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!

October Events

It’s shaping up to be an exciting October at the Greensboro Science Center! Not only are we celebrating our 60th anniversary, but we’ve also got a great fall festival and an eerie evening of spectacularly spooky sights and sounds planned!

Celebrating 60 Years of Science

During the entire month of October, we’ll be spotlighting some special memories from the past 60 years on our Facebook page, but we need YOUR help! Share an old photo, a special memory or a creative piece of art inspired by the Greensboro Science Center on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using #GSC60. Not only will you be helping us to make strides on our journey down memory lane, but you’ll have a chance to win an awesome prize, too!

Great Gourds!

Pumpkin-Palooza-FB-EventThanks to our friends at The Fresh Market, we’ll be celebrating the greatest of gourds, the pumpkin, at Pumpkin Palooza on October 21 from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. The Fresh Market will once again be bringing tasty treats, giveaways, crafts and games for visitors – as well as plenty of pumpkins for our animals to enjoy as special enrichment items. Children are encouraged to come in costume (no masks, please).

Pumpkin Palooza activities are included with general admission to the Greensboro Science Center. General admission is $13.50 for adults ages 14 – 64, $12.50 for children ages 3 – 13, and $12.50 for seniors ages 65+. Children 2 and under as well as Greensboro Science Center members are free.

Fright Light

Fright-Light-FBFrightful fun awaits at Fright Light, October’s evening laser show! Join us on Friday, October 27 at 7:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m. or 9:00 p.m. in our OmniSphere Theater for an amazing laser light show set to the sounds of the season. From Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Metallica’s Enter Sandman to Charlie Daniels Band’s Devil Went Down to Georgia and Boris Pickett’s Monster Mash, this show offer tunes perfect for an evening of family fun!

Want More?

If you love local events and want to be the first to know what’s coming up at the Greensboro Science Center, be sure to sign up for our Events & Experiences email!

Advertisements

Conservation Partner Spotlight:  Fishing Cat Conservancy

Last year, the Greensboro Science Center (GSC) donated $5,000 to the Fishing Cat Conservancy (FCC), an Arizona-based nonprofit organization whose mission is “to promote the long-term survival of fishing cats in the wild through public education, capacity-building, and community-based research and conservation.” Part of the GSC’s mission is to support global conservation efforts, and with two fishing cats in our care, supporting the FCC is of great significance to us.

We recently reached out to FCC’s president, Ashwin Naidu, for updates from the field. Here’s what he shared:

  1. We enabled a ‘community-managed’ monitoring program for fishing cats, wherein the training we provided to our field team and community members is translating into them sharing their knowledge with the local people and tribal communities that live next to fishing cats and their habitats. Now, these local people and tribals are taking an interest in protecting their backyard wetlands, mangroves, and locally endangered species like fishing cats and smooth-coated otters.
  2. We educated close to 1,000 school children in various government schools and local people in villages located next to mangroves (especially mangroves outside protected areas). We talked about the importance of protecting fishing cats and mangrove ecosystems for the benefit and long-term survival of local communities.Santosh_FCC_EduProg_SchoolKids_SAM_Apr2017 (1)
  3. We constructed a solar-powered Conservation Education Center, which is currently two cottages as it stands, to be openly used by the local community and visitors to educate about fishing cats, mangroves, and wetland biodiversity and support efforts to study and protect them. More information and photos about this are in a recent post on our Facebook page.FCC_CEC_SolarPanels_Aug2017
  4. We presented and shared all our data to date on fishing cats occurring outside protected areas (esp. in mangroves in revenue lands) with the Krishna District’s Vigilance Department. This Department is now looking into getting revenue lands with mangroves established as protected areas.
  5. From our partners, Gal Oya Lodge in Sri Lanka, we obtained a new record of fishing cat near the Gal Oya National Park – outside its known (mapped) range in Sri Lanka.

We are proud to support Ashwin and the FCC. With $0.25 from each general admission ticket sold earmarked for donation to our general conservation fund, our visitors make supporting these efforts possible…so thank YOU!ARao_FC_TrackCasts_Apr2017_FCC (1)

60 Years of Science

On February 8, 1957, a newspaper article detailed plans for a $28,000 nature center designed as a 38 by 80 foot building at Country Park. On October 5 of that same year, the Greensboro Junior Museum (now Greensboro Science Center) opened its doors for the very first time.

1957 Elbert, Ray Pierce, A.C. Woodruff Jr, Emily Preyer, Major George Roach

© Carol W. Martin/Greensboro History Museum Collection

Since those humble beginnings, the Greensboro Science Center has gone through numerous expansions and renovations, resulting in a 22-acre destination for science education. And we consider this just the beginning!

