RSC Presents: Temple Grandin, Science Tuesday, Science Cafe, Studio i Makerspace, Youth Programs, & More!

Rockville Science Center Newsletter
August 2018
The Rockville Science Center Presents ...
Dr. Temple Grandin

The Rockville Science Center Presents

Understanding Animal Behavior and Autism
A talk by Dr. Temple Grandin

Music Center at Strathmore

September 7, 2018, at 7:30 PM

Tickets for this special event are going fast!


Time Magazine called Dr.Temple Grandin one of the 100 most influential persons in the world.

The Rockville Science Center presents Dr. Temple Grandin, renowned Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University, who will share her insights on humane management and handling of animals as they interact with humans. 

Dr. Grandin is well known as a successful autistic individual who has written extensively on the subject of autism. She has capitalized on her ability to see in pictures to understand the sensory perceptions of different species and address their needs. Avoiding unnecessary fear and stress by accommodating enhanced sensory responses depends on understanding the differing reactions enabled by an animal's specific neurology. 

Dr. Grandin will elaborate on her concept of sensory-based thinking that enables her to consult worldwide for groups as diverse as research scientists, slaughterhouses, pet trainers, and youngsters who are somewhere on the autism spectrum.

Tickets prices are $35 and $50. To purchase tickets, go to:

For event sponsorship opportunities, please contact:
Michelle Schwalbe at (310) 569-3128 or

The Center at a Glance

Details for these activities are in this newsletter!

College Park Aviation Museum Airmail Centennial 
Saturday, August 11
10 AM - 4 PM
Link to event
Science Tuesday 
at Rockville Senior Center 

Tuesday, August 14
1 PM to 2 PM

Science Cafe 
At Crossroads BBQ & Grill
(Branded '72 Restaurant's new name)

Tuesday, August  21 7 PM to 8 PM
Explorations! Field Trip
National Library of Medicine
Friday, August 24 10:30 AM
Check out the Studio i Makerspace 
Meetup for special activities/classes

Explorer Post meetings

Every Wednesday
6 PM to 9 PM
Rockville Science Center Presents ...
Dr. Temple Grandin at the
Music Center at Strathmore
September 7 7:30 PM

Get Tickets Here!
Post 1010 Open House September 8 1 PM to 4 PM

A Home for the Rockville Science Center


We are pleased to announce that the Rockville Science Center Board of Trustees and the City of Rockville are presently engaged in discussions with the owners of property located at 41 Maryland Avenue (southwest corner of Maryland Ave. and E. Middle Lane) to design, develop and construct a build-to-suit science center facility that will serve as the long-term permanent home of the Rockville Science Center.

A newly constructed facility located in the heart of Rockville Town Center promises to meet ALL of the Science Center's present and future programmatic needs and achieve the RSC's goal of creating a dynamic interactive facility in Rockville that will serve as a regional destination for science enthusiasts of all ages.

We look forward to working hand-in-hand with the City and the property owners to make this incredible opportunity a reality for Rockville's residents and businesses in the very near future.

Thank you for your ongoing support of the Science Center and please stay tuned for more details on this very exciting development.
Rockville Science Center Board of Trustees

Explorer Post 1010 Open House
Open House

Invitation for High School Youth to Join
Explorer Post 1010

Saturday, September 8, 2018
1 PM to 4 PM

John Hopkins University
9601 Medical Center Drive.
Rockvill e, MD 20850

High School Students only
Please RSVP to Bob Ekman, 301.512.1278

Explorer Post 1010, sponsored by the Rockville Science Center, provides youth with year-round engineering project activities including robotics, rocketry, drones, and team building.  Our programs include FIRST Tech Challenge, Team America Rocketry Challenge, Botball, and USA4STEM. 

Regional/National Awards, Teamwork, Leadership, Friends, Career development, College prep, Community Service!

Airmail Centennial

Airmail Centennial Takes off at the College Park Aviation Museum and Airport

Join the Rockville Science Center at the College Park Aviation Museum
Saturday, August 11, 2018, 10 AM - 4 PM

Starting up the Military Flyer engine with Wilbur Wright (fourth from left, behind engine) looking on at College Park, October 1909. The Army's new Wright Aeroplane; Personnel are from the Army Signal Corp. Photo courtesy of the College Park Aviation Museum.

