ORLANDO, Fla. – What’s the best kind of mess? The kind you don’t have to clean up!
Mess Fest returns to Orlando Science Center on Saturday, May 13 and Sunday, May 14. Families will have the opportunity to get hands-on with the ooziest, gooiest, messiest science experiments during the event.
Visitors can explore Mess Zones throughout the building and learn the science behind slime, see explosive live science demonstrations and more at Orlando Science Center.
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You’ve probably tried the Mentos and soda experiment before, but the Orlando Science Center demonstrates the reaction on a larger scale. Using several bottles and sticks of Mentos, soda goes bursting several feet in the air.
“A lot of people assume it’s chemistry, but it’s actually a physical change. The carbon dioxide that makes up the carbonation in soda gets trapped in the tiny ridges of the Mentos. They’re called nucleation sites,” Public Program Manager Spencer Jones said. “In doing so, offering so much surface area on a Mentos, all those bubbles build up all the pressure and it releases outwards.”
“We have foam, Diet Coke, paint, slime,” Jones said. “By the end of the day, I’ll be covered in all kinds of stuff.”
One of the activities causes an explosion of soap foam.
“It relates to temperature difference, really. The extreme temperature difference between boiling water and liquid nitrogen,” Jones said.
Boiling water and dish soap are put into a bucket then liquid nitrogen is added before it blows.
“There’s a 500-degree temperature difference between the two things. When we mix them together the attempts to neutralize that temperature is explosive. It releases all that energy and all that pressure upwards and outwards,” Jones said.
Mess Fest is all hands-on experiments, activities and shows. It’s all about learning the science behind, sometimes accidental, messes. Visitors also get to create their own slime to take home. What’s the science behind slime?
“It’s the right amount of Borax to water ratio,” science program interpreter Alyssa Flores said. “Borax is a cleaning agent, most often used in laundry or restroom cleaners. It’s going to act as an activating agent for the glue. It stiffens it.”
Experiments will take place inside the building and outside. Visitors are encouraged to wear clothes they don’t mind getting a bit messy with foam, blue and soda.
The event is open to children, teens and adults with more messy experiments than ever.
“Normally we’ve held it in just the traveling exhibit hall space, but this year because the traveling exhibit is bigger, we are using two exhibit spaces in order to run our mess fest. Twice as much space means twice as much mess and I think it will be a great Mother’s Day activity and moms don’t have to worry about the mess,” said Science Program Interpreter Allyssa Flores.
The “mess-tivities” include:
- Slip into the Mess Hall and learn about the science behind our favorite messy activities with spin art, Alka Seltzer painting, and more!
- Meet some creative local artists and makers who have turned being messy into a profession
- You’ll have a blast learning about the science of suds with foam-splosions on the terrace
- Our littlest learners are invited to join Messy Science StoryTime and MiniMaker Workshops in KidsTown
- Put on your goggles and get messy with creative and fun experiments in Dr. Dare’s Lab
- And so much more!
For teens and adults, there will be a tech take-apart lab where they can take apart popular electronics and use reverse engineering to learn how it all works.
“Making a mess requires you to take risks, to do different things and problem solve. It involves all the same skills you need for science,” Jones said.
The Orlando Science Center will be hosting Mess Fest on May 14 and 15.
It’s not a separately-ticketed event, so you’ll just need to purchase a general admission ticket to the Orlando Science Center. The event is open to all ages.
This event is FREE for members, $24 for adults, $22 for seniors and students, and $18 for youth (ages 2 – 11).
SCIENCE FOR ALL – General Admission Access Program: If you have an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) or WIC card with a State-issued photo ID matching the name and state as the card, you qualify for a $3 admission per person for up to six individuals.
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