The Science Center’s OMNIMAX® is one of only
seven IMAX theaters across the country that were able
to launch the film on June 4, the same day it was released
in general cinemas,” says John Radzilowicz, director
of visitor experience for the Science Center.
We’ve got a good relationship and track record
with Warner Bros.,” he adds, crediting Science
Center Director Joanna Haas with building the ties.
The Science Center has recently featured two other
Warner Bros. films—The Matrix Revolutions and
Nascar: The IMAX Experience.
Harry Potter and the
Prisoner of Azkaban is the third Harry Potter film
to be released by Warner Bros.,
and it tells the story of Sirius Black, who has
escaped from the wizard prison known as Azkaban. Throughout
the film, Harry Potter, who is now in his third
at Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry,
gradually learns where Sirius fits into his own
The film runs through August 26
in the 350-seat
IMAX theatre, and is a special engagement feature
differs from more traditional IMAX films, such
as Jane Goodall’s
Wild Chimpanzees. The Harry Potter film runs for
two hours and 15 minutes—much longer than
the 45 minutes to one hour that a traditional
IMAX film runs.
Plans for On-site Wizardry
To enhance the scientific aspects of the
film and appeal to young wizards-in-training,
offer special programming, including a
Science Center summer camp on wizardry. “The focus of the camp
is chemistry,” the Science Center’s John
Radzilowicz explains. “We’re going to bring
the science connection to the fun of the film. We’ll
do some chemistry behind a variety of illusions in
the film. It’s a natural connection.”
Science Center Partners
with Head Start Teachers
Thousands of children in Allegheny and surrounding
counties are getting the news: science is fun.
Science Center continues its strong partnership with
the Head Start program, begun three years ago,
thanks to a $250,000 grant from the Scaife family’s
DSF Charitable Foundation. As the grant comes to
an end, Head Start is working to continue the program
by picking up more of the costs from its own budget.
Start is a federally funded program that provides
preschool education programs for 3- to 5-year-olds
from lower-income families. The Science Center
outreach staff began talking three years ago with leaders
from the local Head Start community, its teachers,
Each year, Head Start had set goals for its science
curriculum, yet it's the one area where many
teachers say they failed to meet their objectives,” says
Ron Baillie, the Science Center's chief program
we worked with them on their curriculum, which
is very literacy based, and we wove science and
math through it.”
The resulting “Science
has ended up training at least 450 teachers
and aides, and includes the provision of hands-on
to Head Start classrooms.
Holly Levenson, Head
Start program monitor
for Allegheny County, says the program is a
hit with teachers
and students. Children in some classrooms have
planted their own trees. Other young students
have planted corn on the cob and then popped
got a lot of inner-city classrooms where there
isn't a lot of garden space, but our teachers
are wonderful,” she
Two annual highlights of the program
include an evening when Head Start parents
Center without their children so they can explore
on their own (Head Start provides babysitting).
the end of the year, parents, children, and
siblings are all invited back to the Science
It’s just an amazing program,” says
Fifth Annual SciTech Festival
MASS Ensemble played Earth Harp. Photo:
The world’s largest harp. Dove releases. Theater
about African-American inventions. Smashing test plastics
for Sunoco Chemicals.
Carnegie Science Center was abuzz
with these activities and more during the Fifth Annual
SciTech Festival that
ran April 17-25. Each year, the festival showcases
a range of local companies and organizations and
promotes science and technology in the region. “Everyone
can interact with researchers and industry professionals
in a fun, dynamic atmosphere. It’s the only
event of its kind in the U.S.,” says Linda
Ortenzo, SciTech Festival executive director.
Festival marked the world premiere of A Wrinkle
in Time, adapted from Madeliene L'Engle's
award-winning novel. This is the first play produced
Festival in collaboration with Prime Stage Theatre
Art Institute of Pittsburgh thrilled festival-goers
with their special effects. Photo: Tom Altany
also enjoyed 1001 Black
Inventions, a play about what it would
be like to live without
of Africans and African Americans, performed
by Pin Points Theatre from Washington, D.C.
Connecting arts and science is an important feature
of the Festival,” explains Daniel Casciato,
marketing manager. Another big draw was the world’s
largest stringed instrument, Earth Harp, spanning
of the Science Center. Musicians from Los-Angeles-based
MASS Ensemble played while an aerialist twirled
The festival spans all ages in its appeal. “Over
2,500 students in grades K-12
attended programs,” says Geri Baker,
school programs manager.
explore Extrude Hone’s “Not So Silly” Putty.
Photo: Tom Altany
High school students
interacted with professionals
and exhibitors who described their jobs and
how they trained for them. College
with professionals from local companies at
the SciTech Spectacular, an evening of festivities
Companies such as Alcoa, PPG Industries, and
Bayer showcased their science. And visitors “tested” smashed
plastics at Sunoco Chemicals’ booth.
the National Aviary led visitors in a dove
release. ROBOSTILTS amazed audiences
equipment, unique walking devices, and innovative
events also took place at various partner
locations. For more information, visit www.scitechfestival.org.
Pittsburgher In Orbit
By John G. Radzilowicz, Director
of Visitor Experience
The International Space Station (ISS) orbits the
Earth at an altitude of about 240 miles. Traveling
at a speed of approximately 17,500 miles/hour,
it completes a full orbit of the planet in 90 minutes.
From the Earth, the ISS appears as a bright star
and is usually visible for a couple of minutes
When watching the ISS pass overhead, I often
wonder if the astronauts on board ever look down
But Pittsburghers won’t have to wonder about
that during the current mission. That’s because
the ISS Expedition 9 crew includes one of our own:
Emsworth native and Sewickley Academy graduate,
Lt. Col. Edward M. “Mike” Fincke. Mike,
who is 37, is taking part in his first space mission.
And what a way to start —six months aboard
the ISS as Science Officer and Flight Engineer.
Mike and Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka arrived
April and are currently scheduled to remain in
orbit until October.
Mike’s dreams of flying
in space were fueled in part by visits to the
Buhl Planetarium as a child,
and he wanted Carnegie Science Center to be a
part of his first mission. He has named the Science
Center as his one and only “Crew Pick” for
an educational “downlink.” Scheduled
for September, this opportunity will allow some
at the Science Center to see and speak directly
with the ISS crew through a real-time video satellite
link. Mike hopes to help inspire the next generation
And is Mike thinking about Pittsburgh? He sure is.
He called Carnegie Science Center —yes,
placed a telephone call from the ISS!—just
to let us know that he does look for Pittsburgh
when time allows. He’s excitedly looking
forward to the downlink in September, and
so are we!
You can get a schedule of sighting
opportunities for the ISS at the Science
Center’s Henry J.
Buhl, Jr., Planetarium and Observatory, or
visit the NASA human spaceflight page at
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