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Affiliates Shine During the Pandemic

The world we knew two months ago has changed because of COVID-19 but our Affiliates continue to exemplify their purposes during unprecedented times.

HEEDING THE CALL

As the need for more personal protective equipment (PPE) has increased, Affiliates have stepped to the front to create equipment and supplies for the medical profession:

The Pinhead Institute (Telluride, CO) has turned its 3D printers to create 45 prototype face shields for the Telluride Regional Medical Center and the San Miguel County’s COVID-19 antibody test site. After delivering the initial batch, staff at the medical center provided feedback to improve the design.  The Pinhead team will make 50 face shields a week once they get production streamlined.

Adler Planetarium (Chicago, IL) has re-tooled their 3D printers to make 40 face shields a day for first responders on the South and West sides.

University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana) Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory (IBRL) is using industrial blending machines to make hand sanitizer. Scholars are also collaborating to design and make personal protective equipment to distribute to healthcare systems across Illinois.

Ellen Noel Art Museum (Odessa, TX) is using 3D printers to produce face shields and splitters that are used for ventilators as part of the West Texas 3D COVID-19 Relief Consortium.

RESEARCH

KingFisher, a state-of-the-art machine that helps animals thrive at the Shedd Aquarium (Chicago, IL) is being used to help humans fight the coronavirus outbreak. The instrument was loaned to the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Chicago lab, where it’s being used to confirm the presence of the virus in patients. Samples are loaded into the KingFisher machine, which purifies and amplifies the viral RNA before the results are analyzed. After the samples are analyzed, scientists can determine if there is evidence of COVID-19.

Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science (Miami, FL) is contributing to global scientific research efforts to fight COVID-19 by enabling access TO its powerful, state-of-the-art Frost Planetarium computer servers for Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing researchers for use in the critical Rosetta@home (R@h) project from the University of Washington. The R@h project is looking to help accurately model important coronavirus proteins and predict their three-dimensional shapes. The collective computing power provided will assist academic research groups worldwide as they model protein structures.

The Cheyenne supercomputer will be used for research into the COVID-19 virus. Image courtesy of Carlye Calvin, UCAR.

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (Boulder, CO) is joining the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium by providing the NCAR-operated Cheyenne supercomputer to scientists across the country who are working to glean insights into the novel coronavirus that has spread worldwide. Researchers are mounting a massive effort to learn more about the behavior of the virus, such as transmission patterns and whether it is affected by seasonal changes, even as they work toward the development of treatments and vaccines.

Adler Planetarium is letting researchers use the planetarium’s computer servers to help construct models of the COVID-19 proteins to help develop a vaccine.

ACTS OF KINDNESS
Affiliates have made significant contributions in other ways.

The Durham Museum donated 10 boxes of gloves and more than 50 masks to the Nebraska Medical Center. Photo Credit: Durham Museum

Durham Museum (Omaha, NE), U.S. Space and Rocket Center (Huntsville, AL), The Health Museum (Houston, TX), Denver Museum of Nature and Science (Denver, CO), Perot Museum (Dallas, TX), and Cincinnati Museum Center (Cincinnati, OH) donated organizational supplies to local medical facilities. Donations included face masks, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, gloves, face shields, Tyvek suits, booties, biohazard bags, alcohol wipes and other cleaning materials.

The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex (Merritt Island, FL) donated more than $10,000 worth of food, including a variety of produce and meat, to the Central Brevard Sharing Center to help assist the community during the coronavirus outbreak.

 

SUPPORT
Affiliates have turned their buildings into spectacular blue to honor those on the front lines:

San Diego Museum of Man bathed its tower in blue light and projected a “Thank You” slide as part of the #LightItBlue #LightItUpBlue movement to honor doctors, nurses, essential workers and everyone on the frontlines of the COVID-19 fight. Photo Credit: SDMM

Union Station, Kansas City, Inc. in a spectacular blue light display to salute the healthcare community and first responders in the spirit of KANSAS CITY STRONG. Photo Credit: David Rainey

Kudos Affiliates!!! September 2019

Congratulations to these Affiliates on their recent accomplishments! Do you have kudos to share? Please send potential entries to Aaron Glavas, GlavasC@si.edu.

FUNDING

The 19th annual Spinx Charity Classic Golf Tournament raised $106,000 for charitable organizations including the Children’s Museum of the Upstate (Spartanburg, SC). SPINX chooses beneficiaries that align with its philanthropic focus of “growing healthy kids where we live, work and play” through programs that focus on improving education, health, wellness, and moral growth for children in South Carolina.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology is funding a new $6.6-million round of research grants aimed at bolstering the ability of buildings and other structures to stand up to earthquakes, hurricanes, winds, fires, and other natural disasters including $359,000 to the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (Boulder, CO). The funding will be used to advance the understanding of the role and transport of embers in real outdoor environments to enable effective and appropriate mitigation and defensive measures against wildland urban interface fire hazards.

nVent Foundation announced its first grants to nonprofit organizations, with a focus on youth education programs that offer hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) learning experiences to young people, especially from underserved or underrepresented communities. The Foundation awarded 14 grants, including one to The Bakken Museum (Minneapolis, MN).

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

The American Alliance of Museums (AAM) unveiled the names and locations of the museums taking part in AAM’s unprecedented national initiative to diversify museum boards and leadership.  Backed by $4 million in grants from three foundations (The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Alice L. Walton Foundation, and Ford Foundation), Facing Change: Advancing Museum Board Diversity & Inclusion, will provide the framework, training, and resources for museum leaders to build inclusive cultures within their institutions that more accurately reflect the communities they serve. The participating Affiliates include: Adler Planetarium (Chicago, IL), DuSable Museum of African American History (Chicago, IL), Shedd Aquarium (Chicago, IL), Fort Worth Museum of Science and History (Fort Worth, TX), Perot Museum of Nature and Science (Dallas, TX), Space Center Houston (Houston, TX), The Witte Museum (San Antonio, TX), Museum of Sonoma County (Santa Rosa, CA), Museum of Mississippi History (Jackson, MS), and Old Capitol Museum (Jackson, MS).

Dubuque Museum of Art (Dubuque, IA) and Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science (Miami, FL) were among 18 reaccreditations announced by The American Alliance of Museums for 2019.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens (Sarasota, FL) was the recipient of the prestigious Program Excellence Award given by the American Public Gardens Association (APGA) for a four-year partnership entitled “Air Plants and Other Epiphytes of Belize: A Collaborative Project Between Two Botanical Gardens and a University.” The main goal of the project was to promote in Belize the study, conservation, and display of epiphytes, an area in which Selby Gardens specializes.

The National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library (NCSML) (Cedar Rapids, IA), in partnership with de Novo Marketing of Cedar Rapids received the 2019 “Communicator Award of Distinction” from the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts. The award honors excellence in marketing and communications. The award was presented to Eric Johnson, Art Director at De Novo for his work with the NCSML writing team on the Spring-Summer 2019 issue of SLOVO Magazine, a biannual publication of the NCSML.