The world’s largest children’s museum now has its own Extraordinary Scientist-in-Residence and an exciting new partnership with Purdue University to create out-of-this-world programs.
“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.
As part of his mission, Wolf spent 128 days on the Russian MIR space station and completed seven separate space walks.
A renowned Hoosier, Wolf earned an Electrical Engineering degree from Purdue University and a Doctor of Medicine degree from Indiana University.
In addition to being a space explorer, a medical doctor and electrical engineer, Wolf is also an inventor who has received 17 U.S. Patents and published over 40 technical publications and received over 20 NASA Space Act Awards.
Wolf also is an acclaimed speaker who is able to share his real world experiences with people of all ages.
“That blend of intelligence and charisma is a rare combination that can be invaluable in helping to capture the interest of a child in science, medicine and technology,” Patchen said. “Where else can ordinary families go to have such an extraordinary experience?”
Adding to the museum’s excitement is an announcement this week of a new partnership with Purdue University to develop future programs and exhibits. The partnership will focus on principles of STEM – science, technology, engineering and math.
The partnership also will include space exploration, the International Space Station, the Shuttle program and experiments in zero gravity featuring the work of Indiana astronauts and Purdue University, Dr. Wolf's alma mater.
“I am thrilled when I see young people light up as they wrap their mind around space flight, the cosmos and zero gravity,” said Wolf. “This will be an incredible opportunity to help them think in different ways that are applicable to all problem-solving. When I look back, many of the skills I needed to be good as an astronaut were learned as a young person. I can’t wait to help these young people realize what they do now will affect them for the rest of their lives.”
The Children’s Museum is already home to the nation’s only biotechnology laboratory created especially for children and their families. Any time of the year is a great time to visit the museum but World Space Week on Oct. 4 to 10 will be especially interesting.
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 the children and families who visit the museum.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for children to be inspired at the world’s largest children’s museum," said Purdue President Mitch Daniels. "Young people can share the same dreams that touched astronauts and scientists like David Wolf and learn how to launch those dreams in the classroom, much as he did during his time at Purdue."
For more information: Contact The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis at www.childrensmuseum.org.