“Makers United Workshop Opens at Museum of Science & Industry,” by S.M. O’Connor

The Museum of Science and Industry (M.S.I.) opened the Makers United workshop on Thursday, March 21, 2019, and it will remain open through Sunday, January 5, 2020.[1]  This workshop enables visitors to build their own wearable technology.  It opened in conjunction with Wired to Wear, the first-ever exhibit dedicated to the future of wearable technology.  ArcelorMittal is the sponsor for the Makers United workshop while BMO is the sponsor for Wired to Wear™.

Visitors get hands-on experience with circuit building and fabricated materials to make their own wearable products.  The M.S.I. stated, “Guests will learn about the ever-growing maker movement, a culture that encourages curiosity, creative thinking and hands-on building.”

Guests can explore and interact with the latest technologies that are increasingly being woven into our clothing, modifying and enhancing our bodies like never before.

The Makers United workshop is not included with Museum Entry (general admission) and requires a timed-entry ticket.  These tickets cost $12 per adult (including senior citizens) and $9 for children ages three-to-eleven.

“We hope that the experience that guests have in Makers United is just the beginning,” stated Manny Juarez, Director of Science and Integrated Strategies at the M.S.I. “We want people to get home and keep tinkering on what they built so they can understand their own potential to impact the future of wearable technology.”

“As the world’s leading steel and mining company, we are investing in STEM education to ensure we thrive in the newest industrial revolution. It is critical that our workforce of tomorrow is prepared to use technology to create value for our business and customers,” stated Bill Steers, General Manager of Communications and Corporate Responsibility for the exhibit sponsor, ArcelorMittal. “We believe that the hands-on experience offered at Makers United will spark curiosity in visitors, contributing to a culture of innovation for today and into the future.”

Ideation – not in the sense of entertaining an idea, but in meaning the entire creative process from innovative thought to development to actualization – do not have to stop when guests leave the Makers United workshop. The Wanger Family Fab Lab, a permanent workshop at the M.S.I., was recently expanded to provide guests even more opportunities to become innovators.  Visitors can digitally sculpt their own 3D objects and then make them using the M.S.I.’s 3D printers and build a working rainbow light circuit.  For the most up-to-date Fab Lab schedule, visit www.msichicago.org/fabit.

Makers United MSI HEX LED
Makers United MSI HEX LED

Figure 1 Credit: J.B. Spector, Museum of Science and Industry Caption: In this beginner-friendly guided workshop, one gets hands-on experience with circuit-building, analyze a prototype, and build fabricated materials into one’s own wearable LED circuit band.

Makers United MSI HEX LEDFigure 2 Credit: J.B. Spector, Museum of Science and Industry Caption: One will learn about the workshop’s materials—most produced locally—and discover examples of the latest equipment allowing makers to create at home or in local makerspaces.

Makers-United_family_047Figure 3 Credit: J.B. Spector, Museum of Science and Industry Caption: This workshop allows guests to build their own piece of wearable technology while rekindling their interest in all forms of making.

Makers-United_family_013Figure 4 Credit: J.B. Spector, Museum of Science and Industry Caption: In Makers United, guests hands-on experience with circuit building and fabricated materials to make a wearable product and connect with the maker experiences.

Credit: Museum of Science and Industry Caption: This short video showcases the Makers United Workshop.

Often stylized as the “Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago” or the “Museum of Science + Industry” the institution is located at the northern end of the Chicago Park District’s Jackson Park, on the south side of 57th Street, between Lake Shore Drive to the east and Cornell Drive to the west, in the East Hyde Park neighborhood of the Hyde Park Community Area (Community Area #41) on the South Side of Chicago.  Founded by Sears, Roebuck & Company President Julius Rosenwald (1862-1932) in 1926, through The Commercial Club of Chicago, the Museum of Science and Industry opened in three stages between 1933 and 1940.  It occupies the Palace of Fine Arts from Chicago’s first World’s Fair, the World’s Columbian Exposition (1893).

Normally, the M.S.I. is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  However, it will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 25, 2019 and Monday, May 27, 2019.  It will be open from 11:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 26, 2019.

The address is 5700 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60637.  The Website is https://www.msichicago.org/ and the phone number is (773) 684-1414.

[1] I wrote my first article on Wired to Wear™ and the Makers United workshop, “Museum of Science and Industry to Open Wearable Technology Exhibit,” before the exhibit opened and posted it on Sunday, March 10, 2019.  This new article reflects information from a group of press releases the M.S.I. public relations team made available on or around March 21st.

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