When something is invented, it's not the end of the story. It's
the just beginning.
That's what Kathleen McCarthy, Director of Collections and Head
Curator at the Museum of Science and Industry, hopes kids will take
away from the museum's
new anniversary exhibit 80 at 80.
80 at 80, which celebrates the museum's 80th birthday, gives
visitors a glimpse into the museum's vast collection with 80
handpicked, rarely-seen items.
"We decided to focus on particular stories," McCarthy said.
"What we're about are the stories that technology enables.
Technology is only as useful, important and impactful as the lives
80 at 80 is included in admission to the museum and runs through
Feb. 2, 2014.
Chicagoans likely would be tempted to use a doggy treadmill on
blustery winter days when Fido needed to burn some energy (and
pounds). In 1872, though, families put the pup to work on the dog
treadmill, used on farms to churn butter or power a grain mill.
Every museum and play place seems to have a firefighter area
these days, and it's no secret why. Kids love to pretend to be the
heroes they admire. We think they'll like seeing this very old, and
seemingly very heavy, firefighter helment from 1885.
Classrooms may be using more keyboards and less looseleaf, but
this layout of how a pencil is made still will fascinate
school-aged kids. Plus, it's a great opportunity for a "When I was
your age..." speech.
Get inside Paul Bunyan's head. Literally.
The museum has pulled the lumberjack away from the wall so
visitors can see how the giant was originally constructed (the
model on display is a reproduction).
"It's amazing to see he's styrofoam. We hope kids get excited to
see its familiar materials put together to make something
unexpected," McCarthy said.
Your kids may be excited Justin Bieber is reportedly going to
the stars, but do they know just how recently putting a man in
space was only a dream? These space race playing cards are a great
opportunity to talk to your kids about advancements in technology
and discovery as you tell them about the headlines you remember
relating to the cosmos.
This seems like something grandma would tell you not to stare at
or you would go blind, but we couldn't look away. There are a few
interactive pieces in the exhibit, but this is by far the most
McCarthy's favorite, the LiDAR Sensor and screen put visitors in
the mind of a Google Street View car to better understand just how
those maps are made. It's another great example of something at the
museum that makes us realize how much we take current technology
This one is for the parents. After being exposed to exhibits
Inside Out, kids probably won't be shocked to see TAM, the
Transparent Anatomical Manikin, but moms and dads will recognize
her from the cover of Nirvana's "In Utero" album, which also is on
Special exhibit showcases 80 rarely displayed artifacts from the
museum's extensive collection in honor of the museum's 80th
anniversary. These artifacts, carefully selected by MSI curators,
will ignite guests' memories from past exhibits but many will be
revealed for the first time.