“The Museum of Science & Industry’s Spring Make Festival” by S.M. O’Connor

On Friday, March 9, 2018, the Museum of Science and Industry will introduce Spring Make Festival, a four-week-long program that will run through Sunday, April 8, 2018. The Museum of Science and Industry (M.S.I.) stated in a press release that, during the Spring Make Festival, it will “offer a robust combination of daily activities and special events designed to help guests see themselves as designers, makers and tinkerers including the MSI Chicago Mini Maker Faire; a facilitated workshop offering LED circuitry building, 3D printing and vinyl cutting; Hebocon, a renowned ‘crappy’ robot competition; adults-only events and new hands-on challenges.” Certain experiences and events will require the purchase of an additional ticket.

The centerpiece of the Spring Make Festival is the Make Shop, a new, facilitated experience that allows museum visitors to create personalized mementos through a three-step process of cutting vinyl, 3D printing, and building an LED light circuit.  The M.S.I. stated, “As they create, guests will learn about problem-solving skills, the diverse community of local Chicago makers and how making can have a positive impact on communities.”  The Make Shop will require the purchase of an additional timed-entry ticket ($12 for adults and $9 for children ages six-to-eleven).

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Figure 1 Credit: Museum of Science and Industry Caption: The Spring Make Festival will run at the Museum of Science and Industry March 9-April 8, 2018.

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Figure 2 Credit: J.B. Spector, Museum of Science and Industry Caption: In the new Make Shop, one can use cutting-edge tools and progress through vinyl cutting, 3d printing, and building an LED light circuit to create a personalized memento.  Mr. Spector took this picture on March 27, 2014

There will be daily Live Science Experiences included with Museum Entry (general admission) tickets.  Designing on the Fly and Deconstructed are cart activities.  With Designing on the Fly, museum visitors will be encouraged “to create, test and modify an object that can float at a specific height,” according to the M.S.I. press release, while with Deconstructed museum visitors will “figure out how an everyday item works by taking it apart and discussing ways to make it better.”  Due to problem-solving and iteration being so much of the maker process, M.S.I. staff will also host “Failure is an Option!”  This is a daily, twenty-minute-long stage show at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. in the Grand Rotunda of the Central Pavilion that will challenge guests to engineer, test, and modify, a skyscraper so it remains standing while it undergoes wind tests, reinforcing the basics of the civil engineering design process. Guests can work either individually or in groups to improve the designs.

Live_ScienceFigure 3 Credit: J.B. Spector, Museum of Science and Industry Caption: Brand-new live science experiments will take place daily during the Spring Make Festival (March 9 – April 8, 2018), including two new cart activities.  Mr. Spector took this picture on July 23, 2014.

 

“Dream It, Design It, Fab It!” is a daily program in the Wanger Family Fab Lab.  [“Fab,” in this case is short for fabrication.]  The Wanger Family Fab Lab is a state-of-the-art digital fabrication laboratory that features a workshop for computer-based innovation, design, and fabrication.  Guests can dream up, design and make almost anything using cutting-edge software and equipment, like 3D printers and laser cutters.  Fab Lab users engage in problem-based learning and hands-on fabrication, becoming innovators of new projects and prototypes for limitless use and application.”  Admission requires the purchase of an additional timed-entry ticket ($12 for adults and $9 for children ages six-to-eleven).

“Spring Make Festival is a celebration of high- and low-tech ways that people, especially kids, can tap into their creative potential and see firsthand that there are multiple paths to a STEM-focused career,” stated David Mosena, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Museum of Science and Industry.  “MSI’s unique hands-on approach has always encouraged our guests to be doers rather than spectators and we are thrilled that Spring Make Festival will put our guests’ creativity front and center in an entirely new way.”

The event Engineer Your Future will be on Saturday, March 17, 2018 – yes, Saint Patrick’s Day – from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and is included with Museum Entry tickets.  Museum Guests can test their problem-solving skills through a series of activities and experiences that showcase engineering.  This is a chance to explore eight types of engineering – mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, civil engineering, acoustic engineering, computer engineering, aerospace engineering, environmental engineering, and chemical engineering – through hands-on activity stations.

