Florida’s Senate Select Committee Tours The Max Planck Science Tunnel

February 9, 2009

Members of the Senate Select Committee on Florida’s Economy recently toured the internationally renowned Science Tunnel exhibition, which made its U.S. debut at the South Florida Science Museum in mid-January. Senate President Jeff Atwater and his daughter, Courtney; Committee Chair, Senator Don Gaetz; Senator Mike Haridopolos; and Senator Ted Deutch toured the special exhibition presented by Germany’s Max Planck Society. It will run through May 3, 2009 inside a 10,000-square-foot tent erected specifically to accommodate the exhibit on the grounds of the museum in West Palm Beach, Fla.

“It’s a great honor to have this committee visit our museum,” said CEO Mary Sellers. “Florida has invested significantly in the science and biotechnology sectors, and the Max Planck Florida Institute is the newest major component of the list of research companies to locate here. This exhibit is the community’s first tangible exposure to Max Planck and to the wonders of scientific research.”

The Senate Select Committee on Florida’s Economy was created to develop and propose legislation that will foster economic recovery and growth within the state. During the tour, the group was briefed about the progress of the Max Planck Florida Institute, which received nearly $188 million in state and county incentives last year to build and operate a 100,000-square-foot facility on six acres of land on Florida Atlantic University’s MacArthur campus adjacent to Scripps in Jupiter, Fla. The Institute is expected to support the creation of more than 1,800 jobs, both directly and indirectly, over the next two decades, and generate more than $2 billion in economic activity.

The Science Tunnel is a sophisticated, interactive multimedia exhibition that offers visitors a fascinating trip into the realm of scientific discoveries. The special exhibition features video stations and hands-on exhibits designed to spark interest in science and a deeper understanding of science research among even the youngest minds. Visitors can observe dancing atoms and molecules at work, discover the roots of human culture, fight a virus before it infects the body; or race through the city of Tübingen, Germany on a bicycle at the speed of light.

Debuted in Ludwigshafen, Germany in 2005, the Science Tunnel has traveled to some of the great cities of the world, including Tokyo, Singapore, Shanghai, Brussels, Johannesburg, Seoul, and Berlin. Most of the unique pictures, videos, computer simulations and exhibits within the Science Tunnel come from the 80 Max Planck institutes in Germany and abroad. CERN, the world’s largest particle physics laboratory, the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Southern Observatory (ESO), the Fraunhofer Society and other institutions have also loaned valuable components.

Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for children ages three to 12. Prices include access to the South Florida Science Museum. The Museum is located at 4801 Dreher Trail North in West Palm Beach, Florida, and is open seven days a week. Exhibition times may vary. Contact 561.832.1988 or www.sfsm.org for more information.