New Board Appointment

Posted on February 10th, 2016

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By: MiaSci

The Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science today announced that a new Board of Trustees has been appointed to replace the existing Board. The change in the Board’s composition was requested by its primary pledged donors, Patricia and Phillip Frost, in connection with their agreeing to provide the Museum a bridge loan to continue the construction and operation of the new science museum project in Museum Park until the funding of a presently contemplated Miami-Dade County grant and a private bank loan secured by the capital pledges received by the Museum to date. Also, the Board elected Trish and Dan Bell, Co-Chairs of the Board for the past eleven and a half years, as permanent Chairs Emeriti, honorary positions reflecting their extraordinary efforts, leadership and financial commitments in helping to bring this marvelous new museum to reality.

The Frosts explained that they recognize and are most appreciative of the outgoing Board’s passion, dedication and leadership to date, but desire a change in the Board of Trustees to enable them to appoint members with professional skills and expertise highly aligned with their vision for the future of the Museum. The replacement Board of Trustees will consist initially of Cesar L. Alvarez, Senior Chairman of Greenberg Traurig LLP, Dr. and Mrs. Frost, and Richard Pfenniger. The Frosts also indicated that they intend to expand the new Board of Trustees and for the new Board to create two advisory boards: a Scientific Advisory Board and a Community Leadership Board, which they will invite many of the outgoing Trustees to join.

The development and construction of the $305 million project is ongoing, with completion of construction scheduled to occur in late 2016. Because of the efforts of the management team and the outgoing Board, the construction of the project is expected to be completed at an aggregate cost within its original budget, including contingencies, despite significant design, engineering and construction challenges arising from the development of the world-class facility – including a change in its project administrator and its construction manager during the last 18 months. The outgoing Board was also responsible for securing $104 million in pledges (more than the level of capital initially expected to be required of private donors), but was not successful in either financing its existing pledges to cash or securing the additional pledges necessary to otherwise yield sufficient cash to meet its scheduled and ongoing construction costs. To date, the pledges secured by the Museum have yielded approximately $49 million in cash contributed to the project, with the balance of $55 million in pledges received to date either in bequests or scheduled for payment in installments over the coming decade.

Speaking on behalf of the outgoing Board, the Bells stated, “All of us at the Museum, staff and Board alike are thrilled that this magnificent project in which we have invested so much time, energy, passion and financial support will continue uninterrupted to a wonderfully successful completion, and we all wish nothing but the best for the Museum as it enters this new phase.”

Art, Science and the Future

Posted on February 1st, 2016

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By: MiaSci

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Frost Science’s Chief Science Officer, Dr. Eldredge “Biff” Bermingham, Artist Xavier Cortada, CEO and Co-Founder of CappSci Ted Caplow, PhD

In December, CLIMA, a 12-day art exhibit featuring new environmental works by artist Xavier Cortada, included a series of daily participatory performances and panel discussions on sea level rise and global climate change which involved local scientists and community leaders.

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Frost Science’s Chief Science Officer, Dr. Eldredge “Biff” Bermingham

Frost Science’s Chief Science Officer, Dr. Eldredge “Biff” Bermingham, participated as a CLIMA panelist on December 3 for “Green Generation,” a discussion on how our future scientists, engineers, architects, and other forward thinkers are going to innovate new technologies and find creative ways to bring solar power, wind energy and new efficiencies into the mainstream of American life. Other panelists included Brian Schriner, Dean of ‪FIU Architecture + Arts; Ted Caplow, PhD , CEO and Co-Founder of  CappSci; Alberto Carvalho, Superintendent, Miami-Dade County Public Schools; Pandwe A. Gibson, PhD, CEO/Executive Director of EcoTech Visions; and Nicholas Oehm, JR., Co-Chair Education & Outreach Executive Board, Florida Coastal Everglades Long Term Ecological Research Program (LTER.)

To watch all events, please click here.

Science Up Close: Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs

Posted on January 6th, 2016

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By: MiaSci

Dr. Eldredge “Biff” Bermingham, Dr. Lisa Randall, and Mitchell Kaplan

Dr. Eldredge “Biff” Bermingham, Dr. Lisa Randall, and Mitchell Kaplan

On Thursday, December 17, we partnered with Books & Books in Coral Gables to put on our popular Science Up Close series. This installment, “Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs,” featured New York Times bestselling author and professor, Dr. Lisa Randall. The evening began with a special flute performance by students from the University of Miami Frost School of Music, followed by welcome remarks from Books & Books Founder Mitchell Kaplan and Frost Science Chief Science Officer Dr. Eldredge “Biff” Bermingham. Dr. Randall then led a fascinating presentation that took guests on a journey from the outer stretches of our universe back to our own home planet, all via the power of physics. In a thought-provoking new explanation, Dr. Randall’s research suggests that disks of dark matter link the outer universe to our own solar system. Furthermore, she posits that as our solar system passed through one of these dark matter disks 65 million year ago, a comet was dislodged, colliding with Earth and causing the extinction of the dinosaurs. Disrupting the field, Dr. Randall has long strived to showcase physics in a manner that all can understand through her many popular books, including “Warped Passages” and “Knocking on Heaven’s Door.”  Afterwards, guests had the opportunity to ask questions and meet Dr. Randall in person at a special book signing. Her books are available at Books & Books.

