Florida Science Attractions

Florida Science Attractions
Using a vacation as an opportunity for relaxation is also a great way to get in some science lessons that double as fun activities. Florida offers a plethora of scientific exploration, from marine biology to space exploration, along with sunny skies, ocean breezes, warm temperatures and the occasional alligator.

South Florida Science Museum

Located in West Palm Beach, this museum has hands-on displays, rotating exhibits, aquariums and a state of the art planetarium to thrill kids and adults alike.

The planetarium features full-dome digital projection that allows visitors to experience a virtual space walk or deep sea exploration. The planetarium is also equipped with the latest in LED lighting, Blu-Ray and an updated laser system to continue thrilling locals and visitors alike with Laser Pink Floyd, seasonal music and a rotating bill of classic and current rock bands.

An outdoor science trail lets visitors learn hands-on, via interactive exhibits featuring a recreated fossil dig and whisper dishes. Suzie, the 22,000 year-old mastodon discovered in Palm Beach County in 1961, resides at the Science Museum and is the only female mastodon on display in the entire state.

South Florida Science Museum
4801 Dreher Trail North
West Palm Beach, FL 33405
(561) 832-1988

Dolphin Research Center

Head towards the Florida Keys to experience a swim with the dolphins and learn more about other marine life in the area. Originally founded in 1956 as a dolphin training institute, the Dolphin Research Center, which became a non-profit in 1984, has many sea lions and dolphins. It is also the only facility in the state that is licensed to assist distressed manatees, an endangered species.

The center provides the public with the opportunity to learn more about the creatures through a variety of educational programs offered in 90,000 sq. ft. of seawater lagoons and three acres of land bordering the Gulf of Mexico. The outdoor classrooms are located along the Gulf and the lagoons are bordered by low perimeter fences that help to protect the dolphins. The Dolphin Research Center offers the opportunity to swim with the dolphins, but spaces fill up quite fast, sometimes up to six months in advance. There are various opportunities, however, including "Trainer for a Day" and "Play With The Dolphins."

Dolphin Research Center
58901 Overseas Highway
Grassy Key, FL 33050
(305) 743-7627

John F. Kennedy Space Center

Perhaps the most famous component of scientific tourism in Florida is the Kennedy Space Center. Located in Cape Canaveral, the complex is a working launch site and offers daily tours around the complex, an IMAX theater, full replicas of the Orbiter and genuine rocket boosters. One of the more exciting offerings, besides an IMAX film, is Lunch With an Astronaut. For a flat fee, guests can have lunch with an actual NASA astronaut, hear stories from their travels in space, ask questions and receive an autographed souvenir at the end of the lunch.

The Kennedy Space Center also offers bus tour passes for some launch days and launches can also be seen from the Cape Canaveral/Cocoa Beach waterfront area, if a pass cannot be obtained. Launches are sometimes subject to delays, due to weather or mechanical reasons.

John F. Kennedy Space Center
State Road 405
Kennedy Space Center, FL 32899
(321) 867-5000

Article Written By Alica Espinoza

Alica Espinoza has been a writer for over 10 years. She started in high school and just kept on going. Most of her published works have been Web content for various providers. Espinoza is currently working on a novel about her time as a pizza delivery restaurant manager. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in mass media communications.

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