Category Archives: Education

The Science of the Circus – See How It All Works!

The “Ambassadors of Laughter” from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® will make a special appearance at the Orlando Science Center to entertain, educate and engage the public. During the show, audience members will join actual Ringling Brothers clowns on stage to try their hands at some of these famous stunts, and you will have a chance to win family four-packs to see the circus.  That’s pretty cool!

Ever wonder how circus performers can perform antics including balancing on a high wire the way acrobats do?  The clowning team makes learning science fun and comical. See firsthand how concepts like balance, wind resistance, gyroscopic stability, and gravity impact tricks such as plate spinning, acrobatics and juggling.

 

The Ambassadors of Laughter will tickle your funny bone with lighthearted antics that offer a sneak preview of Fully Charged, the all-new 141st Edition of The Greatest Show On Earth® playing the Amway Center this January 13th-17th.  For tickets and more information, visit www.ringling.com

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Amway Arena, Education, Fun

Central Florida Travel Bloggers – Travel Knowledge Central!

The Top 5 was at the Orlando Science Center today to attend the Central Florida Chapter Meeting of the Travel Blog Exchange, also known as TBEX, which is an international association of travel-specific bloggers. While there, we discussed all sorts of things related to travel, websites, blogging, etc., and we also got to hear from Jeff Stanford of the Orlando Science Center as well as Susan Lomax of the Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Chapter President Ben Reed leading a discussion about travel blogs.

I was pleased I got to see some old friends, including Britt Reints of Miss Britt and the TBEX Chapter’s organizer and president Ben Reed of Adventures With Ben, as well as discover some new friends and exciting blogs. So, Central Floridians, in addition to checking out the “Other Orlando Blogs” at the top of this blog, you can also visit these great sites:

Today's attendees are awesome bloggers located right here in Central Florida.

I enjoyed re-exploring the Science Center and highly recommend you visit the special Music Box exhibit.  And, a very special thanks to Ben for organizing today’s valuable meeting!

Top 5 editor Bess Auer with Ben Reed.

5 Comments

Filed under Blogger Extraordinaire, Education, Girlfriend Getaway, Literary, Orlando, Tourist

Winter Park Harvest Festival

We also had a fabulous time exploring the local farmers and Central Florida producers at the Winter Park Harvest Festival produced by John Rife. Awesome!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Leave a comment

Filed under Agriculture, Education, winter park

The Deathly Hallows: What a Joyous Memory!

Yeah, we’re big Harry Potter fans in our household. As an English teacher, I know the value (and power) of reading and so I started reading aloud to my son when he was in utero. (Really.)

When he was old enough to want to tackle Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, I dutifully read aloud each night until we finished the book. This blossomed into us standing in line awaiting each new release–my husband even grabbed one early in New York one time and brought it home as an early birthday present–and produced many fond memories. I smile when I think back to the third book, The Prisoner of Azkaban, when my son was so scared of Sirius Black and so he would make my hubby sit with him as I read aloud.  Good times!

My son as Harry Potter

And, once the movies started coming out we were in line… and then once again as Harry Potter’s Wizarding World opened. So, as the film series is finally winding down, with the Part I of the last movie opening today, it is with bitter sweetness that I post this new video below… enjoy!

Leave a comment

Filed under Education, family, Just for Me, Universal

Rollins College “Weighs in” on Hunger

Rollins College along with the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce and Winter Park community members collected 16,201 lbs of food for Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. WOW! That is over 8 tons of food!

The food drive was part of Helping Hands Across America, which was a month-long food collection drive to help reduce hunger across Central Florida. The event has been a fixture at Rollins for several years.  Throughout the month, donations were collected on Rollins College campus, from Sodexo – the College’s food provider – and at the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce.

Kudos to the students, faculty, and staff, as well as the community of Winter Park for helping the food bank prepare for a never-ending busy season!

1 Comment

Filed under Charity, Education, Non-profit, Rollins College, winter park

Orlando Science Center: “When I Wish Upon a Star…”

I really, really do wish upon stars, and on occasion, a wish does come true. So, what better way to make an even bigger wish than to get up close and personal with the stars at the Orlando Science Center!

The silver-domed Crosby Observatory atop the Science Center houses Florida’s largest refractor telescopes available to the public. From November 20, 2010 to February 19, 2011, the Crosby Observatory will be open for seasonal night sky viewing on the first and third Saturday of each month from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

So, what will you wish for?

