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The Adventure Science Center Blog

ASC Science Educators and guest authors exploring our world and the science and technology that connects us


YOUR BRAIN ON MUSIC by KC Katalbas, ASC Planetarium Educator

Music is powerful. You've probably experienced this if your mood shifts when you hear a great song, or you've let a playlist of soothing piano pieces calm you down, or you've been in a room full of people all shouting the same lyrics at a concert. No matter the situation, music holds a certain kind of electricity with people. So why? With all this power, what's going on inside our brains when we listen to music? To answer that question, we turn to the people who are... Read More
Posted by Molly Hornbuckle at 2/14/18 | 0 comments
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5 BENEFITS OF VOLUNTEERING FOR T.W.I.S.T.E.R. by Amrita Banerjee, ASC T.W.I.S.T.E.R. Intern

Amrita Banerjee is Adventure Science Center's T.W.I.S.T.E.R. Intern and a graduate student in the Department of Cell & Developmental Biology at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. Amrita has been a volunteer for multiple years of T.W.I.S.T.E.R. and is passionate about sharing the world of STEM opportunities with young women.  1. Paying It Forward Participating in T.W.I.S.T.E.R. has always been more than a day spent volunteering… it’s been... Read More
Posted by Molly Hornbuckle at 1/18/18 | 0 comments
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5 REASONS TO ATTEND T.W.I.S.T.E.R. by Bethany Caldwell, ASC Science Educator

TWISTER is coming! I'm not talking about the funnel cloud in the sky, but the Tennessee Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Research conference for high school girls.  This annual event brings together women who are working in STEM careers and girls in high school for a meeting of the minds where the girls get to learn from these fantastic women. As if this wasn't enough to encourage you, here are five other reasons why attending the event is well worth it:  ... Read More
Posted by Molly Hornbuckle at 1/2/18 | 0 comments
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4 SIMPLE WAYS TO GIVE BACK by Karissa Kessen, Development Coordinator

As the giving season hits full swing, I’d like to highlight ALL the ways you can give back this winter! Hint: It’s not just through a donation or membership. Supporting the Science Center’s service to the community, like subsidized memberships for low-income families, is as easy as... Grabbing holiday dinner ingredients and party essentials  Kroger Community Rewards program donates a portion of your grocery costs to Adventure Science Center. All you... Read More
Posted by Molly Hornbuckle at 12/8/17 | 0 comments
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MY PATH TO THE PATH OF TOTALITY by Marcin Chojnowski, ASC Eclipse Intern

I remember it like it was yesterday…  The year was 2013, and I was an undergraduate physics student at Northeastern Illinois University sitting in a small lecture room. All ten members of my class were listening to an astrophysics lecture about the Moon and, incidentally, eclipses.  Our professor went through lecture slides describing different types of eclipses and the celestial geometry of why they happen, when I started wondering when the next total solar eclipse will... Read More
Posted by Molly Hornbuckle at 9/5/17 | 0 comments
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MARIA MITCHELL #WSW by Molly Hornbuckle, Marketing Communications Manager

No woman should say, "I am but a woman!" But a woman! What more can you ask to be? With only 19 days until totality hits Nashville for the first time since 1478, I wanted to take this chance to feature one of the original “eclipse chasers,” Maria Mitchell. Born in Massachusetts in 1818, Maria grew up in a large Quaker family and community where they valued education and insisted on giving girls the same quality of education that boys received, as one of the... Read More
Posted by Molly Hornbuckle at 8/2/17 | 0 comments
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The mid-2000s marked the beginning of a new era for humanity. An era where we consumed and produced information in a way that had yet to be experienced. The era of social media . Since its inception in mainstream society, social media has had a profound impact on our lives. It gives us the opportunity to easily communicate information faster than ever before. Sure, people use it as a way to share selfies, memes and pictures of their pets, but they also use it to share their thoughts and... Read More
Posted by Molly Hornbuckle at 7/17/17 | 0 comments
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If you haven't heard, Adventure Science Center is undergoing some major construction and renovation projects to pave the path for new exhibits and improved experiences... including in our preschool area! The current space is undergoing construction, but we've pulled together some ways to engage your preschooler in other exhibition areas while the space is closed. 1. Adventure Tower and Main Atrium Physics of Light  Reinforce color learning with our giant lite brite... Read More
Posted by Molly Hornbuckle at 7/13/17 | 0 comments
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STORIES by Theo Wellington, NASA Solar System Ambassador

