Museum opening hours: 10 am to 5 pm Tuesday-Saturday | Noon to 5 pm Sunday Closed Mondays | Parking Information: Click "Visit" under the "Things To Do" tab PLEASE NOTE: The Manatee Rehabilitation Aquarium is undergoing maintenance and currently has no manatees in the habitat. Museum admission is discounted $6 per ticket at this time. We expect for work to be finished by mid-March. Thank you and we apologize for any inconvenience.

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Bradenton, FL 34205

Join Us Our Newest Special Exhibit: How People Make Things

How People Make Things: Open January 27 – May 6, 2018 in the Museum’s East Gallery

Members and the public are invited to join us for our special opening reception for How People Make Things at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26. Museum Members get in free. Non-members pay just $5.  Get reception tickets now.

Every object we touch every day has a story behind it — the story of how it was made. Was it sculpted, molded, folded, shaped? Shifted, shined, straightened or cut?

On Jan. 27, the South Florida Museum will tell the story of how everyday objects come to be with the opening of our newest special exhibit How People Make Things. This exhibit brings the manufacturing experience to life, showing visitors the ways that familiar childhood objects — from crayons to sneakers to toy cars — are made.

The exhibit — which will be open from Jan. 27 through May 6 and is included in the cost of admission — brings manufacturing to life by showing the people, ideas and technologies used to transform raw materials into finished products in a factory-floor setting. The exhibit is based on the factory tours that Fred Rogers featured in his show, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, and brings the making of things to life for all ages.

Please join us for our special opening reception for How People Make Things at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26. Museum Members get in free. Non-members pay just $5. Get reception tickets now

How People Make Things gives adults and kids a nuts and bolts, hands-on experience of how things are really made,” said Matthew Woodside, Chief Curator and Director of Exhibitions. “They can learn about design and engineering — form and function — and have fun at the same time. Kids will also come away with a sense of accomplishment when they make something themselves.”

The Museum’s “factory floor” will include hands-on activities in cutting, molding, deforming and assembly. Visitors can create objects to take home by:

  • Using a die cutter to make a box and a zebra;
  • Running a penny through a three-step rolling mill to transform it into a new shape;
  • Using carving tools to create shapes from a block of wax;
  • Casting molten wax into shapes and then melting them back into liquid form.

In the “Main Office,” workers dress in coveralls, lab coats, aprons, safety glasses and hard hats as they become factory technicians, workers or supervisors. There, they can mold pourable wax, explore vacuum forming, explore the injection molding process and match products to the mold from which they were made. There’s also a “People in Your Neighborhood” matching game, where audio clues and stories help visitors match the person to the object they make.

This special exhibit also features factory tour videos from the Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood television series and depict the making of crayons, carousel horses, balls, stoplights, quarters, shoes, toy cars and toy wagons. Everyday products featured in How People Make Things include Crayola crayons, plastic pellets, ice cream cups, sneakers, baseball bats and mitts and Matchbox cars.

How People Make Things has been brought to the community by the South Florida Museum — the only natural history museum on Florida’s Gulf coast, which draws 80,000 visitors annually and brings a $4.1 million in economic benefit to the community each year. The Museum regularly hosts special exhibits and exciting speakers as part of its mission to help people explore the world around them and to inspire people of all ages to connect to the past, present and future of the planet we all share.

Inspired by the Mister Rogers’ Factory Tours, How People Make Things was created by Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh in Collaboration with Family Communications, Inc. (FCI), the producer of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, and the University of Pittsburgh Center for Learning in Out-of-School Environments (UPCLOSE). The exhibit was supported in part by the National Science Foundation and the Grable Foundation.