Center of Science and Industry (COSI)

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  • Sneak Peek Into Adventure's New Zombie Puzzle September 29, 2014
    Filming the new Adventure puzzle for COSI After Dark.

    On October 2nd, COSI’s Adventure: Journey to the Valley of the Unknown will become something wholly different as the zombie apocalypse descends on the COSI After Dark. Here is a sneak peek of the transformation of the Adventure that our guests know and love into a brand new experience.

    On October 2nd, COSI’s Adventure: Journey to the Valley of the Unknown will become something wholly different as the zombie apocalypse descends on the COSI After Dark. Here is a sneak peek of the transformation of the Adventure that our guests know and love into a brand new experience.
     
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    We filmed a new pre-show video that will introduce our newly minted explorers to the mysterious contagion that has taken over the island.

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    This video will also fill the guests in on the events that occurred between 1939, the year Adventure is set, and 1954, the year this new experience takes place. The Adventure exhibit lends itself to being the location for a 50’s style B-movie shoot. 

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    As you can tell, we had a great deal of fun filming the new introduction video and we are excited to show it off the night of the event. We might even let you see a sneak peek in the near future so stay tuned! 

    Author

    Joe Wood
  • Cleaning the Dome September 26, 2014
    Photo of the outside of the dome.

    One of the things we have to do to get the planetarium ready for re-opening is clean the dome. A company called Astro-Tec is here along with riggers from the local stagehands union IATSE12. The Theater Team spent some time trying to imagine just how a dome got cleaned – we pictured several swiffer dusters all taped together and a giant Q-Tip as some of the possibilities – but the reality is almost more interesting.

    One of the things we have to do to get the planetarium ready for re-opening is clean the dome. A company called Astro-Tec is here along with riggers from the local stagehands union IATSE12. The Theater Team spent some time trying to imagine just how a dome got cleaned – we pictured several swiffer dusters all taped together and a giant Q-Tip as some of the possibilities – but the reality is almost more interesting.
     
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    Behind-the-scenes view of the dome that shows the chains holding up the dome, and where/how they climb onto the dome.
     
    Riggers (these are the guys who climb up high to set up rock concerts, stage shows, and special events) climb the outside of the dome wearing climbing harnesses and head lamps and carrying a small vacuum cleaner. Once in place, they vacuum the back side of the dome, pulling the dust through the perforations in the metal surface.
     
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    A close-up image of the perforations in the dome panel.
     
    The dome is made of perforated aluminum panels to allow air circulation and to support audio speakers and special effects that are mounted behind the dome. The front side (the side the audience sees) is coated with a reflective coating that we project images into to see the stars. The entire dome is suspended over your head by chains.
     
    Next week, our dome will be clean, and we’ll be ready for Evans & Sutherland to arrive to start installing our projectors!
     
    (Special thanks to Bill Coates, Jim Edwards, and Tommy Ward for cleaning to dome – especially the tilted side all while feeling like you might fall off!)

    Author

    Kate Storm
  • Autumn Equinox September 22, 2014
    Demonstration of Autumn Equinox.

    September 22 marks the Autumnal Equinox, a unique event that marks the beginning of fall in the Northern Hemisphere. The Autumnal Equinox will take place today at 10:29 pm Eastern time. On the equinox, both day and night are nearly equal in duration, each lasting approximately 12 hours. 

    September 22 marks the Autumnal Equinox, a unique event that marks the beginning of fall in the Northern Hemisphere. The Autumnal Equinox will take place today at 10:29 pm Eastern time. On the equinox, both day and night are nearly equal in duration, each lasting approximately 12 hours. 

    So how does this happen?

    The equinox occurs when the plane of Earth’s equator intersects the center of the Sun. At the point of equinox, the North and South Poles of the Earth are not tilted toward or away from the Sun, meaning the duration of day and night is approximately the same everywhere on Earth.

    A common misconception is that seasonal changes are the result of the Earth being closer or farther away from the Sun, but it’s actually this tilting of the Earth relative to the Sun that causes the seasons to change. 

    Author

    Doug Buchanan
  • Using the Vinyl Cutter in the Teen Tech Space September 18, 2014
    Using the Vinyl Cutter in the Teen Tech Space

    Did you know that COSI’s Teen Tech Studio has a vinyl cutter? Well, now you do!  And teens (12-19) can visit the Studio and use it for FREE (Wed 3-7pm, Sat 10am-5pm)

    Wondering what you make with a vinyl cutter? Recently, I completed a project I’ve been working on for a while: a custom drum head. I documented the process to show you a bit about how to use the cutter…

    Did you know that COSI’s Teen Tech Studio has a vinyl cutter? Well, now you do!  And teens (12-19) can visit the Studio and use it for FREE (Wed 3-7pm, Sat 10am-5pm).

