right: Meenakshi and her FTC team.

Read about Meenakshi’s personal experience here.

How does it make you feel to see girls like her transition through our programming and follow a career directly related to what you’ve been teaching?

I feel so blessed to be a part of someone’s journey through life. It’s incredible how that small amount of time we spent together has given her the confidence to follow her passion.

#MuseumWeek #WomenInCulture #thefutureisfemale

Sustainable Eats + Recipe

Guest blog by Pepper Moon Catering’s Sales and Event Manager, Emily Terranova

At Pepper Moon Catering, we don’t have to worry about the sustainability of the seafood we serve! As one of the preferred caterers for the Greensboro Science Center (GSC), we understand that balance is important. We do our best to balance the needs of the customer (size of group, budget, vision) to what we can offer as meal choices. Fortunately, the food distributors we work with understand that sustainability will help them, not just for the “feel-good factor”, but economically in the long term as well. It’s thinking like this that will push for true changes in practices.

Our food distributors are a wonderful resource for our company, as they have tiers of quality – and with those tiers come guarantees of sustainability! The top two tiers (which we order from) come with universal sustainability standards for ALL of their products, not just the seafood. In the seafood area, the wild-caught foods are certified by the Marine Stewardship Council, a third-party verifier. Farmed fish will have at least 4 stars with the Best Aquaculture Practices standard. So, when you an attend an event here at the GSC that’s sponsored by Pepper Moon Catering, you can enjoy your food and enjoy that it’s good for the world too.

Here’s a sustainable seafood recipe for you to try at home!

Salsa

Shrimp and Mango Bruschetta
(Serves 10-12)

½ lb chopped shrimp

2 cups mango, small diced

¼ cup chopped green onion

½ cup lime juice

2 tablespoons honey (may add more to taste)

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

*Serve with sliced French bread or gluten free corn tortilla cups
  1. Stir the shrimp, mango and onion together in a bowl; set aside.
  2. Whisk the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl until blended, 
    making sure to scrape bottom of the bowl to fully incorporate the 
    honey. Pour over the shrimp mixture. Cover with wrap and refrigerate 
    for at least 30 minutes before serving.

The Greensboro Science Center is a proud partner of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch® program to help consumers and businesses make ocean-friendly seafood choices.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away….

We all know what a Solar System is, right? It’s a collection of planets, moons, asteroids, comets, and other smaller bits (all held together by the gravity between them) that circles around a star — in our case, the Sun — that stands at the center of the whole thing. So, a solar system is where we live. But where does our solar system “live”? What happens when we zoom out and see the effect of gravity at a much larger level?

Our solar system and at least 100 billion other star systems are part of a larger grouping, also held together by the gravity between them, called a GALAXY. And just like the planets of our solar system tend to orbit in a flattened disk or plane around the sun, all the billions of stars that make up our Galaxy orbit the center in a highly flattened disk. In fact, our galaxy is pretty much as flat as a pancake; it’s disk is 1,000 times longer across from side to side than it is thick from top to bottom! If we could zoom out from our galaxy, the “Milky Way,” and see it from afar, it would look like a huge pinwheel or whirlpool of stars, which is why ours and many others are called SPIRAL GALAXIES.

There are something like 100 billion visible-to-us galaxies in the universe. When we look at them, each one is quite literally “a galaxy far, far away.” They are so far away that the light we see from them, traveling at a speed of nearly 6 trillion miles per year, takes millions of years to reach us. Because of that, we see each galaxy “a long, long time ago” — not as it is today, but as it was when its light first started the journey through space to get to us.

For the first time ever, the GSC now has a powerful new telescope which, outfitted with a sensitive video camera, lets us view live, real-time images of distant galaxies from right outside our front doors! Watch for us to offer public viewings in the months ahead. In the meantime, here are are some actual views of galaxies with our new scope…

May the Force be with you.