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 The Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention

 The Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention

By Rebecca Gleiberman 

 The Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention is named after Dr. James Robert Cade, the lead inventor on the team that created Greater Gainesville’s iconic sports drink, Gatorade. The Cade Museum, much like its namesake, is committed to inspiring and educating individuals to be future inventors, entrepreneurs and visionaries. With the goal of creating spaces where the community can engage in science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM), this innovative institution offers many traveling and permanent exhibits, events and museum-wide themes that help foster imagination and creativity.  


Little Sparks 


As The Cade Museum’s longest-running program, Little Sparks is a curated bi-weekly program for children ages 0-5. The program features a different theme each week. Each day’s activities begin with things like story time with a book or song that relates to the theme.  


Afterward, participants can move through different stations set around the room, which gives them hands on experiences. The rotation of activities avoids stagnation and helps to keep the tiny learners interested.  


Stations can range from interactive activities to creative ones that allow participants to build something that they can take home at the end of the day. This blend of options ensures that kids are not only using their bodies, but also challenging their minds on a range of topics from science to art.  


“Something that Dr. Cade really believed in was that in order to tap into your full potential and full creativity, you had to be tapped in with both sides of your brain, not just the science side or the math side, but you also have to be creative,” said Amanda Bernavil, Program and Internal Events Manager.  


Meet the Inventor 


As a pivotal part of the invention community in GG, The Cade Museum has tapped into its resources to provide an ever-changing list of local inventors (including past Cade Prize winners) for their “Meet the Inventor” event.  


Participants of all ages can interact with local inventors to learn more about their inventions, how they came up with their ideas and get answers to any other questions they may have.    


“It’s cool to have real inventors and for kids to be able to come up to them and ask questions and be inquisitive. The idea is to be able to get that interaction with someone who is the focus of what we’re all about, which is invention and creativity,” said Bernavil. 



Sparks and Spooks 


One of their most popular events, Sparks and Spooks draws in about 400-500 guests annually and offers a spooky twist to the museum’s regular programming. 


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Guests can expect goody bags, candy, and free admission for kids dressed in costume. 


Annual Food and Agricultural Festival 


In partnership with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences, the Annual Food and Agricultural Festival offers an opportunity for attendees to learn more about different agricultural practices, sample local agricultural products, and speak with local farmers.  




The Cade Museum not only kindles the embers of creativity and invention but presents opportunities for anyone, big or small, to become an inventor.  


“All of our programs are focused on bringing in different types of people and offering something for everyone. We like to say that it doesn’t matter if you’re nine months or 99 years old, you can have a good time. This is a museum for all and having these different programs, at the end of the day, we just want everyone to think that they can be an inventor and have that mindset to do anything they can put their mind to,” said Bernavil. 


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