MOSI is a not-for-profit, community-based institution and educational resource that is dedicated to advancing public interest, knowledge, and understanding of science, industry, and technology. MOSI's core ideology is to make a difference in people's lives by making science real for people of all ages and backgrounds.
MOSI today is the result of 37 years of growth and maturity reflecting both the institution and the surrounding community. The passage of time has seen MOSI change in name, location, and size. However, its general purpose, that of providing informal science education, has remained essentially unchanged. In 1962, Hillsborough County first approved jurisdiction and funding for a youth museum. Later renamed the Museum of Science and Natural History, this small museum provided natural science exhibits and education programs to children and adults. In 1967, the name of the Museum was changed to the Hillsborough County Museum. The fledgling institution continued to expand its programs and, in 1972, hired its first professional director.
In 1976, the Museum's advisory committee and staff, committed to providing an exceptional science education experience, obtained the funding and land to construct an innovative and unique museum structure that was to become the Museum of Science & Industry. A new director and key professional staff were hired to focus MOSI's direction and purpose as construction proceeded. Relying on the valuable history of its predecessor museums, MOSI staff took advantage of the scientific and technological growth occurring in Tampa and at the neighboring University of South Florida (USF), to design a visionary, high-tech facility. Since the opening of the original structure in 1982, MOSI has provided public programs and exhibits which support its mission and seek to meet the identified needs of a growing and vibrant community.