Maryland Science Center Recieves $1m Gift from MetLife Foundation

The Maryland Science Center has received a $1 million gift from a major insurance firm to help fund an innovative exhibition about cell biology research that will open next year.

MetLife Foundation, the philanthropic arm of New York-based insurer MetLife – formerly known as the Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. – donated the funds to support the coming show, Cells: The Universe Inside Us, which will go on display at the Science Center in March 2009.

“We’re using technology to let visitors experience what happens on the most basic level inside our bodies,” Science Center President and CEO Van Reiner said yesterday. “We’re partnering with experts from the Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland and with cell-imaging companies around the country that are using new technology to understand what goes on at the cellular level.”

The 4,000-square-foot permanent exhibit will cost about $2.5 million to create, Reiner said. After the exhibit opens in Baltimore, a smaller version of it will travel to science museums around the country for the next five years.

(read entire article)

Orlando Science Center’s inner view of video games attracts record crowd

The shooter fired quickly, hardly flinching from the recoil of the M-4 rifle and consistently hitting the target — a black silhouette in the desert.

Then Linda Descheneaux turned to her 8-year-old grandson.  “If Nana can do it, you can do it!”

The moment wasn’t unusual for Otronicon, the Orlando Science Center’s annual convention of everything video game-related. Visitors of all ages and ability levels have spent the past three days testing their mettle in games from Pac-Man to Halo 3 to military simulators, and, organizers say, learning about the art and science behind the games.

The event closes to the public tonight. Starting Tuesday, it will be open only for school field trips.

If the third-annual event keeps pace with last year, it will have attracted about 18,000 people when it wraps up Friday. Organizers said Saturday’s crowd of 3,000 broke a record for daily attendance.

(entire article)

E-Motion Cone Reinstalled On Carnegie Science Center Roof

August Storms Caused $650,000 In Damages

PITTSBURGH — The E-Motion Cone was reinstalled on the roof of the Carnegie Science Center Thursday.
The giant cone was severely damaged in severe thunderstorms that caused $650,000 in damage at the Science Center last August. Construction is still under way to repair a large section of the Science Center’s facade.
Reinstallation of the E-Motion was delayed while contractors waited for replacement fabric from France-based Ferrari Textiles. The outer material of the cone is made of highly-resilient, polyester-based PVC-coated fabric.
The E-Motion sustained nearly $150,000 in damage from the August storm. A computerized lighting system displays different colored lights on the 44-foot-tall, 66-foot-wide cone based on forecasted weather.

Detroit Science Center to Expand with Charter School

DETROIT — The Detroit Science Center is poised to expand and get a face-lift in the next year and a half through a unique educational partnership that will see a science and math charter middle school located on its site.

Officials from the nonprofit, privately run science museum and the University Prep charter school system, a group of charter schools in Detroit, are working together to create the new University Prep Science and Math Middle School. The school, which promises to graduate at least 90 percent of students and send 90 percent to college, will open at another undisclosed site this fall while the new structure is built. An affiliated high school eventually will be added at an undetermined location.

Both sides say they will benefit from the arrangement, with the science center advancing its mission to be a premier destination for engineering education, and the new school offering its students unprecedented access to the center’s docents, experts and engineers.

“It’s going to be more than just a one-time field trip that schools and students are used to,” said Principal Shawn Hill. “We’re going to extend the learning in every way possible to the science center and really take advantage of the exhibits.” Read the rest of this entry »

Snow returns to center stage in Science Museum exhibits

Ian Bochynski, 7, of Clarence, experiments with changing the weather as he creates and directs wind at an interactive station, part of “The Zula Patrol” exhibit in the Buffalo Museum of Science.

Six years ago, the Buffalo Museum of Science turned the city’s reputation as a snow capital to its advantage by bringing out longignored, remarkable photographs of snowflakes shot by Wilson Bentley between 1885 and 1931.

Footprints in the snow leading to the museum door proved that embracing winter was a good idea.

In mid-November, the Humboldt Parkway institution went back to the well with “Snow,” an exhibition showcasing the natural science behind Western New York winters. Bentley’s pictures are the centerpiece.

Now a path has been shoveled for “The Zula Patrol: Mission Weather,” based on the popular animated children’s series seen locally on WNED’s ThinkBright channel.

The exhibition, which opened Friday, helps children explore the idea that weather is part of their world and the larger universe, said Mark Mortenson, museum president and chief executive officer. Read the rest of this entry »

Body Worlds 3, Only Few Weeks Remain for Saint Louis!

Body Worlds 3, the amazing exhibition at the Saint Louis Science Center will leave Saint Louis in a few short weeks.  The exhibition of real human bodies that have undergone the Plastination process has brought record crowds to the Science Center over the last few months.

Checking with the Science Center staff, there are still many tickets available but it is expected that more popular times will sell out as the curtain draws to a close.

For those who have not seen the show it is awesome and well worth the price of admission – definitely one of those opportunities in life you don’t want to miss.

Background on Body Worlds 3

Throughout the ages, medical scholars and students have strived to understand how our bodies function through exploration of real human specimens. Gunther von Hagens’ BODY WORLDS, the most highly attended touring exhibition in the world, takes this tradition one step further by presenting a new look at the human body.

Take an eye-opening journey through the inner workings of the human body, exploring specific areas including the locomotive, nervous, respiratory, circulatory, cardiovascular, digestive and reproductive systems. See muscles, bones and tendons that help us move; study the parts and organs that allow us to fuel our bodies; view the complex pathways of our vascular system; and realize how human life is made possible.

This original and unprecedented exhibition of real human bodies features about 200 authentic human specimens, including whole-bodies, individual organs and transparent body slices that have been preserved through the process of Plastination, a revolutionary specimen preservation process that was invented by Dr. von Hagens in 1977, which replaces bodily fluids and fat with reactive plastics. The specimens on display were generously willed by body donors during their lifetime for the express purpose of Plastination and educational enlightenment. BODY WORLDS 3 offers a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see and understand our own physiology and health and to gain new appreciation and respect for what it means to be human.

Orlando Science Center to host family friendly gaming expo

Otronicon, Orlando’s gaming expo, returns to the Orlando Science Center next week for its third year.

The gaming event is family friendly and has something for everyone with video-game tournaments, showcases of the latest games, advanced military simulators, a classic arcade and much more.

Gamers can partake in Guitar Hero and Rock Band tournaments, and play Halo 3 on the giant eight-story CineDome screen.

The expo is open to the public Jan. 18-21 from 10 a.m. to midnight.

Daily admission is $14.95 for adults and $9.95 for children younger than 12. Members receive free admission. Visit otronicon.org for tickets and a full event schedule.