Spirit of Manatee Awards, Volunteer Appreciation and More at the South Florida Museum

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Museum Media News:

The South Florida Museum’s one-stop news update for the media
For Immediate Release
March 11, 2016
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Season’s in Full Swing…
At the South Florida Museum, the season is in full swing and we’re getting ready for our annual Spring Break rush with a new program schedule and some exciting new programs — including a new show in the Bishop Planetarium.

Speaking of space-y things… I’m sure you’ve noted astronaut Scott Kelley’s return from space after setting the American record for time in space on a single mission — 340 days — but check out the woman responsible for another American space first in this week’s 50 for 50 — 50 fun facts in recognition of the 50th Anniversary of Bishop Planetarium — below.

And, as you look to the skies for this season’s meteor showers and all things star-like, don’t forget that our astronomy experts are available as your expert sources.

Jessica Schubick
Communications Manager

Elizabeth Moore speaks after receiving her award during the March 2 luncheon.
South Florida Museum Supporters Have Spirit
The South Florida Museum is pleased to announce that two Museum supporters — a trustee and a corporate partner — both received Spirit Awards from the Manatee Community Foundation earlier this month.
Bradenton resident Elizabeth Moore was recognized for her overall giving spirit and received a Special Recognition Award from the Foundation during the Spirit of Manatee Awards luncheon on March 2. “Elizabeth is an incredible science enthusiast and does so much for the community, including the Museum,” said Museum CEO Brynne Anne Besio. “We are very fortunate to have her dedication and truly philanthropic spirit.”
The Museum nominated the Mosaic Coppany for the Community Spirit Award, which they received at the ceremony. “We are

Mosaic Public Affairs Manager Jackie Barron (in red) with Museum CEO Brynne Anne Besio to the right are pictured with Mosaic staff and Museum Trustees.

ecstatic to see them receive this recognition for their contribution to the quality of life in Manatee County,” Besio said. Mosaic, a Corporate Partner of the South Florida Museum since 2008, provides annual operating support and made a transformational gift of $1.3 million in 2012 to create the Mosaic Backyard Universe, a new area of the Museum that will be focused on early learning. In addition, Mosaic has provided sponsorship and volunteers for Snooty’s Birthday Bash since 2013.

Mosaic Public Affairs Manager Jackie Barron is a Museum Trustee and serves on the Boards of United Way of Manatee County, Manatee Education Foundation, the Manatee County Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Steering Committee, Meals on Wheels PLUS, the Manatee Chamber of Commerce and the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation, and is a member of Bradenton Kiwanis.
In addition to supporting those organizations, Mosaic has made significant financial contributions to Realize Bradenton and the Bradenton Riverwalk, the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast, The Red Cross, Myakka City, 4-H programs at the Manatee County Fair, Food and Wine on Pine, Manatee Youth Rowing, Palmetto Youth Center (for new computers), Manatee Master Gardeners’ Program, Palma Sola Botanical Gardens, Manatee Audubon, the Pirates Education Partnership Initiative, Myakka Community Center, Myakka Historical Society and Myakka Elementary.

Saturday, March 12
IQuest: Telescopes and Geocaching
The South Florida Museum is shaking up its pre-teen programming this year with an exciting new monthly challenge designed just for kids in grades 6 through 8. Called IQuest, this new program offers students an opportunity to use their creative, theatrical, artistic and science skills to solve challenges — and have a great time doing it.

Our next program, Telescopes and Geocaching, offers kids the opportunity to explore the basics of telescope optics and discover the clues needed to find the hidden Jupiter Rising Geocache before the sun sets. They will create their own team Geocache and share their favorite stargazing tips. The evening includes telescope viewing of the waxing moon, Jupiter, the four Galilean moons, the Orion nebula and the Andromeda Galaxy.

  • This is a kids-only program
  • Tickets Required; Space is Limited: $5 (includes pizza slice & drink)
  • Reserve now
Next IQuest

Upcycle Underground, Saturday, April 9, 2016

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Join the movement to “upcycle” old products to help recycle, reduce and reuse waste. What fabulous new life can you bring to a pile of old junk?


Coming Up
Stelliferous Live! 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 23
Join us for our live monthly star talk, Stelliferous Live with Jeff Rodgers, Director of the Bishop Planetarium. Stelliferous Live takes place on the fourth Wednesday of most months at 7 p.m. in the Bishop Planetarium.

Each month offers a tour of the upcoming month’s stars, planets and constellations, discussion of current events in astronomy and an always-fun question and answer session.

Stelliferous Live is great for curious adults and inquisitive kids alike. Come prepared with your curiosity and your questions and expect to leave a bit smarter about your universe.

  • Museum Members: $5
  • Non-members: $3
  • Purchase tickets online
  • Beer, wine, soft drinks and snacks available for purchase.

New Schedule Includes News Programs
The Museum has updated our daily presentation schedules to offer our visitors even more ways to engage during visits.

The updated schedule includes these two new programs:

Museum debuts “DeTour: Your Earth Address”
Travel to the edge of the observable universe during the Bishop Planetarium show Passport to the Universe, then journey back to Earth to explore one of the most unique landmasses on the planet. Dive into Florida’s natural history to discover how our state emerged from the ocean and how an abundance of sunshine nourishes diverse ecosystems that support extraordinary Earthlings like the Florida manatee.

