Precast panels are going up!

Posted on August 29th, 2014

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By: MiaSci

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Construction on our new facility in downtown Miami’s Museum Park is well underway. Things are always happening at the construction site, with a continuous number of milestones, both big and small. Over the past few days, the Museum has begun the precast process on the exterior of the building, a significant and visual phase of the construction. These exterior walls will be the first distinct design element guests will encounter as they approach the building. Designed by Grimshaw Architects, each individual precast panel weighs roughly 25 tons and measures approximately 32 feet tall, 12 feet wide and 10.5 inches thick. How many pounds is 25 tons? 50,000. Imagine trying to carry that!

We need your VOTE to win!

Posted on August 6th, 2014

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By: MiaSci

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Vote Miami and help make a difference!

We are very excited to announce that the Museum has been named one of 10 finalists for Lincoln’s Legacy Award worth $50,000. Presented by the Lincoln Financial Group, the Legacy Award was created to recognize nonprofits whose programs increased high school graduation rates and college preparedness through mentoring, tutoring, technology skills training and college readiness programs.

Through this award, the Museum will be able to fund more programs and continue its groundbreaking support of first-generation, college-bound youth participants from its Upward Bound program.

Why Upward Bound: Upward Bounders embark on a four-year journey with the Museum upon graduation from middle school. Throughout their high school years, Upward Bounders are mentored by university-level students and science educators at the Museum and develop lifelong learning skills. In the last six years, 98% of Upward Bounders graduated from high school, and 95% enrolled in college— 65% of those with university diplomas in a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subject area. For more than 14 years, the Museum’s youth program has recognized the talent, resiliency and potential of these young people and designed programming to help them complete high school, enroll in college and succeed at every step along a STEM career path.

What this grant means for Miami: If the Museum wins, it would provide Upward Bounders additional content and resource in computer science and digital media skills thus enhancing their range of career opportunities. Upward Bounders are mentored by university-level students and science educators at the Museum and develop lifelong learning skills.

How you can help: We need your vote! Your vote will contribute importantly to the continuing success of the program and these remarkable young students. This is why we need your help. From now until September 4, log on to Facebook or visit the official website and vote for the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science’s Upward Bound Program. (Please note voting must take place via desktop or laptop computer. Voting on mobile devices is not supported).

You can also help by sharing the link with friends on social media! Thank you for your continued support.

Missile Test

Posted on June 24th, 2014

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By: MiaSci

When building a science museum, you of course plan for what kind of science exhibits you will develop for the inside of the building. But it is important to remember that science affects the outside of the building too, in the form of rain, wind and even hurricanes. To help prepare for this, all the external surfaces of the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science are subjected to extreme wind and debris, inside a wind tunnel. The particular testing conducted is required by the Miami-Dade County Building Code Compliance Office, in order to receive a Notice of Acceptance (N.O.A.) that the Museum’s exterior meets water and wind intrusion standards. To accomplish this goal, the Museum’s VP of Engineering & Facilities joined our Museum architects Rodriguez and Quiroga at Architectural Testing Inc. Lab in West Palm Beach, for a second “missile test” (the first test having already been successful). Here is how the test was carried out.

Hypothesis: The walls of our Living Core building, which houses our Gulf Stream Tank and other aquarium features, can withstand high impact projectiles that might occur, for example, in an extreme weather event.


The new Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, with the Living Core building to the right

Experiment Prep: Build a mock-up of the wall of the Living Core building, the surface of which is covered in individual circular ceramic tiles, some concave, some flat, and some convex. Mark certain tiles with red paint, to serve as targets for the missile test.

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Mockup of the Living Core wall, with individual tiles targeted in red (photo: Rodriguez and Quiroga)

The Experiment: Insert a 9-pound 2×4 piece of wood into a pressurized air cannon. Use a laser sight to aim the cannon at one of the target tiles.

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Inserting the wood projectile into the air cannon

Ready… Aim… Fire the projectile at the target, at 50 feet per second!

Results: Individual tiles are damaged as expected, but the projectile cannot penetrate or impact the wall itself.

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A perfect shot at the target on the wall, with minimal damage (photo: Rodriguez and Quiroga)

Conclusion: The wall passed the test, showing that only individual tiles would need to be repaired in the event of an extreme weather occurrence. More importantly, it showed that people who might be inside the real building at the time of a real storm or disaster would be safe!

