Children's Museum Gets to Work on $8 Million Attraction

(Rendering Courtesy of the Children's Museum of Indianapolis) (Rendering Courtesy of the Children's Museum of Indianapolis)
INDIANAPOLIS -

The Children's Museum of Indianapolis is launching a more than $8 million gallery focusing on space exploration. "Beyond Spaceship Earth" will include a recreated portion of the International Space Station and an Indiana Astronaut Wall of Fame.

The gallery is slated to open this summer. It received funding from Lilly Endowment Inc., Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, The Heritage Group, Patricia Schaefer, NASA, Steve and Susan Haines, R.B. Annis Educational Foundation, The Dorsey Foundation and Church Brothers Collision Repair. Museum officials say former astronaut David Wolf, an Indianapolis native who is the museum's Extraordinary Scientist-in-Residence, also played an integral role in the project. He says the goal of the space station-focused part of the exhibit is to give a "very tangible sense of what it's like to live and work inside it."

Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Patchen says "according to the U.S. Department of Education, the United States ranks 25th in mathematics and 17th in science compared with students in other industrialized nations. Yet, we know our visitors demonstrate a natural curiosity and love of learning that is an exception to these statistics. Space sparks that natural curiosity and love of learning and The Children's Museum has an important role to play in improving these numbers. We can reach millions of children, students, teachers, and families through immersive, intergenerational STEM-related activities and experiences like those found in our new Beyond Spaceship Earth."

The gallery will encompass more than 3,600 square-feet.

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