Experience this new “DeTour” and learn about the connections between the universe, Florida manatees and us. This special tour connects the 1:15 p.m. Passport to the Universe program in the Bishop Planetarium with the 2:15 p.m. manatee presentation in the Parker Manatee Aquarium and includes several Museum stops along the way.

  • Tour available Monday through Saturday (start by viewing the 1:15 p.m. Passport to the Universe show in the Planetarium, then meet at the FeNi meteorite at 1:45 p.m.)
  • Free with regular admission
  • Full Museum Presentation Schedule
Journey to the Stars in the Bishop Planetarium
Join us for this brand-new show, opening just in time for the 50th anniversary of the Bishop Planetarium.

This spectacular space show is narrated by Academy Award-winning actress Whoopi Goldberg and features extraordinary images from telescopes on the ground and in space along with stunning, never-before-seen visualizations of physics-based simulations. The dazzling Journey to the Stars launches visitors through space and time and allows them to experience the life and death of the stars in our night sky, including our own nurturing Sun. Tour familiar stellar formations, explore new celestial mysteries and discover the fascinating, unfolding story that connects us all to the stars. Those who come along for the journey may never see the night sky in the same way again.
Journey to the Stars is an engrossing, immersive theater experience created by the American Museum of Natural History’s Hayden Planetarium astrophysicists, scientific visualization and media production experts with the cooperation of the NASA and more than 40 leading scientists from the United States and abroad.

In April
Recognizing Our Stellar Supporters
April marks National Volunteer Appreciation Month and many nonprofit organizations throughout the nation will be recognizing those who help lead their communities by volunteering to make them a better place.

At the South Florida Museum, our volunteers fill vital roles, from acting as docents in the Museum, to helping us care for Snooty and his pals to archiving our region’s most important historical treasures.

South Florida Museum’s annual volunteer recognition luncheon. “You are Stellar: Celebrating Our Volunteers” will take place at noon on Monday, April 11, 2016.


Fun Space Facts: 50 for 50 
Because 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the Bishop Planetarium — the Gulf Coast’s premier astronomy education facility — we thought we’d have a little fun by pulling together a few lesser-known space-related facts. (Cocktail party fodder, perhaps?) Our readers will see them in our weekly South Florida Museum Connection enewsletter (sign up if you’d like to get the newsletter) and we’ll also be sharing them through our social media channels, like Facebook. You can also read them online .

50 for 50 Week 8

Scott Kelly’s recent return from the International Space Station after setting the American record for time in space on a single mission — 340 days – got us wondering about other human space firsts. Our meandering through NASA’s history archives ed us to Dr. Mae C. Jemison, a physician and engineer who in 1992 became the first female African American in space. She flew aboard Space Shuttle Endeavor from the Kennedy Space Center, logging 190 hours, 30 minutes and 23 seconds in space. She was the science specialist in a cooperative mission between the U.S. and Japan (she speaks fluent Japanese, among other languages) and was co-investigator on a bone-cell experiment. As if that weren’t impressive enough, she’s got another first that we love: She’s the first former astronaut to appear on a Star Trek episode. As a girl, Jemison watched Star Trek and dreamed of going into space. Since active-duty astronauts are not permitted to participate in private productions, her brief stint in a speaking role as the Enterprise’s Lt. Palmer in Star Trek: The Next Generation (“Second Chances,” season six, episode 24) took place in 1993 after she left NASA. Learn more about Jemison in this great clip from NOVA’s Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers . You can also watch this amazingly accomplished woman (did we mention she was also a Peace Corps physician?) talk about the impact Star Trek had on her life and how much fun she had being on the show in this clip from a 1994 C-Span interview.

Open until Summer 2016
World’s Largest Coprolite Collection 
When Guinness World Records certified George Frandsen’s coprolite collection as the world’s largest collection of fossilized dung, South Florida Museum staff supervised the hours-long count to help ensure all of the Guinness World Records rules were followed. This unique collection — which includes a fossilized poo specimen nicknamed ‘Precious’ believed to have been left behind by a crocodilian species — remains on display at the Museum through Summer 2016. Visiting is free with regular admission.
About the South Florida Museum

As the largest natural and cultural history museum on Florida’s Gulf Coast, the South Florida Museum offers engaging exhibits as well as educational programs that interpret the scientific and cultural knowledge of Florida, the world and our universe. In addition to permanent exhibits, the Museum features a constantly changing lineup of temporary exhibitions — offering something new to discover with each visit. The Museum includes the all-digital Bishop Planetarium Theater and the Parker Manatee Aquarium. The Bishop Planetarium is the Gulf Coast’s premier astronomy education facility. Now celebrating its 50th year in operation, the Planetarium is outfitted with a state-of-the-art Planetarium and projection system with stunning multimedia capabilities. The Parker Manatee Aquarium is home to Snooty™, Manatee County’s official mascot and the oldest known manatee in the world, as certified by Guinness World Records. Snooty shares his Aquarium pool with other manatees that have been injured or orphaned and are being rehabilitated for return to the wild as part of the Manatee Rehabilitation and Release Partnership.

South Florida Museum hours vary by season. Visit SouthFloridaMuseum.org for details or call 941-746-4131.

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