When you go to a science museum, what do you enjoy most?

Usually the Ask Control Engineering blog provides answers, but today we ask, “When you go to a science museum, what do you enjoy most?” Kate McGroarty won the Museum of Science and Industry “Month at the Museum” contest and starts 30 days in the museum today, living, eating, and sleeping science.


With the answer embedded in a chemical reaction, Kate McGroarty learns she will spend 30 days in a science museum. Image courtesy of Museum of Science and IndustryUsually the Ask Control Engineering blog provides answers, but today we ask, “When you go to a science museum, what do you enjoy most?” Kate McGroarty will have a lot of time to renew old interests and explore new ones, as the winner of the Museum of Science and Industry “Month at the Museum” contest. She starts a 30-day job today, as a live-in resident of the Chicago museum, one of 1,500 applicants and five finalists. McGroarty will “be the experiment,” as the museum promotion says, with the opportunity to eat and sleep science.

Museum of Science and Industry’s Science Storms exhibit recreates many of nature’s most frightening events, including this multi-story tornado. A control panel allows visitors to change the tornado’s characteristics. Photo by Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering, CFE MediaIn front of a backdrop of applicant photos and aside the other four finalists, she found out she was the winner as her beaker of hydrogen peroxide foamed up. (See video and photos of the Museum of Science and Industry Month at the Museum announcement, and more about the winner.) McGoarty, who has a 2008 Bachelor of Science degree in theater, lists her occupation as a theater artist/customer service representative. In her applicant essay, she noted, “I’ve always wanted to be an explorer. Well, when I was around two I wanted to be a fire truck. After I recovered from the crushing realization that I would never grow wheels, I wanted to go on adventures. Moving into a museum for an entire month and sharing that journey with the public sounds like one of the biggest adventures I could have in my lifetime.” And among her Twitter comments: “So... just what exactly does one pack for a month in a museum?”

The museum, which opened in 1933, says it’s the largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere. Among exhibits currently touted on its home page are: Smart Home: Green+Wired, Science Storms, Jim Henson’s Fantastic World, Fast Forward... Inventing the Future, U-505 Submarine, and Hubble.

So, “When you go to a science museum, what do you enjoy most, and why?” Please provide your answers to this discussion question using the comment tool below.

Related engineering links and reading:



Control Engineering - Closing the Skills Gap;

Consulting-Specifying Engineer - Profiles of engineers who design museums and similar attractions;

Plant Engineering - Future 30: Meeting the Next Challenges.

- Mark T. Hoske, CFE Media, Control Engineering




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