Wild winds and wacky weather can stir up trouble for popular modern-day wireless devices, especially at a time when communications are critical. Whether it is a zombie apocalypse, or a much more likely hurricane, ham radio gurus have the “off-the-grid” answers to all things extreme. The South Florida Science Center and Aquarium will be hosting activities all day – and well into the night – on Saturday, June 25, to explore alternative communications and all things tech. By day, Science Center guests will get a crash course in hurricane preparedness from 2 – 6 p.m., and by night, from 8 p.m. – 8 a.m., tech activities come to life at the “Tech Family Sleepover.” Local ham radio operators will be on-hand throughout both events, connecting with other ham radio operators across the country and giving demos and tips on how to survive all that is extreme!
“When we think of technology these days, we tend to think in modern terms,” said Lew Crampton, Science Center CEO. “It is always important to remember the basics, as technology is constantly building on proven science. We are grateful to partner with our local amateur ham radio operators, who are committed to teaching future generations the fundamentals. The Science Center will be a full house of hands-on opportunities all day – and all night – so, pack a bag and join us for some ‘extreme’ fun!”
As a kickoff to the evening activities, guests who want to play but cannot stay, will have access to the off-the-grid ham radio demos from 2 – 6 p.m. In addition, daytime activities include hurricane preparedness presentations and takeaways. When the sun goes down, technology activities will come to life. Ham radio operators will continue their instruction, reaching out to operators across the country, and hands-on workshops will open up. Guests can test soldering skills while lighting up a Makey Robot Pin; guide and Ozobot through a techono-maze; view the stars from the Science Center’s high-powered telescope in Palm Beach County’s only public observatory; and more. In addition, guests at both events will have access to the Science Center’s current traveling exhibit, Grossology: The (Impolite) Science of the Human Body.
The ham radio activities are in conjunction with the National Association for Amateur Radio’s annual “Amateur Radio Week,” which culminates with a “Field Day” competition with clubs across the country on June 25. Their slogan, “when all else fails, ham radio works,” is more than just words, as they prove they can send messages in many forms without the use of phones, the internet or any other infrastructure that could be compromised during an emergency. Ham radio operators provide backup communications for the American Red Cross to FEMA and even for the International Space Station.
Daytime activities are included with paid Science Center admission. Ham radio activities in the Garden Club are completely free to the public. Admission to the Tech Family Sleepover is $35 for members and $40 for nonmembers. One adult chaperone must accompany every five children and children must be 5 years or older. Admission includes a hot pizza dinner, continental breakfast and all activities.
The South Florida Science Center and Aquarium is located at 4801 Dreher Trail North in West Palm Beach and is open Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Admission to the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium’s permanent exhibits and new traveling exhibit, Grossology, is $15 for adults, $11 for children ages 3 to 12 and $13 for seniors aged 60 and older. Science Center members and children under 3 are free.
Grossology takes visitors on a tour of their bodies, by way of Magic School Bus-style, as they literally step through the mouth of the exhibit. Once inside the exhibit, “Nigel Nose-It-All” will explain why people have runny noses, allergies and sneeze; “Tour Du Nose” takes guests on a tour through a nose replica – standing at 10-feet-tall; “Burp Man,” a larger than life cartoon character, who drinks from a three-foot-tall soda can pumped by visitors, details the cause of burps; and “Click Ick” allows visitors an opportunity to play nine different activities, including exploratory labs, puzzles, games and more. As visitors wind their way through 5,000-square-feet of human science, they will also learn about skin issues, “gas attacks” and vomit.
For more information, or to reserve space at the Tech Family Sleepover, please visit www.sfsciencecenter.org or call 561-832-1988. Follow the Science Center on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @SFScienceCenter.