We’d like to thank the Edward and Blossom Leibowitz Family Foundation for their generous support of the Science Up Close series.

To watch Lisa Randall’s presentation, please click here.

 

A new home for our Aldabra tortoises

Posted on January 6th, 2016

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By: MiaSci

 

As we move to downtown Miami’s Museum Park, we found a new, nearby home for our beloved Charles and Sophia.

Charles and Sophia

Charles and Sophia

Aldabra tortoises Charles and Sophia have been residents at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science since the early 1980s, charming guests with their mellow, sun-worshipping way of life. Often called “giant” tortoises, this grand species, which lives on Aldabra Island near Madagascar, is known for its longevity, with some specimens said to have lived up to 225 years. Charles, our very large male, is 105 years old and Sophia a young 65.

These two gentle giants enjoy the hot Florida weather and do their best to find they sunniest parts of their habitat. They enjoy various types of fruits and vegetables and usually take less than 30 minutes to completely devour their massive meals of romaine lettuce, zucchini, squash, grapes, tomatoes, carrots, watermelon and bananas.

 

Frost Science Art & Collection Manager, Kevin Arrow, feeding Charles

Frost Science Art & Collection Manager, Kevin Arrow, feeding Charles

Once listed as “endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Aldabras are now listed as red (vulnerable) thanks to the conservation and restoration efforts of facilities such as ours, as well as other zoos and museums.

As we move to our new location, Frost Science will be focused on native Florida animal species. We thus decided to find these magnificent creatures a home where they can be pieces of a great story, and to assist in bringing back their population so that future generations can enjoy them. The husbandry staff here determined that the most logical location for South Florida residents to continue enjoying Charles and Sophia was at Zoo Miami, an AZA-accredited facility with a large population of these tortoises to keep Charles and Sophia company. The nearby location will give those who know the tortoises a chance to say hello again, and give new South Florida residents an opportunity to meet them as well.

Frost Science Receives $500,000 Gift from Bank of America Charitable Foundation

Posted on December 9th, 2015

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By: MiaSci

Gene Schaefer (Bank of America Miami Market President), Thamiah L. Tutt (Frost Science Director of Development), Gillian Thomas (Frost Science President and CEO) and Maria Alonso (Bank of America Miami Market Manager).

Gene Schaefer (Bank of America Miami Market President), Thamiah L. Tutt (Frost Science Director of Development), Gillian Thomas (Frost Science President and CEO) and Maria Alonso (Bank of America Miami Market Manager).

The Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science has received a generous $500,000 gift from our long-standing partner, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, to support the Capital Campaign for the new Frost Science.

The Capital Campaign gift is part of approximately $1.7 million in grants that the Bank of America Charitable Foundation awarded in 2015 to more than 50 nonprofits in Miami. “These organizations do an incredible amount, but it takes collaboration and support from both the private and public sector to help them build thriving communities that positively impact us all,” said Gene Schaefer, Bank of America Miami market president. “I’m moved by the passion and dedication of those who lead Miami’s nonprofits and see the results of their efforts on a daily basis, including the dedication of Miami’s number of committed volunteers who contribute not only funding, but their time and skills to nonprofits.”

As a champion of learning, Bank of America has supported one of our most dynamic programs, Upward Bound, for the past several years. In fact, earlier this year, we received $5,000 as part of Bank of America’s Workforce Development and Education grant, which provided youth internships for Upward Bound students at our 50th Annual Summer Camp.

We here at Frost Science are thankful for Bank of America’s continued commitment to community and education.

The Junior Hearts Club at Heart Walk

Posted on December 8th, 2015

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By: MiaSci

Just before the Thanksgiving holiday, we here at Frost Science participated in the Miami-Dade Heart Walk, a special event created to raise money and awareness for combating heart disease, the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States.

Frost Science sponsored the Junior Hearts Club at Heart Walk 2015

Frost Science sponsored the Junior Hearts Club at Heart Walk 2015

Developed by the American Heart Association, the event has been a staple of the community every November, encouraging walkers to cheer on survivors, remember those who are no longer with us, and get moving as a family and community to help prevent cardiovascular diseases and stroke. The two primary event sponsors were Baptist Health South Florida’s Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute, and UHealth (University of Miami). For the first time, the Heart Walk main event took place in Museum Park, our new backyard— and we could not wait to join in on the fun.

The event provided us with the perfect opportunity to try out some new ideas and give a sneak peek of the new Baptist Health South Florida People and Science Gallery, a 9,000-square-foot exhibition designed to explore the choices we make everyday and how those impact our health and happiness. The gallery will focus on the latest science in five zones: eating, exercising, relaxing, connecting with others, and learning, and is scheduled to open in Summer 2016.

For the Heart Walk, Frost Science sponsored the Junior Hearts Club, an area where kids of all ages took a journey through the heart via an action-packed obstacle course that simulated blood flow in our bodies. Walkers were then able to relax  and lower their blood pressure by playing in our sand Zen gardens. Participants could also explore the anatomy of the heart with coloring sheets, discover sneaky salt in foods, and even tell us why they were participating in the Heart Walk through a beautiful string heart activity.

With over 5,000 walkers at the event, the day was a great success and the weather even cleared up, offering a beautiful sunrise right before the walk began. We look forward to the event in 2016!