Studio i Makerspace

Location:  Rockville Memorial Public Library, 2nd Floor, 21 Maryland Ave, Rockville, MD 20850
Registration:  May be  required  for some events.
Open Meeting Time:

Saturday / Sunday
9 AM 
12 PM
6 PM
9 PM
6 PM
9 PM
6 PM
9 PM
10 AM
1 PM
*10 AM to1 PM
* 1 PM  to 5 PM

*Saturday and Sunday alternate


Check out all our activities on the  Studio i Makerspace Meetup Group


Our Makerspace is a community center with tools and materials where people in the community can come to learn, teach, and make things. The RSC Makerspace activities include Robotics, Drones R/C groups, Rocketry, Amateur Radio, Microcontrollers, Coder Dojo youth programming, High Altitude Ballooning, Wiki a-thon and much more. Check us out!

Tools and materials include: 3D printers, CNC Carving and Cutting, Soldering, and PC design tools.  Most events are typically free. Registration may be required for some events. 

Adults are welcome to bring your kids for "Summer  Fun Projects " all summer long:  Arduinos, electronic circuits, soldering, paper craft, 3D print .... 10 years old and younger must be accompanied by an adult.
Home schooling community! Bring your kids to the makerspace on Monday and Friday morning to learn how to use the tools and get engaged in short or long-term science projects.
Calendar: Check out all our activities on the Studio i Makerspace Meetup Group

Other Studio i Maker Space News

Arduino weekly summer projects: Adults and teens meet every week to use Arduinos, breadboard, LEDs and sensors. Each one work on existing short term projects or develop their own long term projects.

Coder Dojo (ages 7-17) is an ongoing program with 50+ youth attending routinely. This is a low-pressure, learn at your own pace, group where you can share ideas and learn with peers and invited speakers under the guidance of expert adult mentors.

The MoCo Makers Thursday night series continued its wonderful topics and talks in July which included: "Atoms to Algorithms", "Low-Level Custom Computer Design", and "The Circuit Boards Behind Linux".

Coming in August: Weekly Arduino Project Meetings and Summer Fun projects, 3D Design 101, 3D Design CAD, 3D Printing, Shopbot Use for Cutting and Carving wood or plexiglass.
See previous and coming activities at Rockville RSC Makerspace Meetup Group

August Science Tuesday
The Life of Animals in Antarctica
Date:  Tuesday, August 14, 2018, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Event: Rockville Science Center, Science Tuesday
Where: Rockville Senior Center, 1150 Carnation Dr., Rockville, MD 20850
Speaker: Dr. James Sniezek

Dr. James Sniezek is Instructional Dean of Chemical and Biological Sciences at Montgomery College. His training is in zoology with an emphasis in marine science. He enjoys the cold and traveling with his dad.

In January of 2017 he traveled to Antarctica. Antarctica is one of the most unforgiving yet beautiful places on the Earth. The presentation will focus on the animals of Antarctica and of their behaviors. There will be an abundance of pictures and videos of penguins, seals, and humpback whales.... oh, and ice.  

Rockville Science Center Science Tuesday programs are run in partnership with the City of Rockville. Science Tuesdays meets on the second Tuesday of the month from 1:00 to 2:00pm at the Rockville Senior Center. Science Tuesdays feature a speaker with a science background giving a presentation and answering questions afterwards. Events are free to attend.

 August  Science Café
Whale Snot
Date:  Tuesday, August 14, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Event:  Rockville Science Center, Science Cafés
Where:  Crossroads BBQ & Grill, 387 E Gude Dr, Rockville, MD 20850
Speaker:  Dr. James Sniezek 

Dr. Sniezek completed a BS in general biology, and an MS and a PhD in zoolo gy at the University of Maryland College Park. Prior to his current faculty appointment, he taught at UMD, Charles County Community College, Prince George's Community College, and Shoals Marin Laboratory which is affiliated with Cornell University and the University of New Hampshire. His extensive research experience includes projects at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Benedict Estuarine Research Laboratory, and the Chesapeake Bay Institute. All aspects of biology peak his interests, especially marine biology, protozoology, and environmental science. Dr. Sniezek has published numerous scientific papers and has won competitive grants, including his current project, funded by the National Science Foundation, to incorporate math bench modules in Intro to Biology courses.

