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.

 

Transit of Mercury Viewing Party!

On Monday, November 11, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., the Greensboro Astronomy Club and Greensboro Science Center (GSC) are teaming up for a Transit of Mercury Viewing Party. The event will take place in front of the Greensboro Science Center’s main entrance and is free for all to attend. Admission to the Greensboro Science Center is not included with this free event; however, general admission tickets may be purchased for those who choose to visit the GSC on this day.

transit of mercury-graded

During the event, Greensboro Astronomy Club members will set up telescopes outfitted with solar filters so guests can safely watch the transit of Mercury across the sun. Additional activities include a gravity well demonstration, coloring pages and an a kid-friendly photo op.

In the event of weather interference, activities will take place in the GSC’s Science Advancement through Innovative Learning (SAIL) Center.

Greensboro Science Center Announces Fall Science Cafes

This fall, the Greensboro Science Center (GSC) is hosting two science cafes in its Science Advancement through Innovative Learning (SAIL) STEM Center. On Thursday, October 3, Dr. Katharine Holder will present Trouble in Paradise: Today’s Coral Reef Conundrum, and on Sunday, November 3, Jill Heinerth will present The Science of Cave Diving. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and the talks begin at 6:30 p.m. Science cafes are free to attend.

Trouble in Paradise: Today’s Coral Reef Conundrum
Thursday, October 3, 2019; 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Science Cafe: Trouble in Paradise

Dr. Katharine Holder will present this Science Café designed to help guests understand what exactly coral is, why it is important, what threats this delicate and essential ecosystem are facing, and what can be done to protect this valuable resource.

Dr. Katharine Holder is originally from the mountains of North Carolina. She attended North Carolina State University for her undergraduate degree and her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine degree. She currently practices small animal medicine in Chapel Hill, NC. Dr. Holder also has a special interest in the marine world. After vet school, she got a masters degree from George Mason University studying marine conservation. She enjoys SCUBA diving and teaching people about the beautiful world of coral reefs.

The Science of Cave Diving
Sunday, November 3, 2019; 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Science Cafe: The Science of Cave Diving

This Science Café features Jill Heinerth, a veteran of over thirty years of filming, photography and exploration on projects in submerged caves around the world with National Geographic, NOAA, various educational institutions and television networks worldwide.

A sport once tagged as the domain of adrenaline junkies, cave divers have become an important asset to scientists exploring global climate change, archaeology, water issues, and unique biology. Underwater explorer, Jill Heinerth will share stories from expeditions to faraway caves around the world from Egypt to Antarctica and Bermuda to the Bahamas. She’ll offer a fast-paced multimedia show about tiny venomous creatures and ancient lofty stalagmites that tell the story of earth before man.

New Exhibition Reveals Inside Story about Toys

Toys-LogoIf your parents never let you break open your Etch A Sketch® to find out how it works, or if you’ve been wondering how to stop your toddler’s push toy from making such an infernal racket, you’ll love Toys: The Inside Story. Greensboro Science Center (GSC) guests can experience this temporary new exhibit beginning Thursday, September 26, 2019. GSC members are invited to preview the exhibit on Wednesday, September 25 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Toys includes 12 different hands-on stations illustrating the simple mechanisms commonly found in toys and lets guests create their own toy-like combinations of gears, pulleys, linkages, cams, and circuits.

Jack Gets Out of His Box gives guests a close-up view of the cam combination that frees our hero “Jack,” while elsewhere we unmask the amazing collection of switches, cams and motors that make Elmo® dance and Mr. Machine® run.

Many of the exhibit elements are free-form and open-ended: Gears at Play illustrates the effects of gear ratios as visitors figure out how to spin ballerinas and a carousel, while the Jeepers Peepers challenge at the pulley table may take a little experimentation to solve.

The Toys exhibition was developed by the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, Vt., with funding from a National Science Foundation grant awarded to seven museums nationwide, all seven of which comprise TEAMS (Traveling Exhibits at Museums of Science).

To accompany the exhibit, the GSC’s popular maze will return with a toy theme. Activities in the Toy Maze will include a virtual ball pit, fascinating facts about toys throughout time and hands-on stations that inspire play for all ages.

Toys: The Inside Story and the Toy Maze will be open Thursday, September 26, 2019 through Sunday, January 5, 2020. Admission to both exhibits is free with general admission or 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.

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

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.

Conservation Creation: 180 Steps Around the World

Summer is right around the corner and it’s once again time to take a tour around the world – all from within our very own Jeansboro Junction (located in Friendly Farm)! On this tour, you will get the chance to learn about our farm animals and their natural histories, as well as earn a souvenir to take home with you.

While commercial farms tend to focus on a single crop or species of livestock, smaller family farms tend to have many different plants and animals, which is what you will see in our farmyard here at the Greensboro Science Center. When farmers are setting up their farms, they will often think about the relationships between their herds and their gardens. For example, horse manure is a great crop fertilizer and can be used to help grow vegetables for people as well as hay for livestock. Free-range chickens are great for keeping pests out of gardens while also providing eggs to sell or eat.

During the farm planning process, farmers need to be aware of the needs of both their animals and their gardens to ensure an efficient and healthy farm. For our activity this month, you will be planning and creating your own farm diorama! Below, you will see an example of a farm that we created, as well as how to make a horse for your farmyard.

What you will need:a box, craft supplies and a creative mind! Running short on craft supplies? Visit Reconsidered Goods to stock up on donated materials without breaking the bank!

Step 1: Figure out what kinds of animals you want on your farm and what they will need to live happy and healthy lives. To get started, remember that the three essential needs for any living creature are food, water and shelter. If you’re using the internet, search for animal care sheets (ex. Horse Care Sheet) to find out what each animal needs.

1

Step 2: Make your cork horse! Start by breaking 3 toothpicks in half. Use the pointy ends to add legs and a neck to your horse. You will have half of a toothpick left over.

2

Step 3: Attach a smaller cork to the neck area of the horse; this will become the head. Use glue to attach string for hair and googly eyes (if you would like) for the finishing details.

3

Step 4: Create your diorama with the animals you want on your farm! For our farmyard, we decided we wanted to have a garden, free-range chickens with a chicken coop, a fenced-in pasture for sheep and horses, and a well to make providing water easier on our farmer. For an added challenge, try using only recyclable materials or materials from your yard!

4