Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science
The Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science has been inspiring local communities and educating the public on all things related to science since 1949. Formerly known as the Miami Science Museum, this museum first started as the “Junior Museum of Miami,” though nowadays it caters to all ages and tastes. Including the Space-Transit Planetarium, a Wildlife Center and Clinic, and a myriad of interactive science exhibits and special programs, a trip to the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science is like traveling to the largest educational and interactive toy store (with science as the main topic). Discover life underneath the waves at the Sea Lab, explore hurricanes and Florida weather with the “Water, Wind, and Weather: Miami in a Changing Climate” exhibit, or learn about the principles of energy through an interconnected labyrinth of hands-on activities in the Energy Tracker. No matter the age, there are engaging and inspirational science and technology activities to enjoy at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science.
Backstory and Context
History of the Museum
The Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science was first conceived in 1949 by The Junior League of Miami's "Project Finding Committee,” who was determined to give Dade County a science museum aimed at children.
With fund-raising and continual efforts, the “Project Finding Committee” founded the Junior Museum of Miami in 1950 in a small house. The museum expanded at such a fast rate that by 1952 it had to move to the Miami Women's Club, and in 1953, the Guild of the Museum of Science was formed.
By 1960, the museum had its own independent building, and six years later, the Space Transit Planetarium was opened and began drawing thousands of museum-goers. Over the next decade, the museum attracted 15 affiliate clubs that represented a variety of scientific disciplines.
Nowadays, the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science caters to 4,000 member families and over 250,000 annual visitors, and it provides one of the largest summer science camps in the United States.1
Exhibits and Collections
The Falcon Batchelor Bird of Prey Wildlife Center and the Miami Planetarium stand as two of the main centerpieces in the museum. While the planetarium offers the Jack Horkheimer’s Star Gazer weekly program and a variety of laser shows and video projection, the Wildlife Center remains dedicated to rehabilitating and releasing injured birds (both native birds and those that migrate through Florida).
In addition to these monumental facilities, the museum also hosts a variety of permanent and changing exhibits. Some of the permanent exhibits include “Moving Things,” “The Reclamation Project/Native Flags,” “Hurricanes,” and others. Past exhibits have included “The Year of Nostalgia,” “Using the Bathroom in Outer Space,” and others.2
Special Events and Activities
Whenever visiting the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, keep on the lookout for events hosted that day. Throughout any given day, the museum features a variety of exciting and hands-on shows and demos. For example, a Sunday could include the “Buzzy Bee Puppet Show,” “LiveScience!,” “TechShops,” and others. These shows and demos occur in the theater, Discovery Room, Planetarium, and the museum lobby.
Furthermore, the museum hosts some of the most popular camps in all of Florida, especially the highly renowned summer camp that features engaging activities, unique experiences, and camping fun.3
2.) "Exhibitions." Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science. Accessed May 31, 2015. http://www.frostscience.org/exhibitions-featured/
3.) "Children and Families." Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science. Accessed May 31, 2015. http://www.frostscience.org/children-and-families/