Safari with an Elephant Family
Africa's Elephant Kingdom at the Rangos Omnimax Theater
June 28 - December 19
Dumbo and Babar are
for kids. If you want to see real elephants up close and personal, grab a
seat at Carnegie Science Center's Rangos Omnimax Theater for Africa's Elephant Kingdom.
Premiering June 28,
the film was shot in Kenya's Amboseli National Park and follows an elephant
family on a trek across Africa's vast plains.
You'll see newborn
elephants taking their first steps, young males jousting in mating rituals,
bulls knocking down trees, and witness time-lapse photography of the park's
vast savanna, deep swamps, and acacia-filled forests.
Here are a few
elephant facts to whet your appetite:
WHAT'S IN A NAME?:
"Elephant:" from the Greek "elephas," meaning
Earth's largest land mammal is gray in color and has thick, craggy skin
that's sparsely covered with coarse hair. Unlike their Indian cousins, an
African elephant's ears are large and fan-like. All elephants have four
front toes and three hind toes; and an adult male can reach 10 feet in
height and weigh up to 12,000 pounds.
its two finger-like lips, an elephant's trunk serves as both its nose, and
hands. Elephants use their trunks to eat, pull up vegetation, throw dust,
spray water, snorkel, and vocalize. A trunk contains 50,000 muscles and
tendons and can grow to be six feet long.
elongated incisor teeth, elephant tusks continue to grow throughout an
elephant's life--sometimes as much as seven inches a year. Tusks, which can
reach 10 feet in length and weigh more than 200 pounds, are used for
protection and to forage for food and water.
Elephants consume 50 gallons of water and eat about 350 pounds of grasses,
shrubs, flowers, leaves, fruit, bark, and salt daily.
FACTS OF LIFE: An
elephant can live 50 to 60 years, and gestation takes 22 months. A female
elephant is fertile only four days every two years.
A Planet Dance in Twilight
The best gathering of all five bright planets visible in
many years reaches its peak during the first two weeks in May. Look west each evening at dusk and watch
the changing configuration the planets make with each other. To estimate
distances in the sky, the width of your fist held at arm’s length measures
about 10° of sky, and the width of your little finger held at arm’s length
measures about 1° of sky.
On May 1st, the span of the five planets from Jupiter to
Mercury is 39° long and shrinks to 33.5° by May 14th. Bright Jupiter is the
highest and appears separate from the other four to its lower right. The remaining four planets, all in
Taurus, fit into 13°. Venus is the
brightest and Mars the faintest.
On May 1st, Mercury is 6° to the lower right of Venus
and Saturn is 6.5° to the upper left of Venus. Mars is 2.5° to the right of Saturn. Aldebaran, the star that marks the eye of
Taurus, is 5.5° to the lower left of Saturn.
The tightest grouping and best individual pairings
happen between May 3rd and10th. On
the 3rd, Mars passes 2.2° to the upper right of Saturn. On the 5th, Venus, Saturn and Mars form a
compact triangle less than 3° on a side.
On the 6th, Venus passes 2.4° to the upper right of Saturn. On the 10th, Venus passes 0.3° to the
upper right of faint Mars.
After May 10th, watch Jupiter race down toward
Venus. The two brightest planets
appear closest to each other on June 3rd, with Jupiter passing 1.7° to the
lower left of Venus.
Illustrations of these gatherings can be found on the
Buhl Planetarium’s Astronomical Calendar on Carnegie Science Center’s
website. A monthly star chart is
available by request. Call
By Jenny L. Pon,
Astronomer,Henry Buhl, Jr. Planetarium & Observatory, Carnegie Science
There are some
really cool new camps and workshops at Carnegie Science Center this
summer--one is so cool, it's downright cold.
"Science of Ice
Hockey" will be held off-site at Blade Runners in Bethel Park and
Hamarville for children who have completed grades 3 though 6.
Learn how a hockey
stick works, how goalies use math to make saves, and the science behind the
Zamboni. Also new is Kennywood Science, which includes a trip to the
amusement park; Sports Camp, with a tour of Heinz Field, and UFO Camp. At
"Get Into the Light: The Art and Science of James Turrell," young
scientists will learn what art, light, astronomy, and volcanic craters have
The class, held at
both Carnegie Science Center and the Mattress Factory museum, explores the
search by artist/scientist/pilot James Turrell for a volcanic crater in
Arizona. Holograms, projections, and outdoor installations are all part of
this full-day camp for kids who've completed grades 3 through 6.
Half-day and full-day camps and workshops--from
LEGO® Mania and Junior Wizard Camp to Robotics and River Camp--will be held
for preschool, elementary, and middle school children. Family
workshops--Rocket Building and Elephant Extravaganza--are also available.
For more information, call 412-237-1637 or log on to www.CarnegieScienceCenter.org.
Discover Fun for Your Little Ones: Join our
Handprints E-mail Service
So you're searching
for fun, educational things to do with your 3 to 6-year-old? Well, send us
your e-mail address and we'll keep you updated on Carnegie Science Center's
preschool sessions and workshops--such as this summer's Rainbow Stew,
Ladybugs, and Bubble Science--as well as new exhibits like Busytown, that
opens June 13. In addition, we'll clue you in on interesting parent-related
Web sites and activities you and your child can participate in together.
This e-mail service is a new
feature of Carnegie Science Center's Handprints program. Handprints began
as a visual guide for parents in which preschool age-appropriate activities
and exhibits are labeled with colorful palm print tags. These exhibits are
designed to get kids exploring, asking questions, and learning. Some of the
Handprint exhibits at the science center are: SciQuest (earthquakes and
echo tubes), SeaScape, (a touch tank of starfish and crabs), Exploration
Station Junior, (construction zone, water table), UPMC SportsWorks Junior,
(rock climbing wall and pitching cage), and the Buhl Planetarium ("The
Sky Above Mister Rogers Neighborhood").
To receive e-mail updates,
contact Lynda Herrman at email@example.com. Sponsored by Subaru of America.