MONTH AT THE MUSEUM WINNER, KATE MCGROARTY, COMPLETES HER 30-DAY ADVENTURE AT THE MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY, CHICAGO
CHICAGO (Nov. 17, 2010)—After 29 days of adventure, learning and exploration, Kate McGroarty of Chicago, is getting ready to spend her final night at the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI).
Kate, the winner of MSI’s Month at the Museum contest, rose to the top of more than 1,500 applicants to reserve her “roommate” spot. She moved into the Museum’s historic building on Oct. 20, 2010 and began the unique experiment of living 24/7 in the largest science Museum in the Western Hemisphere, and exploring the 14 acres of exhibits and countless events and activities that it has to offer.
During Kate’s 30 days, she’s spent time diving into the Museum’s various interactive and groundbreaking exhibits and talking and interacting with students, teachers and guests. Kate visited MSI’s learning labs and live science experiences with students on field trips—helping them explore DNA, renewable energy, dissect eyeballs and make medical diagnoses on a real human-patient simulator. But she’s also seen a side of the Museum that few, if any, have experienced. And along the way, she’s been plugged into the public through her blog, Facebook and Twitter, sharing a multitude of her amazing experiences:
- Eating breakfast with famed Apollo astronaut Jim Lovell, next to the real Apollo 8 capsule, hearing about the missions from someone who lived them.
- Enjoying dinner in the Museum’s fully-functioning, eco-friendly Smart Home, sharing a meal and conversation with the home’s architect and other leaders in the “green” community.
- Climbing on the deck of the U-505, the only German sub captured during World War II, and even bunking overnight in the historic vessel.
- Speaking with Chicago-area teachers and learning the challenges and joys of exposing kids to the science that’s all around them.
- Learning about the history of aviation and walking on the wing of the United 727 that hangs from the Museum’s balcony.
- Touring Colleen Moore’s Fairy Castle with those who helped tell its story, and paging through some of her tiny treasured books that are secured in the Museum’s vault.
- Watching open-heart surgery take place in real-time, with the chance to ask questions of the surgical team.
- Visiting schools throughout Chicago, inspiring students with her adventures.
- Exploring the highlights of the Museum’s collection of more than 35,000 artifacts—and discovering many of their unique stories.
- Taking off after-hours to explore the Museum at night by flashlight.
- Going on personal tours with exhibit developers to discover what really goes into to creating world-class science exhibits like Science Storms.
- Hunting for ghosts Halloween weekend with a volunteer team of paranormal investigators, armed with infrared cameras.
- Traveling to a local farm to help select eggs to hatch in the Museum’s Chick Hatchery, and then weeks later, watching those chicks peck through their shells for a lesson in genetics.
- Seeing the sun rise over Lake Michigan from atop the Museum’s roof—and much, much, more.
“These 30 days have been a whirlwind of ‘firsts’ for me, and it’s been such a great experience,” said McGroarty. “It’s hard to believe that this adventure is coming to a close, but I have definitely discovered my inner science geek during these 30 days and met some incredible people. I know I will think about science in a different way from now on, and I have created memories that I will never forget.”
As Kate wraps up her 30th and final day at MSI, at 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 18, she’ll “light” the Museum’s 45-foot Grand Tree, a highlight of the Museum’s 69th Annual Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light exhibits. And then it’s time to head to her “cube” office space, pack up some of her favorite MSI memorabilia and complete a final blog post to share with her devoted online followers.
“As Kate leaves MSI, she leaves with the $10,000 prize as part of the competition, but she also gets something pretty amazing and intangible—30 days of unique experiences, and a newfound sense of wonder about science,” said Rob Gallas, vice president and chief marketing officer of the Museum. “And all along, that was part of the reason MSI wanted to do something like this. We believe this Museum is a pretty special place, full of wonder and inspiration. We wanted to see how 30 days here could change someone’s outlook, and we believe in Kate’s case, it has.”
While the Month at the Museum competition comes to a close, the access that was granted to Kate will not completely end! Fans of the experiment can enter to win a taste of Kate’s behind-the-scenes adventures. Join in on MSI’s Facebook page (Facebook.com/msichicago) to get the inside scoop on how to win unique and rare opportunities to explore MSI—just like Kate did.
About Month at the Museum
After more than 1,500 entries from around the world to the Month at the Museum competition, and more than 20,000 online votes to help select a winner, the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago picked one curious, adventuresome individual—Kate McGroarty of Chicago—to live at the largest science center in the Western Hemisphere 24/7 for 30 days. From Oct. 20 – Nov. 18, 2010, during her groundbreaking stay, she took in all the exciting activities and exhibits that the Museum has to offer, mingled with guests, and shared all the adventures with the public online. And the end of it all, Kate took home $10,000 and the experience of a lifetime. Month at the Museum is generously sponsored by CB2, Sodexo, Best Buy and Whole Foods Market.
For more information about Month at the Museum, visit monthatthemuseum.org.
About the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI)
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. 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 Center for the Advancement of Science Education (CASE), 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. Come visit and find your inspiration! MSI is open 9:30–4 p.m. every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas day. Extended hours, until 5:30 p.m., are offered during peak periods. The Museum is grateful for the support of its donors and guests, who make its work possible. MSI is also supported in part by the people of Chicago through the Chicago Park District. For more information, visit msichicago.org or call (773) 684-1414 or (800) GO-TO-MSI outside of the Chicago area.
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- Month at the Museum Kate's Last Day Release (PDF)
- Month at the Museum Kate Moves In Alert (PDF)
- Month at the Museum Winner Press Release (PDF)
- Month at the Museum Finalists Press Release (PDF)
- Month at the Museum Semi-Finalists Press Release (PDF)
Month at the Museum Annoucement Press Release (PDF)
Month at the Museum Announcement Media Alert (PDF)
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- Kate with Apollo Astronaut, Jim Lovell
- Kate poses with Apollo Astronaut, Jim Lovell, in front of the original Apollo 8 capsule located in the Museum's Henry Crown Space Center. [J.B. Spector, Museum of Science and Industry]
- Kate with Paul Bunyan
- During a nooks and crannies tour, Kate ran into Paul Bunyan himself--an exhibit at the Museum from years ago. [J.B. Spector, Museum of Science and Industry]
- Kate Plants in the Smart Park
- Kate plants vegetables in the Smart Home: Green + Wired's Smart Park garden. [J.B. Spector, Museum of Science and Industry]
- Kate on MSI Roof
- Kate gains special behind-the-scenes access to the Museum's roof. [J.B. Spector, Museum of Science and Industry]
- Kate's "Nest"
- Kate hangs out in her private living quarters, otherwise known as the "nest." Similar to Wilson from the movie "Cast Away," Kate likes to hang out with her volleyball pal she calls Sam Hastings. [J.B. Spector, Museum of Science and Industry]
Images presented here are for the express use for promoting the Museum of Science and Industry. All images must be properly credited. Images may not be reproduced by third parties without express written permission from the Museum of Science and Industry.
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