MUSEUM OF DISCOVERY AND SCIENCE Accredited by the American Association of Museums and the Association of Science-Technology Centers
- More than 450,000 people visit the Museum annually and over 7 million have experienced the Museum since opening in 1992
- Serves 95,000 students on school sponsored field trips annually
- Private, non-profit museum governed by a Board of Trustees
Official interpretive site of the South Florida Ecosystems Restoration Task Force, a consortium of federal, state and local government and tribal agencies dedicated to restoring Florida’s precious ecosystem. The Museum is the only non-profit agency invited to partner with the Task Force.
Located in the heart of downtown Fort Lauderdale’s Arts and Science District
85,000 square feet packed with interactive science exhibits, classrooms, café, store and grand atrium
300 seat AutoNation IMAX® Theater featuring both 2D and 3D films
Gold Coast Magazine - Best Place to Experience a 3D Movie, Best of South Florida, May 2007 issue
South Florida Parenting Magazine - Gold, Broward County, Best Children's Museum, Kids Crown Award 2005 - June 2005 issue
Certified by Broward County Program Development, Research and Evaluation Division 2006 for a commitment to standards of excellence
Eternal Egypt, Florida EcoScapes, Gizmo City, Mars Rover, The Discovery Center, Living in the Everglades, Welcome to our Backyard, Sound, Choose Health, TryScience Around the World, Meteor Storm, Runways to Rockets: Our Place in Aerospace and Aviation Station
The Museum features national traveling exhibits several times per year.
EcoDiscovery Center Opening
Geckos: Tails to Toepads
Serves urban, underserved population, low-literacy families, and at-risk youth through youth programs and community outreach programs.
Offers classes, camps, turtle walks, overnight camp-ins, outreach programs, science demos and labs, environmental education programs and
$6.5 Million annual operating budget and over $4 Million endowment
MUSEUM OF DISCOVERY AND SCIENCE: INTRODUCTION AND HISTORY
The mission of the Museum of Discovery and Science is to provide experiential pathways to lifelong learning in science for children and adults through exhibits, programs and films.
The Museum of Discovery and Science has contributed significantly to the revitalization of the arts and sciences district in downtown Fort Lauderdale. Consisting of 85,000 square feet of interior space, the 300-seat AutoNation IMAX Theater, and an open-air grand atrium, the Museum features dynamic interactive exhibits in the natural and physical sciences and a large array of programs designed to serve diverse audiences. MODS regularly serves approximately 400,000 visitors each year and is the primary destination for school field trips in Broward County. Last year, the Museum served 90,000 students on school-sponsored field trips plus additional 60,000 school-age children visiting with friends and family. The ability of the Museum to entertain and educate children and adults through hands-on exhibits, engaging educational programming and films, and a live animal collection adds immeasurably to the regionís educational resources.
The Museum began its history as a project of the Junior League of Fort Lauderdale, opening as the Discovery Center, a hands-on museum of art, science and history, in 1977 in the historic New River Inn. Over the course of the next few years, several other historic buildings became part of the Museumís complex.
By 1986, community demand had far exceeded the Museumís capabilities in the small complex. With an eye toward growth, the Museum aggressively sought inclusion of $8 Million in the Cityís General Obligation Bond and mounted a community-wide educational campaign to assure its passage. The Bond passed successfully by a wide voter margin. Armed with this broad-based community support, the Museum then generated $13.6 Million in philanthropy and $11 Million in state funding to complete its $32.6 Million capital campaign. These investments completed funding for the new Museum of Discovery and Science and Blockbuster IMAX Theater, and funded a $3 Million permanent endowment. (The IMAX Theater was renamed the AutoNation IMAX Theater in 2007 in recognition of a major gift.)
Such strong support for the project on the local, regional, statewide and national levels resulted in the Museum being the only debt-free major cultural institution to open in greater Fort Lauderdale in the past two decades. Upon completion of the Capital Campaign, the new Museum opened on November 21, 1992, meeting the increasing demands for informal science education and cultural experiences in South Florida. Attendance topped the 1 million mark in less than two years. In 1996, major additional capital funds were invested in upgrading the IMAX Theater to include 3D projection capability.
Today, the Museum has undertaken a $25 Million campaign, Building New Pathways to Discovery, to fund the renewal and expansion necessary to guarantee its future as a vital community resource. The Museum has established a strong cooperative relationship with the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force and formed the Museum Collaboration Committee with representatives from the 29 agencies involved in the Everglades restoration. Numerous other community partners, both corporate and institutional, join with the Museum to extend its reach and effectiveness.
The exciting next phase of the Museumís development has three major components:
ē The EcoDiscovery Center, a major new 34,000 square foot wing that effectively doubles the Museumís public space. Visitors will examine the Florida environment through a lens of environmental stewardship and discover the interconnections between human actions and the environment and between human health and the health of the environment.
ē A Science Theater and four ďPlayground for the MindĒ classrooms enhancing the Museumís ability to deliver innovative programs.
ē Renovation of exhibits and public spaces within the Museumís existing architectural footprint, creating a dramatic entry to the Florida EcoScapes exhibit, and building a new Visitor Services Pavilion.
The Museum of Discovery and Science must be as dynamic as the community it serves. This new initiative will ensure the Museumís continuing success and buttress its ability to deliver meaningful learning opportunities to residents and tourists.