Museum of Discovery and Science-Fort Lauderdale
Any and all are invited to come to the Museum of Discovery and Science and learn something new, make new friends, and be inspired by science. They encourage all types of families and foster an accepting environment where differences are celebrated. The organization welcomes people of all abilities and backgrounds, including those with intellectual, sensory, and emotional impairments, as well as those with a lack of access to quality education or a low socioeconomic level. They warmly welcome people of all racial and religious backgrounds, gender expressions, and sexual orientations. No one is excluded from our hospitality.
There would not be an Arts and Science District in downtown Fort Lauderdale area without the Museum of Discovery and Science. The Museum features dynamic interactive exhibits in the natural and physical sciences and a wide variety of programs designed to serve a wide range of audiences across its 119,000 square feet of indoor space, its 294-seat AutoNation IMAX Theater, and its open-air Grand Atrium, which is home to the Great Gravity Clock.
As the most popular site for school field excursions in Broward County, the Museum frequently hosts over 400,000 people annually. In 2018, the Museum hosted 90,000 schoolchildren on organized field excursions and an additional 60,000 children of school age on their own or with their families’ free time. The Museum’s ability to entertain and educate visitors of all ages through interactive displays, thought-provoking educational programming and films, and a live animal collection is an invaluable addition to the region’s educational infrastructure.
It all started in 1977 when the New River Inn was home to the Discovery Center, a hands-on museum of art, science, and history. A number of additional historic structures were added to the Museum’s compound throughout the subsequent years. In 1986, the Museum’s limited facilities were no longer sufficient to meet the needs of the local community. Looking ahead, the Museum actively advocated for the inclusion of $8 million in the City’s General Obligation Bond, launching a community-wide educational campaign to ensure the bond’s approval.
The Museum is the first major cultural institution in greater Fort Lauderdale to open in the previous 25 years without incurring any debt as a result of the widespread enthusiasm for the project and its potential benefits. After a successful fundraising drive, the Museum opened to the public in November 1992, just in time to satisfy a growing need for accessible, hands-on cultural programming and informal science education in the South Florida region. In less than two years, attendance reached over a million. In 1996, the IMAX Theater had a substantial upgrade to incorporate 3D projection capability, requiring a large outlay of additional capital dollars. To increase the Museum’s impact, it partnered with other local businesses and organizations.