Humans have been observing the sky – especially the night sky – for thousands of years. The sky was always the same, stars rising and setting in their season. The regular movements of the stars made our first calendar. The sky was also this gigantic canvas on which the dots were connected to form patterns.  Our brains love to see familiar shapes in random things, we see animals in the clouds and we saw animals in the stars.  Over time we drew heroes,... Read More
Posted by Molly Hornbuckle at 7/7/17 | 0 comments
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BEATRICE HICKS #WSW by Molly Hornbuckle, Marketing Communications Manager

'Women think that an engineer is a man in hip boots building a dam. They don't realize that 95 percent of engineering is done in a nice air-conditioned office. Beatrice A. Hicks was a groundbreaker in the world of engineering. At a time when the field wasn’t “deemed appropriate” by society, she persisted and became the first woman engineer hired by Western Electric, and both the co-founder and first president of the Society of Women Engineers. She was... Read More
Posted by Molly Hornbuckle at 7/5/17 | 0 comments
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SOLAR ECLIPSE SAFETY by Marcin Chojnowski, ASC Eclipse Intern

Remember when you were just a kid and adults would tell you to never look at the Sun because you could damage your eyes? That fact will hold true so long as the Sun shines in our sky. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule so that you can SAFELY view the Sun during the partial stages of a solar eclipse. Before explaining safe viewing methods, let’s discuss items that should NOT be used to view a solar eclipse.  NEVER USE THE FOLLOWING ITEMS TO WATCH THE... Read More
Posted by Molly Hornbuckle at 6/30/17 | 0 comments
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MEET ROZ by Erin Castellano, ASC Science Educator

Your browser doesn't support video. Please download the file: video/mp4 What’s cute and cuddly, enjoys eating treats and hiding in lab coat pockets, and used to play basketball? It’s Roz, our resident rat! Named after Rosalind E. Franklin, an English chemist who made great contributions to our understanding of the molecular structures of DNA and RNA, Roz the rat enjoys a simple life full of apple slices and pocket snuggles. ( Learn more about Rosalind on our... Read More
Posted by Molly Hornbuckle at 6/28/17 | 0 comments
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ADRIANA OCAMPO #WSW by Molly Hornbuckle, Marketing Communications Manager

Space exploration was my passion from a very young age, and I knew I wanted to be part of it. I would dream and design space colonies while sitting atop the roof of my family's home in Argentina. Growing up, you may have been told to “reach for the stars” to achieve your goals. For Adriana Ocampo, this became a way of life. At age fifteen, her family moved to the U.S., and her first question after landing was “where is NASA?” She quickly found a way to... Read More
Posted by Molly Hornbuckle at 6/7/17 | 0 comments
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WHY IS THE SOLAR ECLIPSE A BIG DEAL? by Marcin Chojnowski, ASC Eclipse Intern

Imagine yourself living thousands of years ago, harvesting crops in a field on a bright sunny day. You think it’s just like any other day, but suddenly the sky starts getting dark. As you look over the horizon, you see a dark sweeping shadow racing towards you. You look up at the sky as absolute darkness begins to engulf the sun and normally invisible stars begin to shine.  The sun, your daily provider of light and warmth, is replaced with a pitch-black circle surrounded by a... Read More
Posted by Molly Hornbuckle at 6/2/17 | 1 comments
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THE LAST ECLIPSE... EVER by Derrick Rohl, Sudekum Planetarium Manager

A Total Solar Eclipse is considered by many to be the greatest sight in nature. Nashville will be lucky enough this August to experience a total eclipse of the Sun – something this area hasn't seen since 1478 (long before Music City ever came to be). A Total Solar Eclipse occurs when the Moon completely blocks the Sun's surface from view. From within the Moon's shadow, you will be able to see the Sun's corona and beautiful prominences, which are typically hidden from... Read More
Posted by Molly Hornbuckle at 5/24/17 | 1 comments
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BIG NUMBERS by Theo Wellington, NASA Solar System Ambassador

