Things to Do in Jacksonville, FL: MOSH
MOSH, the Museum of Science and History, is located in Jacksonville, Florida along the Southbank Riverwalk. It is Jacksonville's most visited museum, and focuses on local history and science exhibitions. MOSH features the Bryan-Gooding Planetarium, three floors of permanent exhibitions, a changing main exhibition every quarter.
The Museum of Science and History, or MOSH, first operated in 1948 as the Jacksonville Children's Museum in Riverside in a Victorian mansion. In 1969, the museum moved downtown to a more centralized location along the Southbank. The Jacksonville Children's Museum was renamed the Jacksonville Museum of Arts and Sciences in 1977. The museum didn't become the Museum of Science and History, or otherwise known as MOSH, until 1988 which is also when the Alexander Brest Planetarium was added. A 2,400 square foot suite of classrooms opened on the first floor of the museum in 2009, and in 2010, the Bryan-Gooding Planetarium was unveiled inside the completely renovated Alexander Brest Science Theater. MOSH was named Best Museum and Best Educational Camp by Jax4Kids in 2013. MOSH
The Museum of Science and History has numerous core exhibits on displays for visitors to explore and discover science and the history of Northeast Florida. These exhibits include Health in Motion, Atlantic Tails, JEA PowerPlay, Florida Naturalist's Center, Currents of Time, KidSpace, Space Science Gallery, and the Hixon Native Plant Courtyard. In the Health in Motion: Discover What Moves You exhibit, visitors can participate in interactive activities and games to gain a deeper understanding of the importance of individual choices, movement, and external factors on not only their own health, but also the overall health of Jacksonville. The exhibit';s activities also allow guests to explore body systems.
Atlantic Tails: Whales, Dolphins and Manatees of Northeast Florida offers museum guests a chance to explore marine animals' underwater world. Guests can see and learn more about the various marine invertebrates, reptiles, and mammals that live along the First Coast. The exhibit features the Intertidal Touch Tank that provides visitors an opportunity to get up close and personal with different marine life. Guests can also see snakes, baby alligators, tortoises, turtles, and owls native to Northeast Florida at the Museum of Science and History's Florida Naturalist's Center. Visitors can check the daily schedule to find out when they can watch an animal encounter with one of the museum's naturalists.
Jacksonville's history, as well as the history of the Northeast Florida region, is explored at the Currents of Time: A History of Jacksonville and Northeast Florida exhibit. The exhibit displays 12,000 years of history of Jacksonville and Northeast Florida dating back to the time of the Timucuas and spanning to the 1960's. Another history exhibit exploring the Northeast Florida region's past is Interpreting Northeast Florida: A Historic Mural by Elmer Grey. Elmer Grey, an artist, gave the United States Navy a mural illustrating St. Augustine, Timucua, French, and Spanish scenes during the start of World War II. The mural is oil on canvas and stretches 35 feet in length. It was removed from the NAS Jacksonville's Bachelor Officers' Quarters for conservation in 2011, and is presently showcased at the Museum of Science and History.
»More Core Exhibits
Visitors are able to discover and learn about the science of wind, solar, fossil fuel, nuclear, and hydro energy in the JEA PowerPlay: Understanding Our Energy Choices exhibit area. Interactive touchscreen stations bring MOSHtopia, a futuristic city, to life with sound, light, and power. The Space Science Gallery delves into the Museum of Science and History's planetarium history, as well as space science in general. The gallery acts as an exhibit and also queue area for visitors waiting to attend shows in the Bryan-Gooding Planetarium.
MOSH's most well-known resident is Tonca, an alligator snapping turtle that calls the Hixon Native Plant Courtyard home. Among the courtyard's other residents are a variety of birds, fish, turtles, and plants. Tonca has lived in the Hixon Native Plant Courtyard since 1994, and the museum puts on a birthday party for him every year in July. The Timucuana Parks Adventure area connects visitors to the Museum of Science and History to Jacksonville's nature park through history and science. An interactive kiosk station with the addition of text panels with QR codes throughout MOSH provide visitors with the ability to use their smartphones to learn more about a variety of subjects.
