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Pensacola MESS Hall

Escambia County

Megan Pratt, Executive Director

The Pensacola MESS Hall is a hands-on science museum that seeks to inspire curiosity, experimentation and creative problem solving through the exploration of math, engineering, science and “stuff.” We opened our doors in 2012 and received our first support from the Division of Cultural Affairs in 2015. We have grown from a small science museum serving visitors and field trips to a community science organization serving our entire region.

Because of DCA...

the Pensacola MESS Hall can say, "Yes, yes!" to developing new programs, engaging new audiences and broadening the impact of STEM in our community.
Photo of Sheree Greer performing a reading of her workPhoto of children with a science exhibit outdoors

Support from the Division of Cultural Affairs has inspired us to experiment with novel programs to fulfill our mission. For example, we have grown our outreach program to now serve more learners than all of our in-house programming and visitation combined. DCA support helps cover the investment of time necessary to develop these programs, helping to ensure that the resulting programs are affordable for a broad audience. 

We have also experimented with special programming in our facility. To make each visit unique, we create special exhibitions each summer. Themes such as Science of the Story, Science through the Ages, and Illusions increase attendance while also building our capacity for serving our audience through programming such as field trips and outreach programming.

In 2018 we used a portion of our DCA support to enable the first Gulf Coast Science Festival. This Festival brings together organizations across our community to share hands-on science activities with the public. A free field trip day allows middle school students to see how science could be part of their future career path.