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SOUTH FLORIDA SCIENCE MUSEUM CELEBRATES 50 YEARS
Have you ever looked in the mouth of an Ice Age mastodon, touched a 232 pound meteorite or been up close and personal with a shark? As you peer through the glass of the aquariums or enjoy a planetarium show at the South Florida Science Museum, you can also discover the many other exciting offerings that have amazed the community for the past 50 years. On October 22, the community is invited to celebrate 50 years of science at the Museum’s Fabulous 50th Birthday Celebration. The Museum is offering 50 percent off admission prices for the day.
“Our Museum makes lasting memories and is well loved by all who live here,” said South Florida Science Museum President Lew Crampton. “We’ve come a long way in the last 50 years. Now it’s time for us to throw a big party and step purposefully into our second 50 years by serving the public and educating our children to become the scientists and engineers of tomorrow. On this day we’ll have fun, take time to celebrate where we’ve been, and say thank you to all those who’ve supported us in years gone by.”
Founded and incorporated in 1959 by the Junior League of the Palm Beaches, the South Florida Science Museum opened in 1961 as a learning environment specific to natural science and natural history. In 1964, a new wing housing the planetarium opened, originally dedicated by and named after astronaut Buzz Aldrin. In 1971, a third phase of the facility was unveiled, more than doubling the floor space of the Museum to its current size, adding exhibit space, classrooms, an auditorium and organizational support areas. The institution ev
entually became known as the Science Museum and Planetarium of Palm Beach County and in the 1980s, was renamed the South Florida Science Museum, reflecting the organization’s increasingly broad subject matter, educational purpose and geographic appeal. In 2008, the planetarium and Motorola Theater were completely renovated and renamed through the support of the Dekelboum Family Foundation. The rapid growth of the Science Museum is testament to the significant role that it assumed, and continues to fulfill, within the community, serving as an educational and cultural resource for visitors of all ages and backgrounds.
As the Museum looks forward to the next 50 years, expansion plans are in the works -- with a capital campaign set to launch this fall. Visionary plans will double the current size of the saltwater and freshwater aquarium space as well as offer a new traveling exhibition hall to showcase top new exhibits, a prize-winning permanent dinosaur exhibition and an interactive Everglades Exploratorium.
To mark the golden milestone during the Fabulous 50th Birthday Celebration, guests can enjoy a piece of birthday cake as they look at how the Museum has changed over the past 50 years and also offer their memories in a guest book that will be displayed. While exploring the Museum’s exhibits, including the newest traveling exhibit Robotics, guests can also take part in many scien-terriffic crafts and activities as well as special giveaways. The event is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is open to the public. Food and activities are first-come, first-served. Planetarium shows and miniature golf are not included with admission.
Leading up to the birthday party event, museum fans can light a candle in their name, or in honor or memory of a loved one, on the Museum’s virtual birthday cake. With a $50 donation to the Museum, donors will be included on one of the candles on the Museum's "birthday cake" featured on the website at www.sfsm.org.
The South Florida Science Museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to exciting curiosity and furthering the understanding and appreciation of science and technology. The Museum features more than 50 hands-on exhibits, a digital planetarium, fresh and saltwater aquariums, as well as natural history exhibitions. New happenings at Museum include the Robotics exhibit open through January 16th, the Amateur Radio Center open on weekends and holidays as well as Nights at the Museum the last Friday of each month. Each year the Museum welcomes more than 125,000 visitors and reaches more than 55,000 students through workshops at the Museum and outreach programs to local schools.
The South Florida Science Museum is located at 4801 Dreher Trail North in West Palm Beach. The Museum is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday noon to 6 p.m. Museum admission is: Adults $11.95; Seniors 62+ $10.45; and children ages three-12 $8.95, children under three years and Museum members are free. Admission to the Fabulous 50th Birthday Celebration is 50 percent off for the day.
For more information about the South Florida Science Museum or the Fabulous 50th Birthday Celebration, please call 561-832-1988 or visit www.sfsm.org.