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Museum of Discovery and Science Honored With National Medal for Museum and Library Service in 2023

Only eight institutions in the nation were recognized for serving their communities.

Over the summer, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) honored the Museum of Discovery and Science (MODS) in Fort Lauderdale with the prestigious 2023 National Medal for Museum and Library Service at the White House in Washington, DC. First Lady Dr. Jill Biden and IMLS Director Crosby Kemper presented the medal, recognizing museums and libraries’ exceptional service to their communities. This award is the highest honor given by the nation to such institutions.

MODS was among the eight institutions honored with the 2023 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, selected from 30 national finalists. These institutions are recognized for exceeding expected service levels through their dynamic programming and community outreach, making a difference in individuals’ lives and helping communities thrive. The award has celebrated such institutions for the past 29 years.

MODS, originally founded as the Discovery Center in 1976, has emerged as a pioneer in science education, innovation and exploration. The museum’s mission is to connect people with inspiring science, and in doing so, MODS emphasizes the importance of STEM, impacting the lives of over 450,000 visitors annually. The museum embraces six core values: Discovery through inquiry-based learning experiences; Inclusivity, where equity and access are crucial to success; Collaboration in pursuit of mission-based public and private partnerships; Creativity, where inspiration and innovation take flight; Education as an inspirational force for informal science; and Visitor Focus, fostering a welcoming atmosphere with layers of learning. 

The IMLS’s national recognition is significant as it underscores the role MODS has played not just regionally but as a national leader in the museum field and a model for community engagement and social impact.

Photo caption: First Lady Dr. Jill Biden; Joseph P. Cox, president and CEO of MODS; Phillip Dunlap, Director of Broward County Cultural Division; Crosby Kemper, IMLS Director

Photos courtesy of IMLS/Photos by Shannon Finney

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