TAMPA, Fla. — If you grew up anywhere around Tampa, chances are you spent time at MOSI-- the Museum of Science and Industry.
The children’s science and learning museum has educated and entertained countless kids for school field trips and summer camps since first opening to the public in 1982.
Erin Larson remembers coming to MOSI, years ago, when she was in elementary school.
“It was a big part of growing up,” said Larson.
On Wednesday, she wanted to share some of her favorite childhood memories with her own kids, one last time before the museum closes to the public for three months to undergo major changes.
“I wanted them to have some of the same experiences I had growing up,” said Larson. “I remember the hair blowing around in the (hurricane) simulator machine, so I wanted them to be able to say we did that.”
The museum will shut down to the public on Sunday for one of the biggest transformations in the museum’s 35-year history.
Working to focus on its core mission, MOSI will downsize for now, moving out of its main building and into the smaller but more modern “Kids in Charge” wing on the museum’s far west side.
And while staff is working to bring with them many of the longtime favorite exhibits like the Hurricane Simulator and Alvin the Deep Water Sub, others experiences will end up mothballed, including the popular IMAX dome, which is going away for good.
Lisa Johnson is another parent who grew up coming to MOSI. She was unaware of all the coming change but is glad her kids got to come see the same MOSI she grew up knowing.
“Tampa is my hometown and bringing them today was fantastic,” said Johnson. “We’ve been here since 10:30.”
When MOSI reopens in three months, it will still be an amazing place where kids will love learning. There are also big dreams for the future, with talks of moving to a new state-of-the-art facility downtown.
But until that happens, MOSI’s permanent home will remain on Fowler Avenue.
Museum staff members are trying to make the best decisions to make sure MOSI doesn’t go extinct and is around for generations of kids to come.
The last time to see an IMAX movie will be this weekend. The IMAX dome will close Sunday and was the only IMAX dome in Florida.