Museum of Science and Industry Announces Renovation Plans

By Wendy Wollenberg April 17, 2008, 2:48 PM EDT

The Museum of Science and Industry announced plans today to revamp 90 percent of its exhibits by 2011. The Chicago Tribune reported that the announcement also kicked off a $205 million fund-raising drive. These efforts coincide with the museum's 75th anniversary this year and are aimed at increasing school children's interest in science.

Taking advantage of new technology and display techniques, some of M.S.I.'s largest and most familiar exhibits will be revamped or changed entirely. New plans include a 40-foot tornado funnel, a photo display that projects how a subject will age in 20 years, and a three-dimensional heart model that will beat in rhythm with individual visitors' pulses.

Kurt Haunfelner, the museum's vice president of exhibits and collections, who once worked as a theme-park designer for Disney, said that M.S.I. is working on creating a new generation of museum exhibitions. The Tribune stated that $128 million of the $205 million goal has been committed to the cause, with $71.5 million coming from individual donors, $50.8 million received from corporations and foundations, and another $6.1 million from government sources.

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