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Cooper City, Florida
April 17, 2006
Young ones will enjoy the Discovery Place, a wonderful play and learning area for those under 7 years old. Here children can climb, build, make bubbles, play with wet sand, use computers, and even pick oranges and take part in their distribution. It is nicely separated from the rest of the museum by a low "fence," and the museum staff does monitor the area, so older children are not allowed in. Siblings of young children are allowed to play with their brothers and sisters.
On the first floor you will visit Florida Ecoscapes, seeing exhibits with animals depicting different areas of the state. On display are turtles, numerous fish, sharks, eels, sea urchins, star fish, horseshoe crabs, bats, opossum, frogs, snakes, spiders, lizards, insects, and alligators. Their enclosures make the animals highly visible, with some tanks having windows to give the visitor an underwater view.
What makes this museum special is that animals are presented to the visitors up close and personal. The museum staff allow you to touch the animals and readily answer your questions, which is so much better than just looking at them through the class. For children this is a special experience.
Upstairs you will be able to control a robotic hand, play virtual volleyball, see dinosaurs, visit space, solve puzzles, build with magnetism, and interact with many other exhibits. This is truly "infotainment."
Two favorites are the rides the Mars Rove and the MMU, Manned Maneuvering Unit. The Mars Rover is an over 8-minute ride in which you take part in a Mars mission inside a simulator that moves with a projected movie. Everyone can ride, as long as the little ones can sit in their own seat with a seat belt. The MMU is a ride that you control. You fly the MMU to a satellite that emits a light that must be aligned with a receiving station on earth. This is a bit of a challenge because the machine balances you, so you get a feeling of floating. The MMU does have minimum and maximum size limits. These rides are not just for kids.
There is a huge area for traveling exhibits, which changes three times a year. An IMAX is part of the museum, where you can experience regular and 3D movies on a five-story-high screen with amazing sound.Visitor Information: http://www.mods.org/visit/index.htmThe combination ticket, the exhibits, and an IMAX movie is a great value.Museum: http://www.mods.org/home.htm.
From journal Visiting Fort Lauderdale
by Mary Dickinson
December 16, 2003
The museum has displays describing nature and ecosystems on the first floor, and space, ecology, and interactive displays involving how the mind and body works on the second floor. If you don’t have the time to read and observe what the displays are all about it might be a good idea to go back when you have more time.
Tanks for the exhibits on the first floor look like they were made from mounds of coral. Behind thick acrylic panels, live coral, fish, algae, alligators, and turtles live in their natural habitat. How they survive in an everglades and ocean invironment is explained on panels embedded in the coral like walls. There are live snakes, armadillo, gopher turtles, and even cockroaches. How the native flora is taken over by trees like the Milalluca, Strangler Fig, Brazilian Pepper, and other offensive plants is explained. One display shows how the alligator holes in the everglades support all the other animals during draught.
On the second floor you can operate a remote arm inside a glassed in case. You can find out how escape and remote velocity works to launch space crafts or ride in an assimilator to Mars or hear light waves with the Doppler effect. Find out why three pendulums swinging together are unpredictable when one or two are predictable. Find out why you think you’re moving when you’re not or how two pendulums swinging at the same time but in opposite directions will form a circle.
Have you wondered how calories work in your body and how Florida gets rid of trash safely? As you can see that’s a lot to learn so go with enough time to enjoy it. Don't miss the gift shop off the atrium. It's great.
There is a parking lot on 2nd Street next to the museum. Hours are 10am-5pm Monday thru Saturday, and noon to 6pm Sunday.
From journal Birds in Flight