I have a background in astronomy, where most of the numbers are, well, astronomically big. So large numbers are not generally something to be feared, and most calculations can really be done by rounding and estimating. No one needs to know the distance to a galaxy in anything other than a couple of billion light years. Let’s play with some numbers… and the upcoming Music City Solar Eclipse . The number everyone wants to know who is planning events is how many... Read More
Posted by Molly Hornbuckle at 5/12/17 | 0 comments
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MARIE CURIE #WSW by Molly Hornbuckle, Marketing Communications Manager

Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and – above all – confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained. Perseverance. Confidence. Belief. Three ideals that helped Marie Curie to overcome great obstacles and become one of the most revered woman scientists in history. Known as the “Mother of Modern Physics,” she was the first woman to win Nobel Prizes in two... Read More
Posted by Molly Hornbuckle at 5/10/17 | 0 comments
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Fellow project lead Neeraj processing collected plastic bottles. More bottles waiting to be processed. Those are extra bottle caps on the floor. Our finished bin of processed plastic bottles. I’m Bob Qian, a first-year Youth CR3W member, and one of the leads for this year’s incredible science project. For those who may not be familiar, Youth CR3W at the Adventure... Read More
Posted by Molly Hornbuckle at 5/8/17 | 0 comments
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#WOMENSCIENCEWEDNESDAY by Molly Hornbuckle, Marketing Communications Manager

        When I first took the reins of Adventure Science Center's Instagram , I wanted to do more than just provide science learning to our followers. That’s not how we do science at Adventure Science Center--our mission is to open minds to its wonder. I wanted to share science that inspires. I'm sure you know about the popular "Woman Crush Wednesday" hashtag, where... Read More
Posted by Molly Hornbuckle at 5/3/17 | 0 comments
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HAPPY NATIONAL VOLUNTEER WEEK by Elisabeth McClain, Volunteer Manager

I’d like to take a moment to recognize the unsung heroes here at Adventure Science Center… our incredible team of volunteers! Although we appreciate their efforts every day, National Volunteer Week provides a nation-wide platform to celebrate those who inspire, create, teach, and encourage others in their communities through volunteerism. It is an especially exciting time here at the Science Center, as we are celebrating a newly revived volunteer program. Over the past 8... Read More
Posted by Molly Hornbuckle at 4/26/17 | 0 comments
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HOW TO HELP THE POLLINATORS by Erin Castellano, ASC Science Educator

Do you like honey? Do you like blueberries, peaches, oranges, or soybeans? How about almonds? Apples? Do you enjoy wearing cotton-made materials? Well, chances are, you like pollinators too!  Pollinators are responsible for helping these different plants create new flowers, fruits, and seeds! Pollinators help us by spreading pollen to our plants so that they may reproduce. When most people think of pollinators, honeybees come to mind. However, did you know that there are other types... Read More
Posted by Molly Hornbuckle at 4/21/17 | 0 comments
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Testing the elements of our Spartabot before the competition. The pits are a frenzy with last minute modifications! Here, we are trying to sort out an electrical problem on the robot. Check out the rope climb mechanism! A custom creation built from the pieces of a boat winch! The thrill of the competition. The challenge of problem-solving mechanical... Read More
Posted by Molly Hornbuckle at 4/14/17 | 0 comments
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HAPPY NATIONAL NEAR MISS DAY by Derrick Rohl, Sudekum Planetarium Manager

What's National Near Miss Day, you ask? Well, on this day in 1989, an asteroid almost hit Earth! The asteroid itself is about half a mile across, and was traveling almost 50,000 mph. Named 4581 Asclepius, it passed within 425,000 miles of Earth. That's almost twice the distance of the radius of the Moon's orbit around Earth. But, the asteroid passed through the exact point where Earth was just six hours earlier. A lucky day for Earth indeed, and certainly a close call. 4581... Read More
Posted by Derrick Rohl at 3/23/17 | 2 comments
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TOP FIVE SCIENCE PODCASTS by Paul Attea, ASC Science Educator