Dr.  Sniezek will join us again this month at our Sc ience Cafe. Ev er wonder what is in whale snot?  Examination of mucus discharged from the blo wholes of live odonticete Cetacea (toothed whales) and material collected from orifices of dead hosts routinely revealed infestations of a large spindle-shaped ciliate, Kyaroikeus cetarius n.g., n.sp. Come see how surface features and ultrastructural patterns are used to distinguish this ciliate from any previously described ciliate microorganism species. Dr. Sniezek will also discuss the rationale for the phylogenetic placement of this organism within the ciliate class Phyllopha


The  Rockville Science  Center Scienc e Cafés  are free and open to everyone. They feature a scientist engaging and leading discussions to encourage conversation, debate, and interaction. T he  Crossroads BBQ & Grill  serves BBQ, vegetarian dishes, and salads. Arrive early if you want to buy dinner or a drink and get a table. 

 August Explorations! Trip
(Please Register below)

August Explorations!
The National Library of Medicine

Friday, August 24
10:30 AM to 11:45 AM
Date: Friday, August 24, 2018
Time: 10:30 am to 11:45 am
Location: National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, 8600 Rockville Pike, Lister Hill Building (#38A), Room 127, NLM Visitor Center 
Parking: We recommend you take public transportation. Metro Rail stops at the Medical Center Metro Station.
Meet at: NIH Gateway Center, just outside the Medical Center Metro Station 
Rockville Science center Contact: Howard Lichtman, cell phone 301.580.7190

You must be a member of the Rockville Science Center to attend Explorations! Field Trips.  Individual membership is $20. Family Membership is $40. 


Join members of the Rockville Science Center on a behind the scenes tour of the  National Library of medicine with other Rockville Science members. The outing will include a tour of the library's computer center and the historical  book collection.

Getting There:
From Rockville we recommend you take Metrorail to the Medical Center Metro Station. The NIH Gateway Center is outside the Metrorail Station.

Explorations! Field Trips offer Rockville Science Center (RSC) members the chance to take a more in-depth look at the science or technology at work in a particular outdoor location or science/technology-related organization in the Rockville-DC area, and to meet and enjoy the company of other RSC members. Unless specified otherwise, our Explorations Field Trips are open to adults and kids aged 10 and older, with an accompanying adult required for those under 18. You must be a member of the Rockville Science Center to participate in these activity. 

 Youth Programs

Explorer Post 1010

Post 1010 is a great group of over 40 high school students with interests in computers, robotics, rockets, drones, and engineering. The Post is sponsored by the Rockville Science Center. 

Meetings are at  Johns Hopkins University, in  Rockville Maryland, on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings throughout the school year. Members of the Post are developing experience designing and building engineering projects as they explore engineering as a career. Check out our website at

For  additional  information about Explorer Post 1010, FIRST LEGO League, or our other youth programs contact

Mark your calendar - Open House
The Post will have a new member recruitment open house on Saturday, September 8, at Johns Hopkins in Montgomery County. They are looking for about 18 new 9th and 10th grade students to fill out their robotics, rocketry, and drone teams. It is a big commitment in time and effort, but a great opportunity to experience engineering projects.

Team America Rocketry Challenge

FTC Team

The First Tech Challenge teams are working on their engineering skills and outreach into the community.

Botball Robotics Conference

The Post sent a team off to two national competitions this summer. In late July, they sent a team to Indian Wells, California for the Global Conference on Educational Robotics. Besides competing in the International Botball tournament, they attended engineering presentations and robotics demonstrations.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems Team 

In August, the Post has again been invited to the national finals of the UAS4STEM drone competition in Muncie, Indiana.  This year they need to autonomously drop paint balloons on several targets based locations discovered through an initial search operation

U SA4STEM is a program of the Academy of Model Aeronautics.


Other Youth Programs


Contact us for information on our First Lego League teams.

Summer Camps

The Rockville Science Center 2018  Science Camps are in progress. Camps are located at the  Bullis School and at various sites in the City of Rockville. We have camps in geology, biology, astronomy,  engineering, robotics, and electronics. The camps are focused on elementary and middle school aged students.

Look for the 2019 Summer Camp Catalog later in the year.

