Museum of Science & Industry, Tampa, Florida, USA | CruiseBe
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Museum of Science & Industry (Tampa)

History and museums
sightseeing, science museum, planetaria, nature, children`s fun

The Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI) is a not-for-profit, science museum located in Tampa, Florida, US. It is a community-based institution and educational resource that is dedicated to advancing public interest, knowledge, and understanding of science, industry, and technology. MOSI's core ideology is to make a difference in people's lives by making science real for people of all ages and background. People can experience a scientific playground of more than 450 hands-on activities in the largest science center in the southeastern United States. It is also the location of Florida's only IMAX Dome Theatre, the Florida Hospital DOME Theatre .



In 1976, the Hillsborough County Museum's advisory committee and staff obtained the funding and land to construct an innovative and unique museum structure in North Tampa that was to become the Museum of Science & Industry. A new director and key professional staff were hired in 1978-79 to focus MOSI's direction and purpose as construction proceeded. Relying on the valuable history of its predecessor museums, MOSI staff took advantage of the scientific, technological and industrial growth occurring in Tampa and at the neighboring University of South Florida (USF) to design a visionary, high-tech facility. Completed in 1980 and permanently opened to the public in 1982, MOSI has provided public programs and exhibits which support its mission and seek to meet the needs of a growing and vibrant community.

MOSI today is the result of 52 years of growth and maturity reflecting both the institution and the surrounding community. The passage of time has seen MOSI change in name, location and size. However, its general purpose, to provide informal science education, has remained unchanged. In 1962, Hillsborough County first approved funding for a youth museum in Sulphur Springs on the banks of the Hillsborough River. Later renamed the Museum of Science and Natural History, this small museum provided natural science exhibits and education programs to children and adults. In 1967, the name of the Museum was changed to the Hillsborough County Museum. The fledgling institution continued to expand its programs and, in 1972, hired its first professional director.

In 1987, an intensive examination of the Museum's mission and goals, coupled with an assessment of the community's needs, produced a long-range, three-phase Master Plan for MOSI's growth and development. In 1988, the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners set aside 38 acres valued at $6.6 million adjacent to the existing MOSI facility to ensure that the goals of the master plan could be accomplished. An additional 23.5 acres valued at $2.2 million were also set aside for the Museum by the county in 1995 to provide additional space for expansion over the next ten years. In 2000, the county purchased a final three-acre tract to complete the current 74 acre MOSI campus.

Phase I of the Master Plan included the construction of the 190,000 square foot science center with Florida's only IMAX Dome Theatre, extensive permanent and temporary exhibition galleries, a planetarium and a public library was completed in July, 1995. Phase II which began in June, 1996, allowed for renovation of the original structure (now referred to as the Whitney Andrews Lang Center for Learning) and development of The Back Woods Nature Center. Refurbishment of the exhibit and program areas began and much needed classroom space was added along with the Southwest Florida Water Management District/Bank of America BioWorks Butterfly Garden, an innovative water treatment facility/exhibit. Phase III of the master plan was completed in 2005 with the opening of Kids in Charge!, the largest children's science center in the nation. Earlier, through an innovative partnership with the Institute for Business & Home Safety, MOSI completed the Gladys Shafran Kashdin Welcome Center in 2001. MOSI is now the largest science center in the southeast and the 5th largest in the U.S.


The Museum of Science & Industry was reaccredited in April 2008 by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). MOSI was the 2009 recipient of the National Medal for Museums for the Institute of Museums and Library Services, which is the highest national award given to museums.


MOSI's funding stems from private donations and support from Hillsborough County and the City of Tampa.


The museum is located directly across the street from the University of South Florida which partners with the museum in many research fellowships.

Educational programs

Summer Science Camps. MOSI offers summer educational camps usually lasting from June through August. These camps range in various scientific topics from outdoor wild adventures to learning about sea creatures to creating animation. The camps are designed for students Pre-K through twelfth grade. MOSI's Summer Science Camp is the largest single-site science and technology camp in the United States. In addition to youth programs, MOSI also offers senior programs.