For any of you auditory learners out there, here is a list of my top 5 favorite science podcasts that are sure to entertain, inspire, and excite! Get ready to turn your routine dog walk or morning commute into the most enlightening listing experience of your day. 1. SCIENCE FRIDAY If I could pick one word to describe Science Friday, I would go with "Delightful." Sometimes I tune into SciFri just to get a little dose of Ira Flatow’s warm and enthusiastic radio persona. The... Read More
Posted by Molly Hornbuckle at 3/6/17 | 1 comments
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DISCOVERING THE WORLD by Paul Attea, ASC Science Educator

Photo from The New York Times .  In the book The Forest Unseen , David Haskell tells the fascinating the story of the life he observes in a 1x1 meter patch of woods over the course of a year. Inspecting a cicada wing at 15x magnification with the help of my handy dandy pocket lens. Look at those veins! My sketch of the pattern of a bumblebee’s stops at a patch of... Read More
Posted by Molly Hornbuckle at 3/2/17 | 0 comments
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Last summer, I was lucky enough to land an internship at Adventure Science Center in, what has proven to be, my best “job” ever. The staff was kind, the jobs were challenging, and the results were greater than I anticipated. I learned a ton about informal education, project development, marketing, and more, some of which I didn’t expect to learn. It was really grand. So, though every internship is different, here are some of my tips on how to get the most out of your... Read More
Posted by Molly Hornbuckle at 2/28/17 | 0 comments
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GREETINGS FROM MISSION CONTROL by Derrick Rohl, Sudekum Planetarium Manager

Greetings from “night 4” of our observing run. I put it in quotes because it’s actually only our second night of observing – the first two nights’ weather was too questionable to open the dome (dew on the telescope = bad). But on cloudy and clear nights alike, I’ve been busy getting photos! Take a look at life on the mountain: Me, holding a camera and pretending to know how it works. The neck strap around my elbow might suggest otherwise. ... Read More
Posted by Derrick Rohl at 4/27/16 | 0 comments
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“C” IS FOR CLOUDS by Derrick Rohl, Sudekum Planetarium Manager

The good news: we’re at Cerro Tololo! The bad news: we’re not observing yet. Don’t get me wrong: it’s still beautiful, but clear skies would be much more beautiful. For now, this monstrous telescope’s dome is staying closed. So, we’re off to a slow start, but hey, the observing can only improve from here, right [knocks on wood]? The good news: we got a beautiful sunset. Check this out. With all these clouds, the plan is to make use... Read More
Posted by Derrick Rohl at 4/24/16 | 0 comments
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ASC HAS GONE INTERNATIONAL! by Derrick Rohl, Sudekum Planetarium Manager

¡Saludos! Dr. French and I made it to Chile, and we’re waiting to meet Bob at the Starbucks en el aeropuerto Arturo Merino Benitez. Astronomers love coffee almost as much as they love telescopes and clear skies. Speaking of clear skies, after about 15 short spurts of sleep on the 9+ hour flight, check out the view I woke up to out the port window: #nofilter Look closely – that dot in the sky is the planet Venus, sometimes called “the morning... Read More
Posted by Derrick Rohl at 4/21/16 | 0 comments
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ONE WEEK OUT by Derrick Rohl, Sudekum Planetarium Manager

From my first trip: me in front of the 4.0-m Blanco telescope. We’ll be using this beast for 5 nights this time around! The observing run is almost here! My last visits to Cerro Tololo were as a physics major and Hispanic studies minor. Since then, I’ve graduated, worked on a master’s in teaching, and found my way into the planetarium industry. In Chicago and Nashville, I’ve spent the last few years teaching people about the night sky and outer space, a... Read More
Posted by Derrick Rohl at 4/13/16 | 0 comments
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SEND ME TO CHILE… ¡AGAIN! by Derrick Rohl, Sudekum Planetarium Manager

Hey, remember me? If my math is correct, the last time I wrote an update [on  ¡Send me to Chile! ] was five years and one week ago. Guess what? I’m going back to Chile! Or, voy a devolver a Chile , as I should probably be saying. T-minus 14 days! This time, I’m taking off from Nashville! I’ll be meeting up with Dr. French in Atlanta, where we’ll begin our journey back to Cerro Tololo via Santiago! You know the name of the game: we’ll be... Read More
Posted by Derrick Rohl at 4/6/16 | 0 comments
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