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Future Energy Chicago Press Kit

EXPLORE THE FUTURE OF ENERGY AT MSI

Dynamic MSI experience features unique team simulation game

Chicago (September 18, 2013)—The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI) has a dynamic, in-depth experience focused on tomorrow’s energy landscape—and the possibilities, opportunities and vision for creating a more sustainable energy future.

Using a state-of-the-art, multi-player simulation based on real-world data, Future Energy Chicago engages guests to explore creative solutions to our most critical energy challenges. Teams collaborate and compete in five exciting and unique simulation activities to design a future car, future house, future neighborhood, future transportation network and array of future power sources for Chicago. This exhibit opened to guests September 18, 2013.

“Our primary goal with Future Energy Chicago is to encourage and empower young people to envision their own role in our energy future,” said David Mosena, president and CEO of the Museum. “We developed this experience with a host of independent, research-centered energy experts, and it has the depth to motivate both kids and adults to engage in an issue that affects all of us.”

Future Energy Chicago, which is an experience unlike any MSI has created before and unprecedented in the Museum world, includes three distinct areas:

Energy Film

Upon entry to Future Energy Chicago, guests watch a six-minute, immersive film that celebrates the wonder of energy in our natural world, introduces guests to the global energy challenges we face and calls them to action, setting the stage for the heart of the Future Energy Chicago experience—the simulation game.

Future Energy Chicago Game Simulation

This is where the challenge begins! Guests and students are welcomed into the simulation area by MSI facilitators and divided into teams. Throughout the simulation, guests will play in teams of up to six players, and rotate through five fast-paced games to design an energy-efficient future car and house, improve tomorrow’s neighborhood, and reinvent Chicago’s transportation and power generation systems. Along the way, their progress—measured by their ability to conserve energy—is tracked in “energy tanks” on a 24-foot, visually rich scoreboard. 

In each game, guests are challenged to maximize energy efficiency while considering the various pros and cons of each choice they make—including cost, comfort and environmental factors. Along the way, new constraints and opportunities appear, compelling guests to consider various trade-offs. For example, in Future Power, guests will begin the game by selecting energy sources to power the city of Chicago, but without any constraints for pollution. As the game progresses, new power sources appear, but pollution limits are also introduced and become progressively stricter. All teams contribute to the collective, cumulative score. Teams work together to beat the previous high score of each game and raise the overall score for the entire simulation.

Each of the games combines digital media with three-dimensional displays that enhance the realism of the simulation. In Future House, guests interact directly with a dimensional house that contains touch screen technology. Touching various areas of the home, they determine the most energy-efficient changes to make: Which parts of the house use a lot of energy? Will different windows help? In Future Car, guests are automotive designers and engineers as they make selections—engine, paint color, stereo systems—that are projected onto a white model of a car so that their design takes shape before their eyes.

The Future Energy Chicago simulation is informed by and based upon real-world information and data that can be updated to reflect the rapidly changing energy landscape. MSI partnered with Sieben Energy Associates to seek out, organize and interpret the data, which provided the basis for the simulation’s game scoring system.

"This exhibit experience is incredibly unique,” said Dr. Patricia Ward, director of science and technology at MSI. “We don’t know of another Museum that has created this kind of state-of-the-art simulation, and we are so excited to offer it to our guests and students.”

Energy Garden

After completing the simulation, guests are further immersed in a playful, theatrical experience in which the energy of their own bodies brings the exhibit to life. In the Energy Garden, guests discover basic concepts about energy through physical play—that it is in everything, including you; it exists in many forms; and we can transform it to do useful things.

In this area, guests can:

  • Ride a bike and convert motion energy into electrical energy, powering a dazzling array of visual effects, such as fire and water;
  • Crank a hand generator and activate an array of “plasma trees” that energize the entire exhibit space;
  • Feel the difference in energy demand among a range of light bulbs, from the inefficient incandescent, to the superefficient LED, as they power them with their own physical effort.

The Future Energy experience lasts about an hour and is not included in Museum Entry. It requires an additional timed-entry ticket, which is available as part of a Museum’s Explorer ticket package. There are four programs available, at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. During the school year, school groups are encouraged to book the morning sessions. For more information on session times and to buy tickets, visit msichicago.org.

Future Energy Chicago was designed and developed by MSI in collaboration with key design partners Potion, Evidence Design, Donna Lawrence Productions and Focus Lighting Design.

The exhibit is made possible by the generous support of BP and the Exelon Foundation. Additional funding was provided by “Public Museum Capital Grants Program” Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Illinois State Museum; Anonymous; Elizabeth Ruth Bakwin; The Aunt Marlene Foundation; and Mr. Edward M. Bakwin.

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.

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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.

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Guests choose different power sources to fuel Chicago as they take on the role of power engineers in the Future Power game.

 [J.B. Spector/Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago]

 

The five games challenge players to design an energy efficient future car and house, improve tomorrow’s neighborhood, and reinvent Chicago’s transportation and power generation systems.

 [J.B. Spector/Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago]

 

In the Future Energy Chicago simulation game, guests compete in teams and rotate throughout five different games.

 [J.B. Spector/Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago]

 

Guests think like automotive engineers by designing energy-efficient vehicles in Future Energy Chicago's Future Car simulation game.

 [J.B. Spector/Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago]

 

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.