Community engagement

Hispanic Scientist of the Year Award

Catering to the large, diverse community of Tampa Bay (and Florida at large), MOSI recognizes Hispanic Scientists through an annual award. The scientists attend Meet the Scientists Days, and they speak to children about their paths to the STEM fields. The Hispanic Scientist of the Year Award has been awarded since 2001.


MOSI encourages environmental conservation through exhibits, from water conservation to Florida-friendly gardens.

Senior citizens

Even though much of the programming is aimed towards children, MOSI wants senior citizens and older adults to keep learning and growing with their Life Enrichment programs.

Current exhibits

Imagination Playground

MOSI’s newest interactive experience, Imagination Playground, enables kids to engineer everything from robots to cities using cubes, bricks, cogs, curves, and cylinders. Imagination Playground allows kids to play in a way that encourages creativity and collaboration, while continually exploring new directions and initiatives that promote the benefits of learning, social development, movement and above all, fun.

This breakthrough play space concept enables children to create open-ended designs in a safe environment led by one of MOSI's education staff. Guests can head over to MOSI’s children’s science center, Kids in Charge!, and dive into a play space that, unlike a traditional playground, is not made of monkey bars, slides or see-saws. In this innovative hands-on zone, children work with large foam pieces to connect and build in intricate ways, enabling them to bring their visions to life. Designed by David Rockwell, these unique building blocks are non-toxic and made of a lightweight, yet durable foam. They are soft and friendly to the touch yet dense and firm enough to build structures and shapes.

Imagination Playground has received rave reviews around the country. The New York Times says it is “a playground where children’s creativity can run wild,” and CNN calls it “...the most innovative playground design since child psychologists started fiddling with jungle gyms in the 1960s”.

3D Printing the Future

Welcome to the future, where you can create anything imaginable through the revolutionary world of 3D Printing. From fashion to décor, entertainment to toys, medical devices to possible human organs, 3D Printing the Future, a new exhibition at MOSI, illustrates 3D printing's boundless and mind-blowing potential to re-shape how we live, work and play.

3D Printing the Future will offer an inspiring glimpse of the future through 3D-printed objects, live demonstrations, and hands-on 3D printing, along with an in-depth look at how 3D printing technology works, how it is used, and the amazing possibilities for the future.

Visitors will watch 3D printers in action as they take an immersive journey through all applications of 3D printing, including:

3D Medicine Guests will be able to view 3D-printed medical objects, including 3D-printed body parts and prosthetics, and learn how 3D printing is revolutionizing the world of modern medicine.

3D Science & Technology Visitors can explore how 3D printing is aiding scientists and researchers working in some of the most remote places on Earth. Guests will also learn how 3D printing is being used to help solve crimes, build cars and houses, along with sending replacement tools to astronauts in space.

3D Archeology MOSI is partnering with the University of South Florida's Alliance for Integrated Spatial Technologies for this section where guests will learn how this futuristic technology is being used to preserve our past. Acting as guest curator, USF will illustrate how ancient sites and artifacts are brought to life in surprising detail and show how scientists are using 3D printing and scanning to advance our understanding of ancient people, places and animals.

3D Fun In 3D Fun, visitors will discover everything from 3D-printed musical instruments and toys to 3D-printed fashion and jewelry. This section will illustrate the modern conveniences that 3D printing can provide in the future, like printing a replacement part for a dishwasher or an extra place setting at the dining table for unexpected company. Additionally, this section shows how the fashion industry has embraced 3D printing as a tool to create beautifully innovative and customized items including clothing, jewelry and accessories that are tailored just for you.

3D Workshop Because 3D printing is a hands-on world, visitors will have the opportunity to play with 3D printing concepts in this hands-on workshop. Guests will be able to draw with the world’s first 3D printing pen, and bridge the gap between the real and virtual world by building with 3D-printed Minecraft blocks. Families can even take part in an interactive story featuring 3D-printed models. This fun, imaginative story time will offer a glimpse of new ways to tap into the imagination of children through tangible story-themed play that they can design and print out.