Or email us at


Volunteer Opportunities at the
Rockville Science Center
We have many volunteer opportunities coming up as our busy season approaches. Volunteering at the RSC gives students an opportunity to earn SSL hours and adults to participate in our outreach to the community. 

To volunteer:  contact Howard at or call 301.580.7190.

Read About Our Previous Month's Activities

July Science Tuesday
8.8 Million Tons of Plastic Trash

Mark Wright spoke about plastic bottles, bags and packaging litter our landscape at our July Science Tuesday. He discussed how all this litter is  flowing into storm drains and watersheds and contributes to the estimated 8.8 million tons of plastic trash that enters the ocean every year. We had an active discussion with our audience on in seeking solutions to this world wide problem. 

Mark Wright is a Rockville, Maryland-based writer and communication strategist. Originally from California, he interned in the U.S. Senate, volunteered in the White House communications office, and worked for many years in the commuter transportation field. He served in a variety of roles with different associations, including executive director of the Association for Commuter Transportation, and now focuses on communications for clients around the DC region. Mark co-chairs the Environmental Stewardship Committee at Christ Episcopal Church in Rockville. 

Mark Wright discussing of plastic pollution.

Mark spoke to a full house!

July Science Café
How to Communicate Science 
to a Broader Audience

Julie Pala kovich Carr has trained more than one thousand scientists on how to communicate their research to policymakers, journalists, and the public. At o ur Science Cafe Judy discussed how a scientist's job doesn't end when the research is complete and their findings have been published in a scientific journal. Scientists have a duty to help disseminate their work into the popular press and to policymakers. At our July science cafe, we learned the fundamentals of how to communicate science to a broader audience and the role that researchers can play in advancing science in  policymaking.

Julie be came interested in politics after completing her Master's degree in biology.  She advised U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) on ocean and environm ental policy, before joining the American Institute of Biological Sciences, eventually becoming public policy manager. In 2013, Julie became the youngest woman ever elected to the Ro ckville City Council in Maryland.


The  Rockville Science  Center Scienc e Cafés  are free and open to everyone. They feature a scientist engaging and leading discussions to encourage conversation, debate, and interaction. T he  Crossroads BBQ & Grill  serves BBQ, vegetarian dishes, and salads. Arrive early if you want to buy dinner or a drink and get a table. 

July Explorations

United States 
Botanic Gardens Conservatory


Our July Explorations took us on a journey to the US Botanic Gardens Conservatory, on Capital Hill.  The U.S. Botanic Garden is a museum with a difference - their artifacts are the living botanic treasures of the world.

Our science minded members were treated to an extended behind-the-scenes tour by a staff botanist. We enjoyed a lecture under a fruiting chocolate tree, visited the orchid and  bromeliad garden, and spent quite a lot of time learning about the medicinal and endangered plants in their collection. We had hoped to see a specimen of titan arum, the corpse flower, famous for their human sized stinky bloom (see photo above). But Botanic Gardens' corpse plants are no longer in bloom, and not on display. The front desk has a jar of paper strips with the legendary aroma for visitors to sample.

Our thanks to the education staff of the United States Botanic garden for putting this tour together for us. 

Listening to a lecture under a chocolate tree. 

Bromeliad garden. The plants are growing on a tree trunk.

Carnivorous Pitcher plant with foot long animal traps. Don't get too close!

Join us in August at the National Library of Medicine
Youth Programs

Global Conference on Educational Robotics
 and Other Youth Activities

In July, Explorer Post 1010 sent a team to the Global Conference on Educational Robotics in Palm Springs, California. The conference included presentations on robotics, robotics industry speakers, and competitions for middle school students, high school students, and adults from many different countries.

At the same time, the Post had a team preparing for a national drone competition in Muncie, Indiana to be held in August. This is their second invitation to compete based on performance back in April.

All our Post's engineering teams have several high school seniors who are heading off to colleges across the US. While we are sad to see them go, we are preparing for new members at an open house on Saturday, September 8, at Johns Hopkins University in Montgomery County, 1pm to 4pm.

Become a Member of the  Rockville Science Center!


Rockville Science Center Platinum & Gold Sponsors:
U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention 
Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus
Hitachi Consulting

Rockville Science Center Bronze Sponsors:
Emergent BioSolutions

Rockville Science Center |