MOSI dinosaurs need a new home

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Five days after closing its doors to the public, MOSI's transformation is in full swing. Everything from the remote controlled robots to the flight simulator are getting boxed up for the move, only not everything will be moved into MOSI's new home inside the former Kids In Charge wing.

From massive dinosaurs to tiny butterflies, many of MOSI's old exhibits will have to find homes elsewhere. So, for the second time in their lifetimes (OK, so they're actually plaster molds of real fossils … but follow me here) the museum's pair of diplodocuses face extinction. MOSI says it's nothing against dinosaurs.

"I'll be sad to see them go. They're dynamic, they're so cool to look at, I've enjoyed them for years," said MOSI's new Chief Operating Officer Rob Lamke. "It's just a space issue. They're ultimately just too big for the new venue."

Mosi's staff has had to make tough calls about which exhibits will live on in the museum's scaled-down future. Lamke says that means keeping some of the most educational and interactive exhibits and doing away with things that tend to break down (the giant magnifying glass) or have become obsolete (the museum's IMAX theater). 

"Some of the favorite exhibits that you'll see making the move over to the new building are our bed of nails exhibit, our hurricane simulator, a lot of the interactives such as the My Health and My Body will be making its way over as well as the air flight simulator," said Lamke. "What's important for us moving forward is that everything we have for the guest experience is going to work every day and offer an interactive experience for the guest."

Exhibits that didn't make the cut are being sold off to fellow museums so they can continue to teach and inspire young minds.

"I think it goes along with MOSI's philosophy and vision, which is to connect communities to science and education and to keep discovering. Clearly, there are individual investors that would want to buy [exhibits like the dinosaur skeletons] but it's important to us that they continue what they were designed for: to interact with and inspire children to want to be scientists and learn more about the world we live in."

The new MOSI will open its doors on November 18. The museum's directors say the home is temporary, they hope to move MOSI to a more permanent home in downtown Tampa by 2022.