Your donation lights a spark that continues into world-changing careers and a lifetime of learning
In Tampa Bay, only MOSI reaches 500,000 people a year with the unique blend of fun and learning that's so critical to capturing a child's curiosity and lighting the spark of inspiration toward a career in STEAM -- Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math.
Yes, MOSI is fun -- but that fun is the gateway to a lifetime of learning that makes our community brighter, economically stronger, and safer -- as we're more ready to take on the unknown challenges of the future.
Please, explore the Community Impact that MOSI makes each and every year, and consider using the links below to donate to MOSI and power a nonprofit in Tampa Bay that's making a difference today, tomorrow, and beyond.
Dr. Gladys Kashdin was a champion of MOSI for nearly four decades. Believing that all science is creative, Gladys taught the people she came in contact with to look carefully and creatively at everyday wonders of nature. An early Board of Directors member, small of stature with indomitable spirit, she assisted with MOSI’s 1977 move to its current Fowler Avenue location and changing its name from the Hillsborough County Museum to the Museum of Science & Industry, as befitting a modern science center.
As the years passed, Gladys created a way to continue making an impact on the organization and community she loved, becoming a charter member of MOSI’s Infinity Circle of legacy and endowment donors. Her legacy and spirit live on through each and every guest who sets foot in the Welcome Center that bears her name and hosts many events and exhibits to inspire the next generation of STEAM professionals.
Join this exclusive group of leaders and become a member of the Starchaser Society at MOSI. This group of your peers fund the educational backbone of MOSI year-around through camp scholarships, transportation funding for local schools, one-of-a-kind caving experiences for families in Tampa Bay and much more. There are also great benefits to you!
Starchaser Society membership begins at $1,000 and entitles you to the following benefits:
• Two membership cards admitting 5 guests per visit year-round
• Five Admit One Passes
• Free or discounted admission to more than 250 ASTC member museums and science centers around the world
• Listing on MOSI’s Annual Donor Wall
• Listing in MOSI publications
• Invitations to special exhibitions, previews, receptions and other special events
For more information on becoming a Starchaser Society member please email email@example.com.
You can help make a difference
Becoming a MOSI Member not only brings your family a year of hands-on fun for an unbeatable learning experience, it helps make an impact in our community. With the help of our Members, MOSI is able to provide scholarships for kids from low-income families to spend a week at Science Camp; give free training and support for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) educators throughout the Tampa Bay community; and bring our mobile science lab around the state of Florida, educating and inspiring children of all ages. Become a MOSI member today and help make a difference.
Maruchi Azorin-Blanco is a Tampa business woman who has a deep devotion to developing programs that will help provide an education for young people who face financial challenges. As a young child, Maruchi emigrated from Cuba with her parents after they lost their business and home because of the Castro revolution. Growing up, she was taught the value of education, hard work, and giving back to your community. Her parents instilled the pride of their Hispanic heritage and it has been ever-present throughout her life.
Anyone who has worked with Maruchi recognizes that her passion is genuine and infuses everything she pursues. Her community has recognized her work to include being named the 2011 Entrepreneur Business Woman of the Year and the 1999 Hispanic Woman of the Year.
In 2000, the US census showed that the growth of the Hispanic community in the US had grown by nearly 70% in Florida, which mirrors the pattern of Hispanic population growth on a national level. What stood out to Maruchi was the dropout rate of Hispanic middle school students. Thirty percent (30%) of Hispanic middle school students were dropping out of school as compared to 10% in the general population and 12.5% in the African American population.
Maruchi had read studies citing an important reason for this high drop-out rate was a lack of role-models to mentor and encourage them to stay in school. This problem was only exacerbated by a reported fact in her reading that two out of three Hispanic children lived in a household where neither parent had attended high school.
In the summer of 2001, Maruchi approached MOSI with an idea on how to inspire more Hispanic youth to stay in school and continue their education beyond high school. Why not create an award recognizing a highly acclaimed and nationally respected Hispanic scientist to MOSI? By partnering with community supporters of MOSI, her idea was to bring this scientist and economically at-risk kids from the community together for a day at MOSI and meet the scientist. She met with MOSI leadership and leaders in the TampaBay area, she pitched the idea – “Kids seeing scientists as rock stars!”
A lot of people listened to her passion-filled pleas to found and support this event. Thus, the MOSI National Hispanic Scientist of the Year (NHSOY) event was born. To date, the caliber of scientists who have been recognized is an impressive and distinguished list. Among the past recipients are a Nobel laureate, the First Woman US Surgeon General, former head of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Directors of the US Institute of Drug Abuse and US Renewable Energy Research Laboratories, the Director of the Smithsonian Institution’s Natural History Museum, and other highly respected scientists.
The community has bought into the event as well. With the help and support of MOSI’s leadership and Board, who share Maruchi’s vision for this event, this event has raised $1.4 million dollars in cumulative donations since the inaugural event in October, 2001. These funds are dedicated to supporting the kids who are members of the MOSI YES! team.
The growth of the award and the kids it supports has been phenomenal. In 2001, about 500 kids participated in “Meet the Scientist Day” at MOSI and the event raised $78,000. In 2013, MOSI hosted approximately 1,500 students and more than $360,000 was raised.
We hope you will join Maruchi and all of us who support MOSI, its educational activities and operations, and MOSI’s National Hispanic Scientist of the Year. For more information about the event please email firstname.lastname@example.org.