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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

Coming up in Affiliateland in February 2020

Brrrrr! Let the cold outside drive you to these compelling programs inside at Affiliates across the country.

NATIONWIDE
The Smithsonian Channel is again teaming up with Affiliates to screen their feature for 2020 Black History Month – Black in Space: Breaking The Color Barrier.
at the African American Museum in Philadelphia, 2.5.
at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, 2.10.
at History Colorado in Denver, 2.11.
at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, 2.13.
at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, 2.19.
at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore, 2.19.
at the California African American Museum in Los Angeles, 2.20.
Note: these events are not open to the public.

VERMONT
Corine Wegener, director of the Smithsonian’s Cultural Rescue Initiative, will give a talk on conserving cultural heritage at the Sullivan Museum in Northfield, 2.5.

TEXAS
Alexandra Alvis from the Special Collections of Smithsonian Libraries will present A Fairy Castle of Painted Windows on illuminated manuscripts at the Ellen Noël Art Museum of the Permian Basin in Odessa, 2.6.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
The Smithsonian Science Education Center will offer a free webinar to all Affiliates to introduce their new resource Smithsonian Science for Global Goals, and offer suggestions for Affiliate collaboration, 2.12.

NEBRASKA
The Durham Museum will screen the Smithsonian Channel film The Unknown Flag Raiser of Iwo Jima in Omaha, 2.23.