Famed Astronaut Lands at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis

Mar 27, 2013, 05:00 ET from The Children's Museum of Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS, March 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The world's largest children's museum is over the moon about its first Extraordinary Scientist-in-Residence, former astronaut Dr. David Wolf.  Adding to the excitement is an announcement of a new partnership with Purdue University.

The new Extraordinary Scientist-in-Residence at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis will bring the real-world experience of space and innovative science to millions of families. "While Dr. Wolf is clearly a brilliant scientist who has logged 168 days in space over four separate missions, he has a charming way of communicating basic science principles in a down-to-earth manner that is fun and compelling," said Dr. Jeffrey H. Patchen, president and CEO, The Children's Museum of Indianapolis. "That blend of intelligence and charisma is a rare combination that can be invaluable in helping capture the interest of a child in science, medicine and technology. Where else can ordinary families go to have such an extraordinary experience?"

In addition to exploring space, Wolf is also a medical doctor, engineer, and inventor who has received 16 U.S. Patents. His rich and versatile expertise will complement that of the museum staff and partners as they develop a range of new museum programs designed to stimulate youth to discover their passions, and have fun in the process.

Already home to the nation's only biotechnology laboratory created especially for children and families, The Children's Museum will capture the intrigue of space and STEM-based (science, technology, engineering, and math) learning.  Future programs and exhibits will revolve around space exploration, Shuttle program and experiments in zero gravity.

Families and children will be able to conduct hands-on science experiments and develop critical problem-solving skills modeled after experiments completed on the International Space Station.  New programs dealing with cell growth, electronics, the impact of zero gravity and how GPS navigation works will be relevant to our changing world while piquing fascination in the naturally curious minds of visitors at the museum. 

"Curious young minds love to discover how gravity profoundly affects our bodies, changes how machines work, and enables research that is not possible on Earth," said Wolf. "We can take advantage of the instinctual attraction for space—its beauty, dangers, the marvel of accomplishments—to energize our young scientific minds right here on Earth. Yes, we are excited about the new programs and exhibits, but the powerful impact on our young visitors is what really sends us into orbit."

The museum's partnership with Purdue University will explore new opportunities in the space and engineering areas and collaborate on future programs and exhibits in conjunction with Purdue University Libraries and its Barron Hilton Flight and Space Exploration Archives, part of the Virginia Kelly Karnes Archives and Special Collections Research Center.

The Children's Museum would like to extend a special thank you to the Irwin Rose family for the lead gift, which made it possible for Extraordinary Scientist-in-Residence David Wolf to join our team.

The Children's Museum of Indianapolis is a nonprofit institution committed to creating extraordinary family learning experiences across the arts, sciences, and humanities that have the power to transform the lives of children and families. For more information about The Children's Museum, visit www.childrensmuseum.org, follow us on Twitter @TCMIndy, Facebook.com/childrensmuseum and YouTube.

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SOURCE The Children's Museum of Indianapolis