Greensboro Science Center To Remain Closed Through April 30, 2020

In a continued effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, the Greensboro Science Center (GSC) will remain closed through April 30, 2020. In addition, the GSC will reduce onsite staffing and initiate an “essential staff only” operating plan effective March 24, 2020. Essential staff are primarily those responsible for the health and wellbeing of the GSC’s animals.

GSC leaders are in daily contact with Association of Zoos and Aquariums, American Alliance of Museums and Association of Science and Technology Centers officials so organizations can learn from one another and understand how our nation’s accredited zoos, aquariums, museums and science centers are also coping with COVID-19. In addition, regular communication the GSC’s Board of Directors and city partners allows the entire team to remain in the loop as we collectively work to get through this crisis together.

GSC CEO, Glenn Dobrogosz, says, “Our staff and animals are doing fine. But, to ensure the highest safety for our team and follow even stricter social distancing standards, the GSC will carefully move into a daily routine focused 100% on our animals and the dedicated curators, keepers and aquarists who care for them every single day.”

“Our world, nation, state and city are facing unprecedented challenges,” Dobrogosz continues. “But, when COVID-19 passes and we beat this invisible killer, Greensboro and our nation will spring back to life. The GSC’s staff and board are committed to the economic and marketing power of science-based tourism to help bring visitors back to our city’s streets, restaurants and cultural attractions.”

Sensory Friendly Night Returns on March 17

Sensory Friendly Night DSC-2662On Tuesday, March 17, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., the Greensboro Science Center (GSC) will once again host an after-hours Sensory Friendly Night. This 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.

Additional Sensory Friendly Nights are scheduled for September 15 and October 20. 2020 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 and Autism Unbound for their support of this program.

Greensboro’s Earth Day Celebration

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The Greensboro Public Library, Greensboro Parks and Recreation Department and the Greensboro Science Center (GSC) are teaming up to honor Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary at Greensboro’s Earth Day Celebration. This free, community-oriented event will take place at Country Park on Saturday, April 18, 2020, from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Greensboro’s Earth Day Celebration is designed to encourage members of the community to learn about – and adopt – sustainable practices that will help care for the Earth. Guests will be invited to discover nature as they explore trails, meet live animals and learn about sustainable gardening.

Dozens of ecological organizations will be on hand with displays and hands-on activities highlighting everything from alternative vehicles to earth-friendly science spotlights. Live music, hayrides, food trucks and family-focused games and activities will enhance the celebratory atmosphere.

Martha Regester, the GSC’s VP of Education, says, “Fifty years is a milestone for Earth Day and we’re looking forward to the next 50 years of caring for this planet’s resources. Country Park’s trails and accessibility are a true Greensboro gem and we are excited to have so many area partners sharing their expertise with families.”

Guests are encouraged to enter the celebration at Jaycee Park, located at 3802 Jaycee Park Drive. Admission is free. Learn more at www.greensboro-nc.gov/earthday.

Science Café – Conserving Nature’s Keystone: The Gopher Tortoise

On Thursday, March 5, 2020, the Greensboro Science Center (GSC) is hosting a free Science Café in its Science Advancement through Innovative Learning (SAIL) Center. Dr. Christopher L. Jenkins, CEO of The Orianne Society, will present Conserving Nature’s Keystone: The Gopher Tortoise. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and the talk begins at 6:30 p.m. This event is free to attend.

The gopher tortoise is a prehistoric animal that still roams the Coastal Plain of the Southeast, but populations have declined to the point of endangered species status. These animals are critical to the success of the ecosystem as their burrows are used as a habitat for more than 300 other species. Without gopher tortoises, many of these species’ populations would decline as well.

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About the Presenter
Dr. Jenkins is the founding Chief Executive Officer of The Orianne Society. He also was the founding chairman of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Viper Specialist Group and the Georgia Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. He has served in leadership roles in Partners for Reptiles and Amphibian Conservation and Gopher Tortoise Council. Dr. Jenkins has also worked with Wildlife Conservation Society, United States Forest Service, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, University of Massachusetts, University of British Columbia, and National Geographic. Dr. Jenkins received a B.S. and M.S. from the University of Massachusetts in wildlife biology and wildlife conservation, respectively. He received his Ph.D. in biological sciences from Idaho State University.