Over the past 60 years, we have been incredibly blessed to have the support of so many wonderful members of our community. It is because of YOU – our members, donors, voters and advocates – that we have been able to continue to grow and consistently bring amazing educational experiences to the people of Greensboro and beyond. Here are a few examples of what we’ve been able to accomplish together so far:

1957 – Greensboro Junior Museum opened
1960 – The Junior League relinquished operations to the City of Greensboro
1973 – Greensboro Country Park Zoo opened
1975 – Greensboro Country Park Zoo expansion opened (included puma, bobcat and bear exhibits)
1976 – Edward R. Zane Planetarium Environmental Theater opened
richard-rush-1980.jpg1981 – Dinosaur gallery opened
1989 – The City of Greensboro and the Natural Science Center of Greensboro Board of Trustees entered into a public/private partnership
2000 – A $3.5M bond to expand the Center passed with an overwhelming 72% vote
2007 – Animal Discovery Zoo opened
2008 – OmniSphere Theater opened
2009 – A $20M bond passed to continue expansion and renovation
2011-2012 – HealthQuest, new robotics labs, Adventure Theaters, Extreme Weather Gallery opened
2013 – The Natural Science Center of Greensboro became the Greensboro Science Center
2013 – Carolina SciQuarium opened
2015 – SKYWILD and SciPlay Bay opened
2017 – Aquarium expansion opened; Carolina SciQuarium renamed Wiseman Aquarium

rainbow tank.jpg

So, what’s next?
November 17, 2017 – Prehistoric Passages: Realm of Dragons will open
2018 – Rotary Carousel will open
By 2020 – Zoo expansion will open

HELP US CELEBRATE!

In honor of this exciting milestone, we invite you to use #GSC60 to share an old photo, a special memory or a creative piece of art inspired by the Greensboro Science Center. Share it on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to be entered into a drawing for a special prize!

Also, be sure to join us at the 60th Anniversary table at Pumpkin Palooza on October 21. We’ll have raffles, birthday-inspired treats and more!

Thank YOU for your support of 60 years of science education!

Learn more about our future plans and discover ways you can help online at greensboroscience.org/thinkbigtogether

Conservation Partner Spotlight: Piedmont Land Conservancy

The Greensboro Science Center’s conservation mission is to preserve species and habitats through on-site programs, community awareness, field studies and fundraising for local and global conservation efforts. Today, we wanted to put the spotlight on one of our local partners in conservation, The Piedmont Land Conservancy (PLC). Every year, we are fortunate to be able to donate at least $1,000 to PLC, a contribution made possible by on-site conservation events as well the donations made by our very own visitors (thank YOU!).

The Piedmont Land Conservancy aims to permanently protect important lands in order to conserve our region’s rivers and streams, natural and scenic areas, wildlife habitats and farmlands. The organization has been active in our community since 1989, the year they first came together to discuss how to preserve the Piedmont’s most precious natural assets forever.

If you’d like to learn about some of their recent activities, check out LANDLINES. From protecting Randolph County’s highest point at Mount Shepherd to working with the Alamance County Voluntary Agricultural District Board to protect a farm established back in in the 1850s, this group has proven to be action-oriented and effective, and we’re honored to lend them our support.

Visit our Conservation webpage to learn more about the Greensboro Science Center’s ongoing conservation projects and partnerships.

How Your Small Change Has Made a Big Difference

Each time someone visits the Greensboro Science Center (GSC), they’re supporting wildlife conservation! Twenty-five cents of each general admission ticket is dedicated to conservation efforts. Upon purchasing tickets, guests receive a token that allows them to direct their donation towards one of the three conservation projects represented on our Coins for Conservation machine. The GSC’s Conservation, Sustainable Practices and Research Committees come together to select the organizations and species represented. Over a six-month period, guests have the opportunity to use their tokens to select the organization they would like their $0.25 to support. After that time, three new organizations are selected for representation.

We’re excited to announce we have completed our first six months of the Coins for Conservation program. The following funds were raised in support of species conservation:

Oceana
Funds Raised: $10,000

oceanaEstablished in 2001, Oceana is the largest international advocacy organization focused on ocean conservation. Oceana seeks to find practical solutions to restore our world’s oceans. While not focused on one species, the organization influences decisions to address many ocean issues, including over-fishing and shark finning.

Komodo Dragon Species Survival Plan: Conservation Fund
Funds Raised: $7,000

komodoEstablished in 2007, the Komodo survival plan exists to research and monitor populations of Komodo dragons in the wild in order to conserve the species and its habitat. The organization educates locals about Komodo dragons as well as trains Indonesian conservationists to assist with population management and habitat conservation.

North Carolina Coastal Land Trust
Funds Raised: $6,000

ncEstablished in 1992, the NC Coastal Land Trust conserves natural areas to enrich the coastal community as well as educates visitors about land stewardship. One such natural area is the Stanley Rehder Carnivorous Plant Garden, which was formed through a partnership with the City of Wilmington. The park is open to the public; visitors can learn about carnivorous plants, including the Venus Flytrap. The Trust has a dedicated Venus Flytrap fund whose purpose is to sustain and manage this rare plant.