    Wondering what you make with a vinyl cutter? Recently, I completed a project I’ve been working on for a while: a custom drum head. I documented the process to show you a bit about how to use the cutter…

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    The first step was to take the design from Adobe Illustrator and import it into our vinyl cutter’s corresponding program, Sure Cuts A Lot 3 Pro (which responds very well to Illustrator files). We had a limited amount of maroon vinyl so we had to position it specific so that it would be able to cut the entire design. But due to our cutter’s dislike of large designs, we decided to cut it in two sections. This is not normally an issue with vinyl cutters but has been an issue for ours (USCutter).

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    We then gathered the materials (an 18-inch Remo FiberSkyn bass drum head and several colors of vinyl).  As mentioned above, we chose maroon vinyl. 

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    After loading the vinyl into the cutter, we let it do its work.  In total, the cut took a little less than 10 minutes.

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    Once the cut was finished, we peeled away all the excess vinyl, leaving only the cut logo.  Our vinyl cutter doesn’t always cut evenly or thoroughly so we used an Xacto knife to finish “incomplete” cuts.

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    Once the excess vinyl was removed, we applied transfer paper to the top of the design.  This would allow us to remove the vinyl’s backing adhesive and apply the design like a sticker.

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    Before applying the vinyl to the drum head, I decided to remove the Remo logo. I had read that Acetone and Goo Gone work very well for this, but I was afraid that the FiberSkyn’s textured surface would prove difficult to work with. Unfortunately, I was right, the chemicals only served to smudge the Remo logo.

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    We then removed the vinyl’s backing adhesive and applied the design to the head. Fortunately, the design allowed us to hide the smudge behind a feather. Phew!

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    Once both cuts were applied (remember that we cut this design in two pieces), we removed the transfer paper.  This was a difficult task; the design tended to pull up with the transfer paper.  It became important to remove the transfer paper slowly, and at times, hold down parts of the design.

    IMG 9941 Visit the Teen Tech Studio and make a vinyl sticker to take home!

    Author

    Dave Buker
  • Introducing: COSI’s Wild Experience! September 15, 2014
    Introducing: COSI’s Wild Experience!

    Studying different species is the link between microbiology and our ecosystem. We have been studying animals from the beginning of the human experience and have not only learned a lot about how animals interact with the ecosystem around them, but also a lot about ourselves. Throughout history, we have had a fascination with animals and have benefited, be it through agricultural practices or to enrich our lives through companionship. Simply being in the presence of animals is enough to peak our curiosity and desire to know more.

    Studying different species is the link between microbiology and our ecosystem. We have been studying animals from the beginning of the human experience and have not only learned a lot about how animals interact with the ecosystem around them, but also a lot about ourselves. Throughout history, we have had a fascination with animals and have benefited, be it through agricultural practices or to enrich our lives through companionship. Simply being in the presence of animals is enough to peak our curiosity and desire to know more.

    Most regular visitors of COSI are familiar with our famous basketball playing rats that have entertained and educated guests regarding operant conditioning for 30 years. However, very few people are aware that COSI has any other animals at all!

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    Our Lily Pad exhibit offers a look at some native species found in Ohio that you may otherwise not have the chance to see up close. There is a small collection of animals that can be found in the office window display in Little Kids Space, and a mixed collection behind the scenes that until now have remained primarily behind the scenes.

    Lily Pad Display

    Over the next few months, there will be animal features on the COSI blog introducing you to the many animals that call COSI home. We will also feature new and exciting animals that will be added to the collection. You will become familiar with why these animals are great, and hopefully meet them in person during your next visit to peak your own curiosity and desire to learn more.

    Apollo in Adventure 2

    Blue tongued skink (Tiliqua scincoides) “Apollo”

    Rosie in the Grass

    Red Tailed Boa Constrictor (Boa constrictor) “Rosie”

    Under the Energy and Environment department at COSI, we are developing new program material to accompany this wonderful opportunity to explore the life science of ANIMALS! I am thrilled to introduce you to COSI’s Wild Experience!

     

    Author

    Laurie Miller
  • Paper Rockets September 2, 2014
    Did you attend COSI’s Camp-In over the winter and get to try our paper rocket launchers? Or maybe you’re just curious about what a paper rocket launcher is? Check out this video that shows how the launchers are built and used for COSI activities. And look out, you never know when our team will have these available for you to try!
    Did you attend COSI’s Camp-In over the winter and get to try our paper rocket launchers? Or maybe you’re just curious about what a paper rocket launcher is? Check out this video that shows how the launchers are built and used for COSI activities. And look out, you never know when our team will have these available for you to try!

