IBJNews

Children's Museum brings aboard David Wolf for space push

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis has landed retired astronaut David Wolf as its first “Extraordinary Scientist-in-Residence,” calling on the native Hoosier to help develop programs sparking kids’ interest in science, technology, engineering and math.

Purdue University signed on as a partner, agreeing to lend its renowned space and engineering expertise to the three-year effort.

Wolf, a Purdue graduate, was set to join university President Mitch Daniels and museum CEO Jeffrey H. Patchen at a Thursday morning news conference launching the collaboration.

“It’s time to bring my rich experiences back to Indiana,” he told IBJ. “This is an incredible opportunity to have access to and an impact on families.”

Patchen praised the astronaut’s professional accomplishments—he’s a medical doctor, research scientist, electrical engineer and prolific inventor who spent 168 days in space—along with what he called Wolf’s charming, down-to-earth demeanor.

“He’s at ease with world-class researchers and third-graders,” Patchen said. “He can take his experience and expertise and make science come alive.”

Museum staff will collaborate with Purdue experts and Wolf  to develop permanent and temporary exhibits that tie the thrill of space travel to STEM education. Guests will be able to try hands-on activities modeled after experiments conducted on the International Space Station, for example, and explore the impact of zero gravity.

Wolf will maintain a “continuous presence” at the museum, Patchen said, interacting regularly with visitors and museum supporters.

Patchen declined to divulge the expected cost of the program, but acknowledged a fundraising campaign is under way. Local apartment-community mogul Irwin Rose’s family made an undisclosed lead gift to bring Wolf on board.

A new exhibit likely would be located on the museum’s bottom floor, near the planetarium. That’s where the space suit Wolf wore to the Russian Space Station Mir already is on display as part of the NASA-funded Flight Adventures experience.

Wolf, 56, grew up in Indianapolis and graduated from North Central High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Purdue, then got his medical degree at Indiana University.

Wolf helped develop the International Space Station’s medical facility, and was selected as an astronaut in 1990. He made his first trip into space three years later on the shuttle Columbia.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Fabulous news
    I agree Matt! This is wonderful news!
  • Great Role Model
    You couldn't ask for a better role model for kids than someone who grew up locally and became an astronaut. David Wolf should be an inspiration for kids who visit the Children's Museum, and this partnership with Purdue should inspire kids to pursue careers in STEM fields.

    Post a comment to this story

    COMMENTS POLICY
    We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
     
    You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
     
    Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
     
    No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
     
    We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
     

    Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

    Sponsored by
    ADVERTISEMENT

    facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
     
    Subscribe to IBJ
    1. why oh why does this state continue to elect these people....do you wonder how much was graft out of the 3.8 billion?

    2. i too think this is a great idea. I think the vision and need is there as well. But also agree with Wendy that there may be better location in our city to fulfill this vision and help grow the sports of hockey and figure skating in Indy. Also to help further develop other parts of the city that seem often forgotten. Any of the other 6 townships out side of the three northernmost could benefit greatly from a facility and a vision like this. For a vision that sounds philanthropic, the location is appears more about the money. Would really like to see it elsewhere, but still wish the development the best of luck, as we can always use more ice in the city. As for the Ice growth when they return, if schedules can be coordinated with the Fuel, what could be better than to have high level hockey available to go see every weekend of the season? Good luck with the development and the return of the Ice.

    3. How many parking spaces do they have at Ironworks? Will residents have reserved spaces or will they have to troll for a space among the people that are there at Ruth Chris & Sangiovese?

    4. You do not get speeding ticket first time you speed and this is not first time Mr.Page has speed. One act should not define a man and this one act won't. He got off with a slap on the wrist. I agree with judge no person was injured by his actions. The state was robbed of money by paying too much rent for a building and that money could have been used for social services. The Page family maybe "generous" with their money but for most part all of it is dirty money that he obtained for sources that are not on the upright. Page is the kind of lawyer that gives lawyers a bad name. He paid off this judge like he has many other tine and walked away. Does he still have his license. I believe so. Hire him to get you confiscated drug money back. He will. It will cost you.

    5. I remain amazed at the level of expertise of the average Internet Television Executive. Obviously they have all the answers and know the business inside and out.

    ADVERTISEMENT