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Museum of Science & Industry (Tampa)

The Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI) is a not-for-profit science museum located in Tampa, Florida. 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.

MOSI's funding comes from private donations, corporate sponsors, and support from Hillsborough County and the City of Tampa.



MOSI began in 1962 when Hillsborough County first approved funding for a youth museum in Sulphur Springs. Named the Museum of Science and Natural History, it provided natural science exhibits and education programs to children and adults. The name of the museum was changed to the Hillsborough County Museum in 1967. In 1976, the Hillsborough County Museum's advisory committee and staff started construction on a new museum in North Tampa that was to become the Museum of Science & Industry. The museum was completed in 1980 and permanently opened to the public on January 23, 1982.[1]

In 1995 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. Further renovations were done in 1996, 2001, and 2005. MOSI was the largest science center in the southeast and the 5th largest in the U.S.[2]

On August 13, 2017, MOSI closed 85% of their building and their IMAX theater to save money. Many exhibits were removed and the remaining exhibits were relocated to the previous "Kids in Charge" section of the museum.[3]


The Museum of Science & Industry was re-accredited in April 2008 by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM).[4] 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.

Educational Programs and CampsEdit

MOSI offers S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) powered programs for all ages from preschool to seniors.

MOSI's Science Camps are open when school is out of session including winter breaks and summer. MOSI offers summer educational camps usually lasting from June through August. These camps range in various scientific topics from snorkeling in natural springs to using DNA to solve crimes to designing video games. Teens can explore careers in fields such as art, technology, math, engineering or science at the S.T.E.A.M. Career Camp. Attendees receive a S.T.E.A.M. Certificate of Achievement for successful completion. The camps are designed for students K- High School.[5]

Community engagementEdit

Hispanic Scientist of the Year AwardEdit

Catering to the large, diverse community of Tampa Bay (and Florida at large), MOSI recognizes Hispanic Scientists through an annual award.[6] 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.[7]

Current exhibitsEdit

Mission: MoonbaseEdit

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 ScienceEdit

Slippery Science, 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.


MOSI's Newest permanent exhibition Dinovations, allows guest to experience the prehistoric in a fun and interactive way. With the Diplodocus skeleton looming over the area kids & adults alike can create their own Dinosaur Movie, get an up close look at various fossils, and view various plants that the diplodocus would eat. Dinovations allows for kids to experience being a small dinosaur by providing various crawling tunnels for them to work their way through.

Former exhibitsEdit

Imagination PlaygroundEdit

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 FutureEdit

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!Edit

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.

Gulf Coast HurricaneEdit

Inside the wind generator

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 GardenEdit

The outside of the exhibit

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 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 the zebra longwing - Florida state butterfly, and the giant swallowtail and the tiger swallowtail - two of the largest North American butterflies.

The zebra longwing butterfly

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.[citation needed]

The Amazing You!Edit

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 9Edit

Children participate in a mock Bay News 9 news cast

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.

Saunders PlanetariumEdit

The planetarium's current projector

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 planetarium 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 night sky from any date - past, present and future.

Fundraiser eventsEdit

Einstein on Food & WineEdit

Einstein on Food & Wine was MOSI's second largest fundraising event, combining wine, food, music and a silent auction. Restaurants in the Tampa Bay area offered samples of a large variety of foods and wines. Proceeds benefited MOSI's education programs. The museum last celebrated its Einstein on Food & Wine festival on the event's 20th anniversary, January 17, 2015.

National Hispanic Scientist of the Year Award GalaEdit

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 fund scholarships for Hispanic youth who participate in MOSI's 'YES' Team (Youth Enriched by STEAM) program.

Festival of ChocolateEdit

The Festival of Chocolate at MOSI was an event that featured 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 hosted interactive demonstrations, shared techniques and tricks of the trade, and contended in live showpiece competitions. MOSI last hosted its Festival of Chocolate on April 18 and 19, 2015. The Festival of Chocolate has other events around the state.


  1. ^ Backman, Lisa (January 22, 1982). "Experience a Hurricane at New Science Museum". The Tampa Times.
  3. ^ "MOSI to close most of its building, IMAX to save money before move to downtown Tampa". Tampa Bay Times. 18 May 2017. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  4. ^ "Alliance Accredited Institutions" (PDF). American Alliance of Museums. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 January 2013. Retrieved 6 April 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  5. ^ Lyons, Krista "Summer Camp Guide 2016",TAMPA BAY PARENTING, February 23, 2016
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-09-29. Retrieved 2013-09-18. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External linksEdit