    Author

    Dave Buker
  • Celebrating the Cosmic Web August 14, 2014
    Celebrating the Cosmic Web

     

    Next Tuesday, August 19 from 3-5 p.m., COSI and OSU’s Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics will host scientists talking about the biggest thing in the universe – the cosmic web. Scientists from the US, UK, Netherlands, France, Italy, South Korea, Ecuador, and Argentina will share this big picture view of our universe. Hands-on activities include making “the universe in a coffee cup,” creating a cosmic web with origami, and a make-your-own universe with clay. 
     

     

     

    Next Tuesday, August 19 from 3-5 p.m., COSI and OSU’s Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics will host scientists talking about the biggest thing in the universe – the cosmic web. Scientists from the US, UK, Netherlands, France, Italy, South Korea, Ecuador, and Argentina will share this big picture view of our universe. Hands-on activities include making “the universe in a coffee cup,” creating a cosmic web with origami, and a make-your-own universe with clay. 
     

     

    Author

    Kate Storm
  • Exploring the Intersection of Nanotechnology and Food August 12, 2014

    For my last post, I sat down with Dr. Jed Johnson from Nanofiber Solutions to talk about how nanotechnology is advancing medicine. You can see the video here.  Today we will be talking with Dr. Farnaz Maleky from The Ohio State University Food Innovation Center about how nanotechnology is advancing the food supply. Nanotechnology is simply the science of the very small. 

    For my last post, I sat down with Dr. Jed Johnson from Nanofiber Solutions to talk about how nanotechnology is advancing medicine. You can see the video here.  Today we will be talking with Dr. Farnaz Maleky from The Ohio State University Food Innovation Center about how nanotechnology is advancing the food supply. Nanotechnology is simply the science of the very small. Something that is on the nanoscale would be several hundreds to a thousand times smaller than the width of a human hair. Objects at this scale might have different properties than their larger counterparts. COSI guests can learn more about nanotechnology at our Nano exhibit, located on Level 1 near the Membership desk in the area leading to our Teen Tech Studio.

    After speaking with Dr. Maleky I was impressed with the potential that nanotechnology has to improve our food supply. Advances that she mentioned include foods with lower fat or salt that retain the same taste and mouth feel, smart packaging that can detect spoilage, and methods to improve absorption of nutrients from food. Those who would like to learn more about these exciting technologies should attend our event, Exploring the Intersection of Nanotechnology and Food at COSI on August 22nd at 7:00. Tickets can be purchased in advance here.

     

    Author

    Joe Wood
  • COSI brings a Sensory Sensation to Canal Winchester! August 11, 2014
    Photo from Science at Your Fingertips Outreach Program.

    On July 29th, LKS Team Members brought the Science at Your Fingertips outreach to The Cottage Child Development Center in Canal Winchester. Sixteen 3 year-olds from two classes sampled the different sensations of sand, snow and flubber!

    On July 29th, LKS Team Members brought the Science at Your Fingertips outreach to The Cottage Child Development Center in Canal Winchester. Sixteen 3 year-olds from two classes sampled the different sensations of sand, snow and flubber!

    In this picture children watch as Team Member Carla creates snow.

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    In this picture children have created a sculpture by inserting sticks into flubber which is made using white glue, warm water and borax. In addition to delighting in the squishy feeling of flubber, children practiced early writing skills through decorating the flubber with colored markers.

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    In this picture a little boy practices his fine motor skill through weaving.

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    Here a little girl is delighted by how the light coming through our light board illuminates the sand she is playing with.

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    Author

    Jennifer Sweeney
  • Farm Days August 6, 2014
    Photo of Farm Days 2014.
    “My mom gets our food from the grocery store – that’s where it comes from, right?”

    Well, not exactly.

    COSI is trying to connect children to the places where their food comes from. That’s why we’re bringing a little bit of the farm right into the middle of Columbus with “Farm Day: Little Seeds, Big Tractors”, taking place August 6-10 at COSI.
    “My mom gets our food from the grocery store – that’s where it comes from, right?”

    Well, not exactly.

    COSI is trying to connect children to the places where their food comes from. That’s why we’re bringing a little bit of the farm right into the middle of Columbus with “Farm Day: Little Seeds, Big Tractors”, taking place August 6-10 at COSI.

    Here, you can learn about raising crops and livestock, climb into tractors and a combine, milk Daisy, COSI’s fiberglass cow, make seed necklaces, take a spin on a pedal tractor and talk with people who make farming their life.

    By increasing our knowledge of agriculture, we can make informed personal choices about diet, nutrition and health. So the next time you’re having pizza, think about where it really came from: Somewhere a farmer grew wheat that was milled into flour to make the crust. Another farmer grew tomatoes for the sauce. And the cheese came from a dairy farm that transformed cow’s milk into curds.

    So come on down to COSI during “Farm Days” and make friends with a real farmer!

    Author

    Bruce Kyle

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