To learn about the three projects currently being represented, visit the Coins for Conservation webpage.

NEW Animal Encounter Program Coming to the Greensboro Science Center

Opportunities to meet and engage with animals up close have always been favorite experiences for visitors at the Greensboro Science Center. They’re also some of the favorite experiences for our staff and volunteers to facilitate each day. Our Ambassador Animals—small mammals, birds, reptiles, and bugs—interact with children in our on-site school programs and off-site outreach programs as well as in daily encounters with visitors in the Discovery House and Herpetology Lab.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Beginning September 5, our staff and volunteers will be preparing for a new type of Ambassador Animal program. Starting in early 2018, volunteer members of our Animal Encounter Team will provide opportunities for visitors to meet animals at scheduled times throughout the day. Those encounters will continue to take place in Discovery House and the Herpetology Lab. You may also encounter an Ambassador Animal out in Jeansboro Junction or in the Zoo Plaza. When you arrive each day, you can view the schedule for encounter times on the doors of the Herpetology Lab and Discovery House, as well as the sign leading out into the Zoo where you normally find the listing for Keeper Talks. Scheduled talks with our Keepers in the Zoo and our Education Staff in the Aquarium will continue to take place daily.

These new scheduled Animal Encounters will help the Science Center team better record the appearances our animals make each day and make sure they get days off. We appreciate your patience as our team works together to bring you this new program later this year. In the meantime, although opportunities to touch our furry and scaly friends will be limited, our staff and volunteers will still be available to teach you about them and help you discover the wonder of our natural world.

New Program Coming to the Greensboro Science Center Volunteer Program

Since 2013, the volunteer program at the Greensboro Science Center has grown by 43%:  from 579 volunteers in 2013 to 830 in 2016!  That growth necessitates changes to ensure a more positive experience for our volunteers.  A new change is coming to the volunteer program which will allow us to better serve the volunteers who participate in the program as well as the visitors who benefit from it.

The Center has traditionally operated three summer volunteer programs:  Animal Ambassadors, Exhibit Guides, and Teacher’s Assistants.  Starting in Summer 2018, the Center will operate one summer-only program, the Teacher’s Assistant program.  This program will continue to serve 75 teens each year, with recruitment starting in March.  As always, returning Teacher’s Assistants will be given first priority to gain admission into the program.  Any remaining spots will be filled with new candidates who apply and interview.  That program will start in June and continue through the month of August.

You may be wondering what that means for our Animal Ambassador and Exhibit Guide programs.  At the end of this summer, the two programs will merge to create one new program:  Museum Ambassadors.  The upcoming Museum Ambassador program will combine the best of the two existing programs, with input from current teens about the areas in which they most enjoy volunteering.  This new program will operate year-round, requiring candidates to make a 6 month commitment in order to participate—just as Zoo and Aquarium Docents do currently.  In making this commitment, these teens will benefit from increased exposure to our daily operations as well as continued mentoring from Zoo and Aquarium Docents.  Eventually, they will take on the role of mentor themselves as new volunteers join the program.

So what will Museum Ambassadors actually do?  These teens will rotate through different exhibits, likely to include Friendly Farm, the Aquarium Touch Tank, Destination Dinosaur (and later Prehistoric Passages), Jeansboro, SciPlay Bay, Health Quest, a cart in the Herpetarium, and Coins for Conservation (a favorite of many of this summer’s teens).  Teens will be volunteering on their own as well as alongside other Museum Ambassadors or Docents.  The program will operate on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the school year, as well as on Guilford County Schools workdays and during breaks and holidays.  Museum Ambassadors will complete two, three hour shifts per month.  Shift times are 9:45-1:00 and 12:45-4:00.

The implementation of the Museum Ambassador program is a big change, but one that we feel will be highly positive for our volunteers and our organization.  The target age for Museum Ambassadors is 13-17, meaning that 13- and 14-year-olds will now have three, as opposed to only one*, opportunity to join the Center’s volunteer program.    This change also means that Museum Ambassadors will benefit from smaller training classes in which they’ll receive more individualized attention as opposed to our current summer on-boarding frenzy during which 200 teens join the volunteer program at once.

The Museum Ambassador program will launch in September with a maximum of 55 teens from Summer 2017.  Following a few months of running the new program with current teens, the first new recruitment will take place in January 2018, with a training class scheduled for March.  Those volunteers will make a six-month commitment of March through August.  Another training class is slated for July, with recruitment beginning in May; their six-month commitment will be July through January.  Current teens will be given first priority for training classes, as we understand that some of them may be unable to continue this fall due to sports or extracurricular activities.

Our teen program exists to develop young leaders, with an emphasis on science and conservation.  This new Museum Ambassador program is a great next step in continuing to provide those opportunities.

Please direct any questions or concerns to GSC Volunteer Coordinator Kelli Crawford, kcrawford@greensboroscience.org.

*The Docent program will continue to operate year round, with openings for candidates who are at least 15 years old.