Key Vocabulary

Birth Defects
Conditions resulting from faulty prenatal development. Structural birth defects – those affecting the body – are usually apparent in the first year of life. Functional problems in brain development (leading to learning problems or mental retardation) may not be apparent until childhood.

The part of the central nervous system that is located within the cranium (skull). The brain functions as the primary receiver, organizer and distributor of information for the body. It has two (right and left) halves called "hemispheres."

The basic building block of all living organisms. Very simple organisms like bacteria may be composed of only one cell, while more complex organisms like humans may be composed of trillions of cells.

Corpus Callosum
The area of the brain which connects the two cerebral hemispheres (the two halves of the brain).

The organism in the early stages of growth and differentiation from fertilization to, in humans, the end of the eighth week of pregnancy. After that point in time, it is called a fetus.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
The sum total of the damage done to a child before birth as a result of the mother drinking alcohol during pregnancy. Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) can involve brain damage, impaired growth, and head and face abnormalities. FAS is an irreversible, lifelong condition.

In humans, the unborn offspring from the end of the 8th week after conception (when the major structures have formed) until birth. Up until the eighth week, the developing offspring is called an embryo.

Involving DNA, the genes or the chromosomes – the physical structures that guide development and are the basis of inheritance.

The hollow, pear-shaped organ located in a woman’s lower abdomen where a baby grows; also called the womb.


MedTerms Medical Glossary

California Department of Public Health Glossary


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Science 360

Seasonal schedules

MPSC offers seasonal schedules of Science 360 shows to the public. Follow this link to see the current schedule of public shows at MPSC.

Please note that seasonal schedules change four times each year (spring, summer, fall and holiday), and some shows are not offered during every schedule.

School shows

In addition to its public shows, MPSC offers shows during the week especially for school classes and other field trip groups. These school shows do not appear on the seasonal schedule but do appear on MPSC's daily calendar.

If seats are available, the public may purchase tickets to school shows.

However, school groups with reserved seating have first priority on any remaining seats (for example, if extra chaperons attend), so MPSC cannot guarantee that public seats will be available for school shows.