2015 Black Creativity Innovation Gallery @ the Museum of Science and Industry Chicago
2015 Black Creativity Innovation Gallery @ the Museum of Science and Industry Chicago

Figure 4 Credit: J.B. Spector, Museum of Science and Industry Caption: Engineer Your Future will be on Saturday, March 17, 2018 (Saint Patrick’s Day).  Museum guests can test their problem-solving skills and explore eight types of engineering: mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, civil engineering, acoustic engineering, computer engineering, aerospace engineering, environmental engineering, and chemical engineering) through hands-on activity stations. Mr. Spector took this picture in Black Creativity Innovation Gallery on January 22, 2015.

 

Hebocon is a “crappy” robot-building competition on Saturday, March 24, 2018 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  This is included with Museum Entry tickets, but registration is required and participation is limited.  The Museum stated, “Builders of all ages, backgrounds, and skill levels are invited to spend a day making a robot from random parts, then put its skills to the test in a robot battle.  Hebocon participation is limited, but everyone can watch the fun unfold live on a giant screen all day, as our emcee interviews builders, facilitates robot battles, and showcases some of MSI’s awesome robots.”  The M.S.I. is presenting this event in partnership with mHUB.

hebocon_6Figure 5 Credit: Museum of Science and Industry Caption: On Saturday, March 24, 2018, builders of all ages, backgrounds and skill levels are invited to spend the day in the Hebocon competition, making “crappy” robots with random parts, then put the skills of those robots to the test in a robot battle.

 

Currently, the Museum is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., but during peak periods (including March 24-30, 2018 and April 2-8, 2018) it is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  On Saturday, March 31, the M.S.I. will be open even longer, from 9:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. to host the Chicago Mini Maker Faire®.  Engineers, scientists, artists, and crafters will be on hand to celebrate Chicagoland’s maker culture.  Make: Magazine is the sponsor of the M.S.I. Chicago Mini Maker Faire.

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Figure 6 Credit: J.B. Spector, Museum of Science and Industry Caption: The MSI Chicago Mini Maker Faire® will feature engineers, scientists, artists, and crafters to celebrate local maker culture.

Science Works
Science Works

Figure 7 Credit: J.B. Spector, Museum of Science and Industry Caption: On Saturday, March 31, 2018, the Museum will be open until 9:00 p.m. to accommodate the MSI Chicago Mini Maker Faire®.  Mr. Spector took this picture on October 14, 2017.

 

In honor National Robotics Week, April 7-15, 2018, the Museum of Science and Industry will host a Robot Block Party the first and second weekends of April (April 7th and 8th and April 14th and 15th).  This is included with Museum Entry tickets.  Robots hand-built by Chicago-area robotics teams comprised of university students, after-school groups, and hobbyists will crawl, walk, and roll across the Museum’s Main Floor.  This is a chance to talk to robot makers and learn the different techniques and design methods that are used to make each robot.

Robotics Week @ the Museum of Science and Industry Chicago
Robotics Week @ the Museum of Science and Industry Chicago

Figure 8 Credit: J.B. Spector, Museum of Science and Industry Caption: Robots hand-built by Chicago-area university students, after-school groups, and hobbyists will crawl, walk, and roll across the Museum’s Main Floor during Robot Block Party on April 7-8, 2018 and April 14-15, 2018 in celebration of National Robotics Week (April 7-15, 2018).  Mr. Spector took this picture on April 7, 2017.

 

There will be two twenty-one-and-older MSI After Hour events as part of the Spring Make Festival. The first will be MSI After Hours: Science on Tap, on Friday, March 23, 2018, from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.  This event will provide a chance to learn about the chemistry that underlies brewing beer.  There will be a home-brewing workshop.  Brewers from Empirical Brewery will explain how scientific principles impact beer flavors.  In the Make Shop, there will be three activities: vinyl-cutting 3D printing, and building a working LED light.  Participants will be able to take home their custom-made creations.  Tickets for the Make Shop will be available on-site on a first come, first served basis.  [The Make Shop will be available exclusively during the Spring Break Festival.]    During MSI After Hours: Science on Tap, one will be able to walk around exhibits with one’s customized koozie (a koozie being a sleeve that thermally insulates a beverage container) after the Museum of Science and Industry has closed to the public for the night. Admission for this adult-only event costs $30 and includes snacks, one beer or cocktail, parking in the subterranean garage, and access to over a dozen exhibits.  A cash bar will also be available.  One can get 25% off – up to $5 off – Lyft rides both to and from this MSI After Hours event.  Click here to for the promotional code and details.  Click here to register or copy and paste www.msichicago.org/afterhours into a search engine.