Leave a comment

Filed under Education, Fun, Museum, Space

Orville Schell: The Top 5 Concerns Central Florida Should Have about China

The Top 5 was very excited to be able to speak with Orville Schell, one of the country’s leading authorities on China. (You’ve seen him on 60 Minutes.)  Orville is coming to speak at Rollins College tomorrow night, Thursday, November 11.

Special note from the editor: Yes, I did a bit of reading to sound intelligent when speaking with Orville–I tried!– but he was kind enough to explain why relations with China matter to you and me as average Central Floridians.

And, after this conversation, I do realize how important his message is to all of us: from the products we buy and the jobs we may or may not have, to the money we can or can’t borrow from the bank to even preventing future apocalyptic wars. Pretty important stuff, no? Here’s what he had to say…

The Top 5 Concerns Central Florida Should Have about China

1)  Trade

Have you been to a Walmart recently? Come on, even if you haven’t surely you have seen these three words over and over: Made In China.

Confession: I heard about a local school who had a Veteran’s Day Assembly, where several worthy veterans were honored. The students proudly waved tiny American flags to show their patriotism. (The flags were flown on sticks that read “Made in China.” Ugh!)

2) Almost $2 trillion in Debt

Yep, China holds 20% of the U.S. government’s debt, and we seem headed towards going even deeper into their pockets.

Now, my hubby doesn’t let me handle our own bills, because I’m not much with economics, but even I can see the MAJOR problems with this much foreign ownership. It seems to put us in a rather poor negotiating stance, doesn’t it?

3) Climate Change

Although my older brother used to tell me that I could only get to China by digging a hole through the middle of the Earth, the world is apparently much, much smaller than he thought.  If ash from an Indonesian volcano can drift across the Pacific to pollute the western coast of America, then certainly the coal China and America burn affects each other.  We pollute the same air, melt the same glaciers, and destroy the same environment. Think about this: even if all of America switched to electric cars, there would still be 27 million cars in China to deal with!

“China is the fastest-growing contributor of global warming emissions,” says Douglas Ogden, director of the China Sustainable Energy Program, “with its carbon dioxide output on track to surpass that of the U.S. by 2025.”

So the lesson in all this? America must be on good terms with China to be able to work together to reduce the carbon emissions and slow the effects of global warming. Yeah, our very survival as a race depends upon this!

4) Nuclear Weapons

Okay, just Orville saying those two words kind of freaks me out!

There are a lot of countries that have (or soon may have) nuclear weapons, and North Korea and Iran are two that are not so friendly to the United States and our policies.  China, however, seems to have a much better working relationship with these two countries, and so it is imperative we learn to cooperate with China to reduce any and all nuclear threats. (That or we need to dig more fall out shelters here in Florida!)

5) Global Financial System

Here in Central Florida we have all felt the effects of the slow economy. Thousands of jobs lost, hundreds of stores closed, and far too many people out of their homes.  And in a global market dominated by both the U.S. and China, we will need to work together not only to keep the system from breaking down altogether, but to also figure out how to rebuild it.

As Orville pointed out, “We are joined at the hip with China whether we like it or not. It is an illusion to think we can separate ourselves.”

Baby Steps

Of course, the teacher in me asked Orville whether he thought today’s schools were preparing tomorrow’s generation to deal with this massive gorilla on our back (metaphorically speaking, of course), and he said no.  He pointed out that schools are not teaching students the history, culture, language, or politics to be able to deal with China. So, I would like to give some kudos to Lake Highland Preparatory School for offering Mandarin Chinese as one of their foreign languages options. At least it’s a start!

I would also like to congratulate the Central Florida city of Tavares, whose mayor Robert Wolfe is currently on a trip to Taiwan to explore a sister-city relationship. By taking the initiative, perhaps we Central Floridians can have a greater influence on international relations than we realize, and this can only be for the good of all!

Go Hear Orville Schell in Person: 2 Chances

Tomorrow night at Rollins College, Bush Auditorium, 7 pm:
Climate Change and the Melting Glaciers of the Himalayas: Why it Matters

Friday morning at Rollins College, Bush Auditorium, 9 am:
What’s Happening in China and Why It Matters: Q & A with Orville Schell

5 Comments

Filed under Celebrity, Education, General Info, Literary, Politics, Rollins College, TV Fame