KidSpace is a special exhibit area designed for children five years of age and younger. The area includes a tree house inspired by the historic treaty oak in Jacksonville, as well as several additional interactive activities suited towards getting the youngest visitor to the Museum of Science and History excited about educational exploration.
In addition to the many core exhibits at the Museum of Science and History, the museum also features different Signature Exhibits that are on display for long periods of time. These Signature Exhibits incorporate MOSH's collection along with collaboration by community-based partnership. The Museum of Science and History's Guest Curator program showcases important research, collections, and current and relevant topics through presentations by local institutions and experts. The exhibitions are created to provide a local voice and additional depth to core exhibits, traveling exhibitions, museum programs, or current community topics.
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One of the country's largest single-lens digital dome planetariums, the Bryan-Gooding Planetarium offers an additional level of education in science to the Museum of Science and History, as well as an increase in the appeal of destination. The planetarium's massive dome has a diameter of sixty feet, and features Konica Minolta Super MediaGlobe II technology. The Bryan-Gooding Planetarium, found inside MOSH's Alexander Brest Space Theater, takes visitors on a journey to the starts during its shows. Guests are surrounded by the universe's wonders through the renovated setting, unprecedented technology, and innovative programming. The Bryan-Gooding Planetarium also hosts Cosmic Concerts, a complete sensory show with high-definition images, digital sound, and laser lights.
MOSH offers a vast array of educational programs for visitors to participate in, from school programs to scouts to adults. One such program is Arts Infusion, during which the connection between science and art is explored. The importance of art to the advancement of science can be clearly shown: art encourages innovation, fosters convergent and divergent thinking, and offers broader cultural perspectives. The museum's Art Infusion Program is committed to the integration of arts; written word, visual art, and performing art; into programs and exhibitions. Another program, Mosh After Dark, offers a variety of fun programs at night for adults.
Little Learners at MOSH is an educational program tailored to children who are preschool age. This once a month program features activities designed with these very young children in mind as well as their caregivers, and is flexible due to the age of the children. Little Learners drives interaction between these preschool aged children and the adults that care for them.
The Museum of Science and History also offers Home School Programs. These programs are available exclusively to homeschool groups and homeschooling families. The Home School Programs focus on the areas of technology, science, engineering, mathematics, and art. Providing inquiry-based and engaging activities, the programs are designed for particular elementary school aged students. Parents without older or younger siblings are allowed to observe the classes with a registered student. Each program consists of two interactive sessions, each lasting 45 minutes and covering an array of topics. Participants in the Home School Programs will also have 30 minutes before the start of the program to explore MOSH, as well as time after the program ends. MOSH also provides a vast array of school programs, both at the museum and schools, covering a wide range of topics.
»Plan Your Visit
MOSH provides a variety of camps for elementary school aged children as well. Different Discovery Camps are offered at the Museum of Science and History during the spring, summer, and winter. Discovery Camps provide learning experiences both in a classroom and out in the museum, as well as outside depending on the camp program. Children will have their day filled with experiments, crafts, and hands-on demonstration all designed to help them learn about a specific topic. These camps include free time for children to explore the various exhibits throughout the museum, as well as at least one animal show, planetarium show, or science show. The Space Week camp also consists of off-site field trips. In addition to the week-long Discovery Camps, Mosh also offers One Day Fun Day Camps. Children from kindergarten to fifth grade can spend a day taking part in fun educational activities, watching science and planetarium shows, and exploring the museum.
There are also a variety of scout workshops for both boy scouts and girl scouts at the Museum of Science and History. The Scout Workshops provide a chance for scouts to earn their badges through the many different badge programs. Each workshop also includes time for participants to explore MOSH. Scout troops can also choose to book a Scout Camp-In at the museum, during which they can sleep under Fermata, the museum's life-sized whale. Camp-Ins usually include time to explore the museum's exhibits, a movie, late night snacks, and either a science, animal, or planetarium show. Camp-Ins are also available to other groups.
Back to: Best Things to Do in Jacksonville, FL
Contact: 1025 Museum Cir, Jacksonville, FL 32207, website, Phone: 904-396-6674
Things to Do in Jacksonville, FL: MOSH
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