This Monday, May 8th, the entire city of Miami will watch with open eyes as the long-awaited (and slightly controversial) Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science finally opens to the public. If you grew up in Miami, and had a creative Science teacher who understood what a good field trip actually meant, you know that the new museum has a tough act to follow from its original Coconut Grove location. The colossal structure neighboring the PAMM may not be as historic or nostalgic as its predecessor, but it certainly is a ground-breaking moment for Miami in many ways.
On the surface and perhaps the easiest point to make here is that the multi-million dollar project will provide a shiny new platform upon which to elevate Miami’s culture. The museum will not only house multiple experiential exhibitions on a permanent basis, but it will also be the destination for many of the world’s most engaging installations with its jam-packed calendar of rotating exhibits. Aside from that, the museum will house some of the nation’s–and the world’s most state-of-the-art technology, like the planetarium’s 8K resolution, 3D which can be found in only eight other locations on earth.
Of course, being a museum entirely dedicated to the many forms of science and exploration, it will be a tribute to the act of learning–pushing education to new heights. It will not only be a place to see and learn, but one to physically experience the science at hand. Take for example the museum’s first exhibit on rotation: SEEING: WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT? Which will push museum-goers to understand the mind’s eye and the world of perception in ways of which they had never dreamed. Miami’s own water-based lab, the Science Barge has also officially become part of the Frost family.
The wonderful thing about museums, whether art or science, is that they provide a moment to take the incomprehensible and inject it with a cool factor that everyone can relate to. The Frost Museum of Science will have many opportunities for everyone to join in on the discussion and exploration into the world of science. Through monthly event series that will bridge unconventional realms of knowledge together over drinks and entertainment, their laser room that will provide a vibrant respite even Daft Punk would fawn over, and of course they’ll be bringing back the local favorite light shows at the planetarium paired with the world’s most beloved music.
On an impact level, the museum will also be a platform for in-depth understanding of the environment that immediately surrounds the city in which it’s built. With interactive exhibits about the fragile South Florida ecosystem, including one on the vast but shrinking Everglades wetlands, both locals and travelers will leave their visit with a valued understanding of South Florida’s climate and its precious existence in this ever-changing world. Essential issues like climate change will be brought to the forefront, opening the floor to conversations about these subjects in a welcome and educational atmosphere that’s actually backed by science.
But most importantly, the museum is the personification of a call to action. Without the continued attention of locals, residents, and educated travelers, the museum–and by association, the city–cannot rise to the level of power it can become. It represents what Miami can have more of if only the community became used to the idea that it–and all other cultural institutions–depend on their support for survival. So go out on May 8th, return as many times as possible, and help spread the word. We deserve this, Miami, so let’s make sure to keep it alive!