About The Orianne Society
Established in 2008, The Orianne Society is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to the conservation of rare and imperiled reptiles and amphibians. Orianne promotes the conservation of these species through scientific research that informs on-the-ground conservation actions and managing habitats to promote robust reptile and amphibian populations. Currently, Orianne administers three large-scale conservation initiatives across the eastern United States, focusing on key landscapes that support high diversity and rare species: the Longleaf Savannas, Appalachian Highlands, and Great Northern Forests.

Pajama Jam Returns March 13

The Greensboro Science Center (GSC) is pleased to announce that its annual family-friendly conservation fundraiser, Pajama Jam returns on Friday, March 13, 2020. This after-hours pajama party designed for families with children ages 12 and younger features crafts, games, live music by Big Bang Boom, face painting, and refreshments courtesy of Chick-fil-A. Attendees are encouraged to wear family-friendly pajamas to the event.

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Two ticket options are available for Pajama Jam:

Regular Ticket (includes event activities and light refreshments – nuggets, fruit and a cookie – from 6:00pm – 9:00pm)
• GSC Member (ages 1+): $10
• Non-Member (ages 1+): $12
• Under Age 1: FREE

VIP Experience (includes seated dinner – sandwich, fruit and a cookie – with the Chick-fil-A cows from 5:30pm – 6:00pm, plus event activities and light refreshments from 6:00pm – 9:00pm)
• GSC Member (ages 1+): $13
• Non-Member (ages 1+): $15
• Under Age 1: FREE
VIP Experience is limited to 100 guests.

Proceeds from Pajama Jam support the GSC’s conservation fund, which aim to preserve species and habitats through on-site programs, community awareness, field studies and fundraising for local and global conservation efforts. Tickets can purchased on the GSC’s website at: https://www.greensboroscience.org/conservation/pajama-jam/index.html.

Sumatran Tigers To Make Exhibit Debut Thursday, January 30

On Thursday, January 30, Sumatran tiger brothers Rocky and Jaggar are scheduled to make their public debut on exhibit at the Greensboro Science Center (GSC). From 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., the tigers will have access to their outdoor exhibit space as well as their indoor holding area. The animals may or may not be visible to GSC guests at any given time, as they will be able to choose where they would like to spend the day.

Tiger-Debut

The two-year-old brothers arrived at the GSC on Friday, January 10 from Florida’s Jacksonville Zoo. Since then, they have spent time getting to know their keepers and adjusting to their new surroundings. Over the last few days, they have been given opportunities to explore their exhibit space for short periods of time under close supervision of GSC staff. Animal care staff have determined that they are now ready to make their debut on exhibit for all GSC guests.

Carolyn Mikulskis, the GSC’s Lead Keeper for tigers, says, “It has been so much fun to work with the tiger brothers over the last couple of weeks. Getting to know their personalities has been amazing and I am so excited for all of our guests to get to see them! They are full of energy and are going to be an amazing addition to the Greensboro Science Center.”

Mikulskis continues, “With the boys only being two years old, we are going to get to watch them grow and mature here at the GSC. They are only about 180lbs right now and could grow up to 310lbs.”

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.

First Sensory Friendly Night of 2020 Scheduled for February 18

On Tuesday, February 18, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., the Greensboro Science Center (GSC) will host its first Sensory Friendly Night of 2020. This after-hours event is designed specifically for guests with sensory-related challenges, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, and their families.

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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 taking place throughout the evening is available so guests can build their own schedule prior to arrival. A social narrative is also online to prepare guests about what they can expect during their visit.

Additional Sensory Friendly Nights are scheduled for March 17, September 15, and October 20. 2020 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 and Autism Unbound for their support of this program.