The planetarium dome continues to take shape, along with the rest of the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science. As that dome continues to form into a full sphere, imagine the outside of that sphere being projected with our Museum logo, the night sky, or anything else we might imagine!
Then imagine being on the inside of the sphere, and seeing full dome digital projections that allow you to dive into the center of an atom, fly though the human body, or blast into the far reaches of the universe. It’s all going to be possible here!
The lower half of the planetarium nears completion.
The planetarium’s entrance is being casted.
The Gulfstream tank’s base is taking shape.
The ship-like shape of the front of the Living Core building is getting taller and taller!
The interior of the front end of the Living Core building.
The Living Core oculus at the new Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science
The details involved in building a new museum are seemingly infinite… especially if you are creating experiences like the Living Core exhibit at our new Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science. With an aquarium that penetrates through multiple floors and includes windows on the side and underneath to provide unique views of the wildlife, the process can become very complex.
Museum COO Frank Steslow and Scott Lewis (President of project management firm Oppenheim Lewis) are responsible for many of these details. They recently met with representatives of Clax Italia, the company fabricating the acrylic panels for the Living Core exhibit. The goals were to inspect the process and confirm that all details are in place as planned, so that the panels in our Living Core will be as beautiful and perfect as they are functional.
Here is a little insight into the list of things to check off the list:
Have a clean warehouse area with good natural light to perform the inspections
Verify the built dimensions – length, width and thickness – of the panels as compared to the architectural drawings
Remove the protective film and inspect panels for surface imperfections, discolorations, or internal inclusions – which refers to any foreign material trapped inside the panels
Check the panels after the final polishing, following fabrication
Inspect panels for distortions or asymmetries from thermoforming – the manufacturing process where a panel is heated to a temperature at which it can be formed to a given shape (here, a panel is removed from the thermoforming oven)
The next steps?
Review production schedule, delivery sequence, installation, waterproofing, and tank testing
Consider that the thermoformed panels will be sensitive to temperature fluctuations until they are installed and the effect is lessened by the presence of water
Not to mention… the rest of the details for the rest of the new Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science!
A state-of-the-art planetarium at the new Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science is now under construction, but 47 years ago, in 1966, the Miami Science Museum was also constructing a planetarium - the original Space Transit Planetarium. These two planetarium facilities are similar in a way – we can refer to both as the leading facility of its kind in the world, in its time. In many other ways however, they cannot be more different. Here is the evolution of our planetarium story – yesterday, today, and tomorrow – by the numbers:
Yesterday (1966, at the Miami Science Museum)
Star Projector: Space Transit Planetarium (STP), opto-mechanical
1 of only 12 built (11 installed in planetariums, 1 installed in a New York City nightclub)
1st planetarium projector capable of showing the sky as seen from a point off of the Earth
1st Planetarium with 3rd axis (“yaw”)
Used by 1960′s NASA astronauts to train for space flight
2 – 75 Arc lamps were the light source of stars
STP has 12 miles of electrical wiring, over 40 motors, and over 6,000 electrical connections
STP projects 5,600 visible stars
Cost in 1966 dollars about $150,000
Planetarium systems included an analog computer, multiplexing system, analog annual motion (planet drive) system, and control console
The original 1966 planetarium dome under construction
Today (2013, at the Miami Science Museum)
98% of the original planetarium projector is still in place
2% has been upgraded over the years (star lamp power supplies, planet projector lamp housings, star fields, motion driver amps)
Other technology upgrades over the years have included 35mm slide projectors, computer-controlled show animation system, laser projection system, Blu-ray player, and hard disk audio playback system
The planetarium console in the Museum in 2013
Tomorrow (2015, at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science)
Approximately 250 stadium style seats
The dome screen will be titled 23.5% to match the tilt of the Earth
16,000,000 million color laser projection system
State-of-the-art ultra high-resolution full dome video projection system, capable of showing what the night sky will look like from any point and time on the Earth
Zoom up any object in the night sky to fill 100% of the dome, or fly to and show the view from any point in the known universe
Show any object (celestial or terrestrial) on the dome: fish, atom, human organ, star
Surround sound system
The planetarium under construction in July 2013 at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science (to be completed in 2015)
Artist rendering of the new planetarium at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science (opening in 2015)
Many people mistakenly refer to Florida’s Everglades as a swamp, when it is actually an incredibly wide, shallow, and slow-moving river – which has earned it the nickname “River of Grass.” It is a spectacular sight to see, but visitors to the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science will also be able to explore and learn about this unique and fragile environment in our dynamic River of Grass exhibit. This space is being specially designed to engage our youngest visitors through hands-on interaction and sensory experiences that involve the sights, sounds, and feel of the Everglades, while reinforcing science process skills like observing and experimenting and providing additional in-depth information to keep adults engaged as well.
With this goal in mind, the Museum worked with University of Miami researchers recently to evaluate how we can best engage our young visitors and their families in the Everglades environment. Findings revealed that children are most interested in the animals that call the Everglades home – more specifically, it is important for children to see details in the animal’s body and face, to see it in context of its natural surroundings, and to see it moving or “in action” in some way. These discoveries, among others, will be incorporated into the development of the River of Grass exhibit, to create story-driven experiences of animals, water, and nature that will let children interact with the Everglades in ways that compel their families to explore along with them.
To further inform our design plans, we are now building a prototype water flow table at our current Museum, in which children can experiment with how changes in the water might affect all the different types of animals in the Everglades. Stay tuned, as we are also are beginning to design the multimedia parts of the River of Grass experience!
Some of the animals of the Everglades that children would most like to learn about in the River of Grass exhibit
Every detail of our new Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science has been thoughtfully designed for all manners of form and function. The building itself is an exhibit of sorts, from its state-of-the-art communications and energy-conservation technology, to its indoor and outdoor exhibits in keeping with south Florida’s unique climate and diversity. Grimshaw Architects, the design architects for our new Museum project, have been honored with over 150 international design awards, including the prestigious Lubetkin Prize, and one of their major projects, New York City’s MTA Fulton Center has emerged from the ground and will be opening in June 2014. Organized around a grand civic space at its core and topped by a glass oculus, it will link eight subway lines and handle an average of 275,000 passengers per day in one of New York City’s busiest underground transit interchanges. With our Museum team working with the Grimshaw team, it is exciting to imagine how the new three-story, 250,000-square-foot Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science will inspire learning and stimulate the imagination.
Click on the images below for a slideshow of the progress of the MTA Fulton Center, and for a fly-through of the new Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science.
Respected Miami Litigator, Holly Skolnick, 59, passed away from melanoma on Sunday, June 23rd. Holly, an experienced trial attorney and litigator for over 25 years, was shareholder in the Miami office of Greenberg Traurig, and served on the Museum’s Board from 2009 until her untimely death.
Holly dedicated her career to the creed “with liberty and justice for all.” She was chair of Greenberg Traurig’s Pro Bono initiative and President/Founder of the firm’s Fellowship Foundation. The program is a partnership between Greenberg Traurig and Equal Justice Works, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing opportunities for law students and lawyers to deliver effective legal representation to underserved communities and causes.
“Holly was a very special person and a thoughtful and helpful Board Member. She was especially committed to encouraging women and girls into science. We honor her memory, her passion for justice and her dedication to giving back to the community. Her contributions to the Museum and to the community at-large will be sorely missed”, said Gillian Thomas, Museum President and CEO.
Holly Skolnick was survived by her husband and daughter, Jordan. The family has requested that donations be made in Holly’s name to the Americans for Immigrant Justice organization in Miami.