Orlando Science Center

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Orlando Science Center
Orlando Science Center.jpg
The Orlando Science Center as seen from Harry P. Leu Gardens
Orlando Science Center is located in Florida
Orlando Science Center
Location within Florida
Established 1955 (1955)
Location Orlando, Florida
Coordinates 28°34′20″N 81°22′06″W / 28.572321°N 81.368394°W / 28.572321; -81.368394Coordinates: 28°34′20″N 81°22′06″W / 28.572321°N 81.368394°W / 28.572321; -81.368394
Type Science museum
Visitors 400,000 annually
Director JoAnn Newman
Public transit access Rollins St and Camden Rd Lynx Bus Stop & Florida Hospital SunRail Station
Website www.osc.org

The Orlando Science Center (OSC) is a private science museum located in Orlando, Florida. Its purposes are to provide experience-based opportunities for learning about science and technology and to promote public understanding of science.

The Orlando Science Center is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) and is a member of the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC). The Orlando Science Center is member supported and sponsored in part by United Arts of Central Florida, Inc., the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Arts Council.

Mission statement[edit]

Inspire science learning for life.


The Orlando Science Center is open year round, and closed on Wednesdays throughout the school year, except on Orange County Public Schools holidays. Additionally, the Orlando Science Center is open on most holidays except for Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.

Thursday - Tuesday: 10am - 5pm. Closed on Wednesdays for exhibit updates and maintenance.

The Crosby Observatory is open to the public on the first and third Saturday of each month from 5-9pm, weather permitting. Exhibit halls are closed during this time.


Incorporated in 1955, the Central Florida Museum (CFM) opened in Orlando Loch Haven Park in 1960. For its first decade, it was an anthropology museum with collections of artifacts relating to Florida and the Caribbean Basin.

In the early 1970s, the CFM's board of directors voted to change directions and to become a "hands-on" science and technology center. In 1973 the institution was renamed to honor a famous native son and astronaut, John Young.

In 1984, as part of an expansion and change of philosophy, the institution's name was changed to Orlando Science Center. In 1985 another major expansion created a permanent physical sciences hall, a traveling exhibit hall, and Curiosity Corner, a hands-on exhibit area dedicated to pre-school and early primary age children. During the final expansion to the original facility in 1990, NatureWorks, a prototype for OSC's centerpiece natural science exhibit was created.

In May 1992, the Board and staff developed a comprehensive master plan for the Orlando Science Center, including a blueprint for construction of an entirely new science center. Construction of the new science center began in early 1995.

The new 207,000 sq ft (19,200 m2). Orlando Science Center celebrated its grand opening on February 1, 1997. It is six times larger than the original facility, which closed December 31, 1996. The current president and CEO of the science center is JoAnn Newman.

2009 Air Conditioner Controversy[edit]

In the summer of 2009, Orlando's hottest time of year, the air conditioner system at the museum failed to operate for about two months. The Science Center president JoAnn Newman said to the regions NBC affiliate "One of the compressors failed in late June (2009) and should be replaced in the next several days." However it took several weeks for the air conditioner to be fixed, and in the remaining summer months admission was often discounted $3.00 and bottles of water were distributed to patrons. [1]

Current exhibits[edit]

As of 27 September 2012, here is a list of the current exhibits within the Orlando Science Center (In order from 1st floor).

  • Dr. Phillips CineDome - Showcasing giant screen films, planetarium shows, and laser light shows. The CineDome is an 8-story tall domed theater structure where films are projected on a screen before an audience in steep stadium seating. Currently showing 'Space Junk' a film about the growing amount of abandoned material in orbit around the Earth.
  • NatureWorks - 1st Floor - Exhibit hall that describes the richness of the natural world, with a focus on the diverse ecosystems of Central Florida. Such as, plants and animals of coral reefs, salt marshes, mangrove swamps and other Florida environments. You can learn how living and non-living things interact with each other and their environment.
  • KidsTown - 1st Floor - Miniature town that introduces science concepts through whole-body experiences, hands-on interactives and imaginative role-playing. Water tables, automotive garage, orange juice processing plant and more.
  • Science Park 2nd Floor - Provides exhibits that focus on light, sound and waves, electricity and magnetism, nature’s forces and simulation.
  • Science Of Star Wars - 2nd Floor - Provides exhibits of artifacts from the six Star Wars films, a Millennium Falcon flight simulator and various displays about space exploration and medical technology.
  • All Aboard - 2nd Floor - Kids can learn about traveling through child-sized models of trains, planes and the space shuttle.
  • Careers for Life - 3rd Floor - The Careers for Life exhibit showcases the types of careers that save and help the lives of others. Its main purpose is to create awareness, inform and educate anyone about healthcare careers.
  • DinoDigs - 4th Floor - Showcases the dinosaurs in their disparate land and aquatic settings.
  • Our Planet, Our Universe - 4th Floor - A permanent exhibit on astronomy and earth science. Divided into sections: Earth, Wind & sky, Planets and Portals and Gravity, waves and warps.
  • Crosby Observatory - 6th Floor - Florida's largest public refractor telescope as well as an array of smaller yet still powerful telescopes strategically placed for star gazing. The Crosby Observatory is open from 3-5pm for SunWatch on the first Saturday of each month, weather permitting, and from 5-9 on the first and third Saturday of the month, weather permitting (exhibit halls are closed during this time).

Facility rentals[edit]

The Orlando Science Center offers its facility to host meetings, special engagements, and weddings. The venue offers 50,000 square feet (4,600 m2) of exhibits, a private theater, and IWerks movies.


External links[edit]