3rd Annual Miami Underwater Festival – Our First Event on Knight Plaza!

Posted on June 18th, 2014

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By: MiaSci


Miami is all about water. We are surrounded by it, with the Everglades, the Caribbean, and the Atlantic bordering Miami on three sides. People visit our city to not only see the water, but to get in the water – and if they’re very lucky, they might just get to see what’s happening under the surface. At the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science’s 3rd Annual Miami Underwater Festival, visitors were able to do just that, without even getting wet!

Presented by Everest Capital and festival chairs Shelly and Marko Dimitrijevic, with additional support by Maria Isabel and David Schwedel, the Miami Underwater Festival was held in celebration of global World Oceans Day, and included three days of marine related programming in two locations, including the Museum and – for the first time ever – Knight Plaza at Museum Park in Downtown Miami, site of our brand new Museum facility!

After a full day of actives on Saturday, June 7 at the Museum, the festivities continued there on Sunday, along with an exciting outdoor fair at Knight Plaza, sponsored by the Miami Downtown Development Authority (DDA), DWNTWN Miami and The Miami Herald. Have you ever seen a water-powered jetpack? Visitors to the festival did, as they watched a man from Aquajet Miami “fly,” powered by water, more than 30 feet above the surface on the Bay. Visitors who might have never seen in person the beautiful coral reef that is right off the Florida coast actually participated in creating their own “coral reef” out of recyclable materials, in a community art project with local artists Kerry Phillips and Regina Jestrow. Pour in a scavenger hunt around the plaza, string trio performances by the Greater Miami Youth Symphony, and a sneak peek of Adrienne Arsht Center’s H2OMBRE summer show, and you wind up with an ocean of fun for everyone.

And this is Miami in the summer after all, so the Better Chip, ZICO Pure Premium Coconut Water, Gilly Vending and Nestle Coffee Mate kept everyone refreshed and – of course – hydrated!

To a view a full recap of the 3rd Annual Miami Underwater Festival, including details on our VIP kick-off soiree and programming at the Museum, visit our current Museum blog.

Museum Park Opens and America’s Tall Ship Arrives

Posted on June 12th, 2014

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By: MiaSci

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Did you know Museum Park in Downtown Miami is opening to the public this Saturday? To celebrate this occasion, “America’s Tall Ship,” the U.S. Coast Guard Barque EAGLE, will be docked at Museum Park from Saturday, June 14 through Tuesday, June 17. It then will be open for free public tours from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 1 to 7:30 p.m. on Sunday and Monday.

USCGC Eagle is the sixth U.S. Coast Guard cutter to bear the name in a proud line dating back to 1792. The ship was built in 1936 by the Blohm and Voss Shipyard in Hamburg, Germany, and commissioned as Horst Wessel. (Five identical sister ships were also built.) For more information, click here.

The Gulf Stream Tank – Water and Concrete

Posted on June 2nd, 2014

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By: MiaSci

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How impressive is the Gulf Stream Tank at our new Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science (even before it’s finished)? Let us count the ways.

5 million
Pounds of concrete needed to form the Living Core building, which houses the Gulf Stream aquarium tank

12 hours
Amount of time to pour that concrete (over 2 shifts of workers)

130 trucks
Needed to bring 250 cubic yards of concrete to the site

9.5 miles
Length of post tensioning cables that are buried within the tank’s concrete walls, to hold the concrete in tension and prevent it from cracking

28 to 56 inches
Thickness of the tank wall

Surface area in square feet of the tank walls

Custom formwork panels that need to be assembled for the structure of the tank

5 to 6 weeks
Time needed to install the custom formwork, before the steel rebar beams can be placed, to be ready for the concrete pour

Gallons of water held in the tank

And once it’s complete:
A seemingly infinite, spectacular array of large and small marine life will call the Gulf Stream Tank home, and showcase the diversity and importance of our waters.

What’s next:
A test pour in the next few weeks to verify the means and methods of the concrete pour, on a full-size mockup slice of the tank, then the official pour by the beginning of August!

Thanks to our concrete team Baker Concrete Construction for these amazing pieces of information!