csm_AH-Science-On-Tap-FB-2_c337964b13 (1)Figure 9 Credit: J.B. Spector, Museum of Science and Industry Caption: MSI After Hours: Science on Tap is an adult-only night event on Friday, March 23, 2018 from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

The second twenty-one-and-older MSI After Hour event will be Digital Canvas on Thursday, April 12, 2018 from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.  “Immerse yourself at Digital Canvas, an interactive art experience exploring the intersection of technology, innovation and creative expression,” invited the Museum of Science and Industry in a press release.  “Interact with new media artist Dreambait in a collaborative, digital art mural and party to the beats of a DJ under the swirling colors of a live liquid light show performance.”  Admission to this adult-only event costs $45.  Tickets include access to the M.S.I.’s exhibits after the Museum has closed to the public for the night.  Food and drinks will be available for purchase.  Tickets will become available on Monday, March 12, 2018 at www.msichicago.org.

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Figure 10 Credit: J.B. Spector, Museum of Science and Industry Caption: Digital Canvas is an adult-only night event on Thursday, April 12, 2018 from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

“The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI), one of the largest science museums in the world, offers world-class and uniquely interactive experiences that inspire inventive genius and foster curiosity,” stated the M.S.I. “From groundbreaking and award-winning exhibits that can’t be found anywhere else, to hands-on opportunities that make you the scientist – a visit to MSI is where fun and learning mix. Through its Welcome to Science Initiative, the Museum offers a variety of student, teacher and family programs that make a difference in communities and contribute to MSI’s larger vision: to inspire and motivate children to achieve their full potential in science, technology, medicine and engineering.”

The Electronic Car and Autonomous Vehicle Competition will be on Sunday, April 7, 2018 from 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  [That day, the Museum will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.]  Cheer on local student teams in Argonne’s National Laboratory’s Chicago Middle School Electric Car Competition and High School Autonomous Vehicle Competition.  High school teams will put their self-driving cars to the test at 10:30 a.m.  The well will each autonomous vehicle navigate a maze-like obstacle course and weather the elements while keeping its passenger safe and dry?  The Electric Car Competition will be at 11:30 a.m.  Middle school teams will compete for the best-designed electric car and race down a forty-foot-long track in multiple heats.  Teams whose cars have the best times will advance to the final race.

In other M.S.I. news, the Museum of Science and Industry hosted its first Low-Sensory Morning on Sunday, February 25, 2018.   The weekend of March 16-18, 2018, the Museum of Science and Industry will host the 2018 CPS Exhibition of Student STEM Research.  About 300 Chicago Public Schools students who science projects were selected from public school science fairs and subsequent area science fairs will come to the Museum of Science and Industry for the citywide Science Fair.  Museum guests will be able to view the science projects from 1:00 p.m. to 3:13 p.m. on Friday, March 16, 2018; from 9:30 a.m. to 3:13 p.m. on Saturday, March 17, 2018; and from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 18, 2018.  The final award ceremony will be on Sunday.  Winners at this science fair will advance to the Illinois Junior Academy of Sciences state science fair.  The exhibit The Science Behind Pixar will open on Thursday, May 24, 2018.  BMO Harris bank will sponsor the exhibit, which features forty interactive elements that break down the filmmaking process into eight steps.  The Museum of Science, Boston developed the exhibit in collaboration with Pixar Animation Studios.

Located in the northeast corner of Jackson Park, the Museum of Science and Industry stands on 57th Street at the intersection with Lake Shore Drive.  Currently, the Museum is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., but during peak periods (including March 24-30, 2018 and April 2-8, 2018) it is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  The address is 5700 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60637.  The Website is https://wwwmsichicago.org/.  The phone number is (773) 684-1414.

 

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