3D Live Showcase This live stage show will featuring a variety of fun and fascinating demonstrations, including interactive scanning, a 3D Music Jam Show with actual 3D-printed instruments, and step-by-step walk-throughs of the 3D printing process. This show celebrates the fruits of creativity and the "maker movement" using 3D printing.

Kids in Charge!

The Kids in Charge! features several different learning skills to cover a number of scientific concepts. The four main exhibits, Activate, Investigate, Kids Create, and Fields to Meals are all found at Kids in Charge!.

The Kids in Charge! exhibit was headed by an advisory board consisting of 26 children. The Board included children between the ages of 10 and 17. The kids provided feedback and the innovative ideas for the exhibit.

Notable parts include the bed of nails and the tug of war exhibit. In the bed of nails, people are able to lie on the bed unharmed because the weight of the individual is evenly distributed over the nails. The tug-of-war attraction is a game of pulling of rope to one side, but the device that the rope is connected to acts as a lever, which causes one side to always be the winning side.

The exhibit hosts an annual anniversary event which features interactive educational activities and entertainment by local groups like The Garbage-Men.

Sponsors continually contribute towards the various exhibits at MOSI. The cost of the Kids in Charge! exhibit was about three million dollars.

Mission: Moonbase

Mission: Moonbase is a simulated permanent lunar base in the year 2070. The premise is that it is built near the south pole of the Moon where there is believed to be large reservoirs of frozen water reasonably available within the rocks, and where some highlands can experience long periods of sunlight. Moonbase is the operations center of a larger operation that also includes food production (farming) and mining facilities. Mission: Moonbase at MOSI is funded, in part, by NASA and is part of MOSI's plan to continually improve our guest experience and support the future of STEAM.

Slippery Science

Slippery Science, is located inside Kids In Charge!, MOSI’s children’s science center, and contains multiple exhibits that incorporate elements of the Tampa Bay Times Forum and Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team as a backdrop. Slippery Science includes a series of interactive exhibits that teach friction, physics, the science behind reaction time and more. Inside the exhibit, guests will be able to play games, see what’s inside the hockey protection of a player’s uniform and even ham it up on the JumboTron.

Gulf Coast Hurricane

The hurricane exhibit at MOSI allows people to experience winds that range from a harmless rain storm to a Category one hurricane. This exhibit is designed to raise awareness of the intensity of a storm. The museum refers to it as a “Get Smart, Get Ready” opportunity to enlighten people on how to do just that, learn and prepare for a storm. As the wind increases, a wall chart indicates the Beaufort Wind Scale and what could be expected of the winds that are being experienced. Each wind increment is tagged with an event (i.e. you cannot hold an umbrella at a wind speed of twenty-five miles per hour).

The wind is generated above the room then brought down through vents and fans using recycled air. The maximum sustained winds top at a category one hurricane, or 74 miles per hour (119 km/h).

Bio-Works Butterfly Garden

The Bio-Works Butterfly Garden and Alternate Waste Treatment exhibit was added to the Museum of Science and Industry in 1996. The exhibit consists of a butterfly garden and a self-sustaining fish pond. The garden is home to over 30 different species of butterflies and several aquatic species, most of which are native to Florida. Several thousand native Florida butterflies are raised each year in a publicly viewable laboratory. These butterflies include Zebra Longwings, the Florida state butterfly, and Giant Swallowtail and Tiger Swallowtails, two of the largest North American butterfly species.

The pond and large white tanks in front of the garden are part of a model wastewater treatment facility designed to purify wastewater in a simulated wetland environment. Waste water is fed through pumps into a series of underground anaerobic and aerobic purification tanks where waste particles are broken down by bacteria. The water is then pumped into a series of above ground aerobic tanks and then into a settling tank, called the clarifier, which settles remaining solids out of the water for further processing. The clean water is then chlorinated to remove remaining bacteria and then dechlorinated to remove chemicals that will be harmful to plant and animal life. Finally, the clean water is pumped back into a fish pond and the cycle continues. Of the fish in the pond, the tilapia are the most unusual. The tilapia are the third, fourth and fifth generations of descendants of the first fish born in space. This fish, named Amigo, was born on John Glenn's last space mission, STS-95, and was returned to earth so that its reproduction could be observed.

