May 2012 is Astronomy Month at the Orlando Science Center

On select Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from now through June 3, the Orlando Science Center is taking Astronomy Day and stretching it into a month-long celebration during May 2012.

Throughout the building, demonstrations that examine gravity, what comets are made of and how space suits work will be taking place. It’s here you’ll find the Science On A Sphere exhibit, which connects guests of all ages to earth and space science through a dramatic visual presentation. Using a six-foot suspended sphere and state-of-the-art projection technology, explore our planet’s dynamic landscape and weather, tour the solar system and understand the complex relationship between our planet and its sister worlds. And be among the first to experience its newest program, Kinesthetic Astronomy, to learn about the four seasons and the rotation of the earth.

The aluminum-domed Crosby Observatory atop the Orlando Science Center will be open for SunWatch events during these select weekends. Peer through the powerful, 10-inch lens of one of the largest publicly-accessible refractor telescopes in Florida and safely gaze upon the closest star to our home planet.

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Get Ready for Otronicon 2011 at the Orlando Science Center

The Orlando Science Center (OSC) is already a pretty cool place to spend an afternoon. But next week, the place is going to get incredibly geeky cool when OSC hosts the annual Otronicon event January 14-17.

For those wondering, Otronicon is short for (O)rlando Elec(Tron)ic (I)nteractive Technology (Con)vention. The OSC describes the event as “a celebration of interactive technology using video games to demonstrate the future of how we live, learn, work and play.”  But it’s really so much more.

Sure, there are video games to check out. Maitland video game creators Electronic Arts are sponsoring the EA Sports Arena and the Rock Band Experience. EA produces games ranging from The Sims to Rock Band to Medal of Honor to Madden NFL Football. Chances are, if you have a gaming system in your house, you own at least one EA game.

Friday night will be so much fun, it’ll bring out the dead. It’s Zombie Night and will feature costume contests, movies, and tournaments featuring games like Left for Dead and Call of Duty: Zombie Survival Mode.

The creators of the recently released TRON: Evolution – Battle Grids will be at Otronicon on Saturday. The original TRON film will also be screened on the Dr. Phillip’s CineDome.

But beyond playing video games, Otronicon will show how this technology is being used in simulators to train the medical and military communities.

Of course, if current video games aren’t your thing, there will also be a Classic Arcade Lounge featuring vintage games like Donkey Kong, Pac Man, Centipede, Gauntlet (I LOVED this game as a kid!) and, yes, the original TRON arcade game.

Saturday night is when the Cocktails and Cosmos party will be held. It features live performances, music, food and drink, and it’s included in that day’s admission.

So how much is all this fun going to cost you? Less than the price of one video game in the store. $17 for adults, $16 for students and seniors, and $12 for kids 3-11. It also costs $5 to park, so stuff as many gamers into the car as possible.

Whether you just want to check out some cool video games or want to learn more about how they’re being used in real life teaching, Otronicon is going to be a fun event for the whole family to check out.

The Orlando Science Center is located at 777 E Princeton St and you can reach them by phone at 888.OSC.4FUN or 407.514.2000.

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