While you stroll through the exhibits and snap some Insta-worthy photos, your kids can burn off their boundless energy as they engage with the interactive installations across the three-building science complex. Here are ten things your children are sure to love about the new science museum.
On the museum's first level, a luminous dance floor beckons kids to run across (or do handstands on) it as they peruse the "MeLaß" exhibit, which teaches visitors how their bodies work and how our diets affect our well-being. With every step on the interactive floor, orange and yellow concentric circles emanate from your feet (or hands), illuminating for guests how many steps it takes to burn off breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.
It seems like just yesterday when you were making paper planes in school, propelling them across classrooms with a flick of your wrists. Well, now it's your children's turn — but on a grander scale. As part of the "Feathers to the Stars" exhibit, kids learn the principles of aerodynamics by using a launcher to thrust their paper planes into the air. Which wing design will take their aircraft farthest?
In the "River of Grass" exhibit, an entire scene of South Florida wilderness is projected onto a wall, and kids are able to interact with the simulated animals, which include panthers and alligators. Just outside of the exhibit, in the halls of the museum, children can experiment with the physics of water. Aimed at teaching young people about environmental science, the installation helps them understand hydrology and how important water tables are in keeping native species alive.
In the "Feathers to the Stars" exhibit, kids will also feast their eyes on an assortment of dinosaurs, including a 30-foot-long feathered yutyrannus — an ancestor of the famed Tyrannosaurus rex. This guy's claws, unlike T. rex's, are no laughing matter, though.
As your children gape at the fearsome dino, you could explain to them that after millions of years of evolution, the descendants of this "feathered tyrant" live in chicken coops today.
There's also an interactive installation where kids can pick up tools and become paleontologists. What will they discover as they sift through the sand? Well, not dinos, because 60 million to 80 million years ago, Florida was underwater. In the dig pit, children can uncover fossils that are commonly found in Florida, such as those belonging to megalodons. Kids might also find a lifelong career. Who knows, they could name a dinosaur species after you in 20 years. Momasaurus has a ring to it, don't you think? Then again, so does Unclesaurus rex.