The Amazing You!

MetLife Foundation's Amazing You! is a state-of-the-art, 13,000-square-foot (1,200 m2) exhibition about health and wellness at each developmental life stage. The exhibit informs about developmental milestones, what it takes to stay healthy at each stage, and how to return to wellness after an illness, surgery or a disability. It features medical conditions and diseases according to prevalence during each developmental stage of life.

The first phase of this permanent exhibition is located in MOSI's third floor exhibit gallery. The first phase focuses on the beginning of life to adolescence life stages. The second phase is located next to the first phase. The second phase focuses on the young adult to end of life stages.

WeatherQuest Sponsored by Bay News 9

Bay News 9 Project Weather Weather Quest is an exhibit within Disasterville at the Museum of Science and Industry. The permanent exhibit features a Bay News 9 news desk and meteorologist green screen. This exhibit features 10,000 sq ft (930 m2). of interactive exhibits on the science of natural disasters, how it affects lives and property, and what can be done to minimize property damage and loss of life. The exhibition covers nine disaster genres: floods, hail storms, hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, wildfires, volcanoes, earthquakes, and tsunamis.

Florida Hospital IMAX Dome Theatre

Florida Hospital IMAX Dome Theatre opened on July 1, 1995. Architect Antoine Predock designed the building. The theater is one of 250 around the world, and is the only IMAX Theatre in the state of Florida with a dome screen. The picture is ten times that of a standard theater. From the center of the dome the IMAX screen completely surrounds the viewer and can be seen in all fields of vision. Because of the enormity of the presentation, with over 10,500 square feet (980 m2) of visual imagery, viewers are warned of possible dizziness, and are not permitted to re-enter the theater once the lights have gone out and the presentation has begun. It features 340 seats and an 82-foot (25 m) hemispherical movie screen housed within a distinctive 85-foot (26 m) blue stainless dome.

Saunders Planetarium

The Saunders Planetarium was established in 1992 and is currently the only planetarium in Tampa. Thanks to a gift by the Saunders Foundation and construction by the R.R. Simmons Construction Corporation, the Planetarium opened its doors on October 3, 1992. In July 2009, the planitarium moved to a new location in Kids In Charge! Since then, nearly 700,000 people have seen its shows. The Saunders Planetarium features a new state-of-the-art GOTO Space Simulator Chronos projection system, new seating and projection dome.

The planetarium shows are all educational, focusing on constellations and events related to and around upcoming holidays. On Saturday evenings MOSI plays host to “Skywatch” events. Skywatch is free to the public and allows guests the opportunity to use the museum’s telescopes to take a closer look at the Milky Way Galaxy. It can display the nigh sky from any date - past, present and future.

Fundraiser events

Einstein on Food & Wine

Einstein on Food & Wine is MOSI's second largest fundraising event, combining wine, food, music and a silent auction. Restaurants in the Tampa Bay area offer samples of a large variety of wines. Proceeds benefit MOSI's education programs.

National Hispanic Scientist of the Year Award Gala

The National Hispanic Scientist of the Year Award Gala recognizes nationally distinguished Hispanic professionals in science and engineering who serve as mentors and motivate an interest in science among Hispanic youth. Proceeds help fun scholarships for Hispanic youth who participate in MOSI's 'YES' Team (Youth Enriched by STEAM) program.

Festival of Chocolate

The Festival of Chocolate features the area's best chocolate and confection companies selling tastes and treats of everything chocolate from truffles, cakes and cupcakes to cookies, brownies and ice creams. Award-winning pastry chefs and chocolatiers host interactive demonstrations, share techniques and tricks of the trade, and contend in live showpiece competitions. It is Florida's largest all-chocolate themed event. ||| Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 ||| Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 ||| Creative Commons Attribution 3.0

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