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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.

Coming Up in Affiliateland in May 2018

Look at all the activity blooming in Affiliateland this spring!

PENNSYLVANIA
The Heinz History Center hosts a talk and tasting with National Museum of American History curator Paula Johnson on Making Wine at Home as a complement to their current exhibition on Prohibition, in Pittsburgh, 5.6.18.

The Mercer Museum will open Racing: A Need for Speed exhibition featuring 7 artifact loans from the National Museum of American History, in Doylestown, 5.12.18.

A new exhibition at the Center for Jewish History in New York City.

NEW YORK
The Center for Jewish History hosts National Air and Space Museum curator Dr. Valerie Neal for a talk on the history of Jewish astronauts and their achievements as part of their Jews in Orbit: Meet an Astronaut program in Manhattan, 5.7.18

MASSACHUSETTS
The Tsongas Industrial History Center will host Teacher Creativity Studios: Asian Pacific American Cultural Presence in the Classroom workshops in collaboration with the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access on the Lowell National Historical Park site in Lowell, 5.12.18.

FLORIDA
The Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science will host ¡Descubra! Meet the Science Expert family day in collaboration with the Smithsonian Latino Center in Miami, 5.12.18.

¡Descubra! Meet the Science Expert family program will be coming to Miami with the Smithsonian Latino Center

Things Come Apart an exhibition organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service opens at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton, 5.26.18.

MAINE
The Abbe Museum will host its inaugural Indian Market, with a film series curated by Elizabeth Weatherford, Founder and Emeritus Director of the Film and Video Center at the National Museum of the American Indian, in Bar Harbor, 5.18-20.18.

MARYLAND
Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center will open the exhibition Of a Feather: Birds in Art juried by Jennifer Daniels, landscape architect at the Smithsonian National Zoo, in Solomons, 5.25.18.

Supersonic Challenges: The Installation of the F-5 Fighter Jet

Special thanks for this guest post to Dr. Jorge Perez-Gallego, Curator of Astronomy and Exhibition Developer, Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science.

Riddle us this: what moves faster than the speed of sound and lives in a gallery?

Give up?

Gulf Stream Aquarium Oculus

Gulf Stream Aquarium Oculus at the Frost Museum of Science. Photo by Ra-Haus.

The answer: a Northrop F-5B Freedom Fighter, on loan to the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science from the National Museum of the United States Air Force. The supersonic light fighter is capable of speeds faster than 1,000 miles per hour and you’ll find it hanging right over your head in the Feathers to the Stars exhibition, located in the Batchelor Foundation and Christine Allen Gallery, in the museum’s North Wing.

Frost Science, which officially opened its doors in Downtown Miami’s Museum Park on May 8, is truly a marvel of both architectural and engineering feats. An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the museum features a three-level 500,000-gallon cone-shaped Gulf Stream Aquarium teeming with hammerhead sharks and dolphins, anchored by a 31-foot oculus lens that peers into the waters above. The Frost Planetarium, one of the most advanced facilities of its kind anywhere in the world, uses a 16-million-color, 3-D 8K visual system to send visitors hurtling through space and into the depths of the ocean. And with a fascinating roster of interactive exhibitions, it’s easy to spend an entire day exploring and being immersed in the power of science.

Now, about that Northrop—exactly how is an 8,000-pound airplane moved into a gallery? Teamwork. Lots of it. For that, Frost Science enlisted the help of an invaluable group of experts, including first-class airplane movers and riggers. The aircraft was brought into the building in three pieces (the fuselage, the wings and the tail) through a tight opening between the Frost Planetarium and the level three terraces. The intricate task took our crew 10 hours from beginning to end.

Breaking through the sound barrier is a relatively recent feat in human history. On October 14, 1947, Captain Charles “Chuck” Yeager became the first to do so. Manning a rocket engine-powered Bell X-1, Yeager reached Mach 1.06— exceeding the speed of sound in level flight. (At 768 miles per hour, Mach 1 is equal to the speed of sound.)

Feathers to the Stars exhibition at Frost Museum of Science. Photo by Ra-Haus

Because sound waves move at a finite speed, moving sources can catch up with the sound waves they emit as they accelerate. As this happens, sound waves pile up in front of them. If the aircraft is fast enough, it can burst through them causing a sonic boom. The loud noise is a consequence of the change in pressure as the aircraft outruns all the sound waves ahead of itself.

That accomplishment came just over 40 years after Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first controlled, sustained flight of a heavier-than-air powered aircraft on December 17, 1903, four miles south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. And just over 20 years before Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon. In less than a lifetime, humans mastered the sky and knocked on the door of space exploration.

Feathers to the Stars will carry you through the amazing story how ancient evolution gave birth to animal flight, and how humans used imagination and engineering to get airborne and explore the infinite possibilities of space. The exhibition also features a rocket engine, a rocket tail piece with jet deflector vanes, and a model of a V-2 missile (the world’s first guided missile) on loan from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum.

Ultimately, Feathers to the Stars is a story driven by challenges—and perseverance. Ready for take-off? You can find more information on the exhibition here.

 

coming up in Affiliateland: May 2016

Washington, D.C.
The National Inventors Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery, 5.5.

Smithsonian Affiliations welcomes staff from Affiliate organizations at a reception celebrating our 20th Anniversary on the first day of the American Alliance of Museums Annual Meeting, 5.26

Florida
Maria del Carmen Cossu, Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service project manager, will serve as a juror at the Mayfaire Arts Festival at the Polk Museum of Art, 5.7.

The Mennello Museum of American Art opens Pop Art Prints, an exhibition of 37 items from the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The installation includes works from the 1960s by Robert Indiana, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, and others. The installation is part of a series that highlights objects from the collection that are rarely on public view, opening 5.6.

Missouri
Last chance to see Above and Beyond at the Saint Louis Science Center. The exhibition celebrates the power of innovation to make dreams take flight and features two artifacts from the National Air and Space Museum. The exhibition closes 5.8.

California, Michigan, Washington, Hawaii, Colorado
Four Affiliates– Arab American National Museum, Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor, and History Colorado – and the National Museum of American History will connect via webcast to a live Youth Town Hall at the Japanese American National Museum for National Youth Summit: Japanese Incarceration in World War II, 5.17.

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Ohio
The Ohio History Connection will host a videoconference featuring Dr. Jeremy Kinney, curator at the National Air and Space Museum.  The videoconference will connect NASM with the Ohio History Connection and Stone Gardens Assisted Living Complex near Cleveland. Kinney will discuss the Enola Gay and its restoration while a curator from OHC will address the Ohio connections to the plane, 5.19.

Virginia
Last chance to see two of George Washington’s battle swords together for the first time in over 200 years. One sword is on loan to George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens from the National Museum of American History. Exhibit closes 5.30.

clippings2Idaho
There’s still time to see Titanoboa: Monster Snake at the Idaho Museum of Natural History, an exhibition organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. On view through 6.12.