201 10th St. W | Bradenton FL 34205 | Map It!

(941) 746-4131

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If you prefer you may mail your donation directly to us at:

South Florida Museum
P.O. Box 9265
Bradenton, FL 34206-9265

Or contact Community Engagement Director Martha Wells at:
941-746-4131, ext. 135

East Gallery

Sportsology - Open now through August 13, 2017
Sponsored by Pirates Charities and the Bradenton Marauders


We're not the fastest, strongest or most agile species on the planet. For most of us, our survival doesn't depend on our ability to outrun panthers, wrestle bears or outfox foxes to get lunch every day. Instead, we humans have figured out how to use science and engineering to make machines and contraptions that help us overcome our physical limitations.

In the South Florida Museum's newest special exhibit, Sportsology (from the ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum in Ashland, Oregon) -- open through August 13, 2017 -- we use this same science and engineering to help us understand how our bodies work and how we can improve our physical prowess.
"Visitors will have the opportunity to try a number of physical activities, because it's fun," said Museum Provost and COO Jeff Rodgers. "But they'll also get to learn about the science behind how your nerves and muscles work, why stretching can improve performance and even how physics and gravity affect a fastball."

Sportsology is just the latest special exhibition brought to the region by the South Florida Museum, the area's largest cultural attraction. "We're excited to bring in Sportsology as our newest exhibit," said Matthew Woodside, Director of Exhibitions and Chief Curator. "It's high-quality, fun and fascinating -- a truly hands-on exhibit that offers our guests new reasons to come back for a visit." 

Not as fast as a panther, strong as a bear or quick as a fox? The human body is still capable of remarkable physical feats -- feats you can explore in these hands-on, feet-on Sportsology activities:

  • Fast Ball: Test your pitching speed by throwing a tennis ball at a bull's eye. Your pitch speed will be verified by a laser gun -- just like the majors - and you'll learn about the muscles that help you make the throw and what goes into a good pitch.
  • Wheel Chair Racers: Using stationary wheelchair racers, you can test your speed against an opponent. Breathing matters as you learn about the role that oxygen plays in making muscles work.
  • Get a Grip: How does your strength-to-weight ratio measure up? Grab on and find out - and learn why grip matters in sports like gymnastics and rock climbing.
  • Vertical Vault: Compare your standing reach to your jump reach to learn exactly what your jump height is.
  • Reaction Attraction: How good is your hand-eye coordination and reaction time? Find out by seeing how quick and accurate you are at hitting the right buttons in this life-size Simon-like game.
  • Hang Time: How do muscle fibers react when you have to hang on -- for a long time? Hang out to find out.
  • Flex-Ability:
    How do muscles, tendons and ligaments work together to let you stretch your abilities? Have a seat, stretch to your toes and find out.

Generously sponsored by