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Well, 2020 was a wild year! We learned a lot. Not just about science. We learned how important museums are to our community. It has been so amazing to be able to be here (sometimes virtually) with everyone through the wild ride that 2020 turned into!

Thank you for spending time with us and letting us know that museums play an important role to you and your family.

While the year started out as expected, we found out just how flexible and creative our team could be when we had to close our doors to the public for several months, because of the pandemic. We got to explore what it meant to #MuseumFromHome, and even when we were able to open our exhibits once again, we took these wonderful tools with us so we could continue sharing the Florida Museum beyond our walls.

Staying Connected Virtually

In case you missed any of our cool projects, here’s a few highlights worth checking out.

an educator in front of a computer in a digital classroom studioEarly on, we were able to turn some regular events into virtual events like:

It was fantastic to hold events virtually, because people who normally couldn’t attend some events were able to log on through a computer or phone and participate from wherever they were! This was such a successful option that we partnered with the Alachua County Library District to host the NEA Big Read virtually this year.

NEA Big Read

Sharing Our Science

Going virtual also meant being able to invite more people to get “up close and personal” with scientists in ways we could never have been able to in person. Some of our favorite scientists were able to share their research and expertise in interesting ways:

The Best Nightlife in Town

Mushrooms with the Florida Museum

Science ON Tap + Science OFF Tap

Museum From Home

With so many people home during the lockdown, this meant there was time to explore the Museum online! Thank you for letting us know what you wanted more of. We heard your requests and were able to offer more online exhibits, science activities and behind-the-scenes blogging.

Online Exhibits

For our visitors who missed being able to visit us in person, we offered virtual alternatives to our exhibits. We hosted some great live Museum 360 tours of exhibits:

And for those missing the Butterfly Rainforest, Ryan brought us a series of videos about many of the species you are likely to discover while strolling through the exhibit:

It’s hard to recreate our popular Discovery Zone for the little ones, but our nature ambassadors Tina and Keith created a series of videos about exploring the outdoors for you and your toddlers:

Looking Forward to 2021

We were able to open most of our exhibits to the public with new safety guidelines, and we celebrated with the special exhibit, Megalodon. The ancient shark swims out of town on Jan. 10, 2021, but the new special exhibit coming Jan. 23, 2021 is sure to delight—Survival of the Slowest!

As we explore safe ways to invite the community to explore our natural world, we’re able to test unique hybrid programs like Museum in the Parks. Stay tuned as we navigate this upcoming year to learn more ways to do what we do best!