Star Wars Exhibition Brings Reality to Fantasy
News story originally written on April 16, 2008
An exhibit developed by the Museum of Science, Boston, in collaboration with Lucasfilm, Ltd. explores the possibility that some of the robots, vehicles and devices of the Star Wars films are closer to reality than one might think.
The exhibition--now at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pa., through May 4--showcases landspeeders, R2D2 and other icons as engineering design challenges and highlights how researchers are currently pursuing similar technologies.
"We were surprised and delighted when we were developing the exhibit, to discover that many scientists working today were inspired by the fantasy technologies in the Star Wars movies," said Lawrence Bell, senior vice president at the Museum of Science and the lead investigator for the project. "We developed the exhibit with the goal of continuing that inspiration for the kids who will be the next set of future scientists."
Developed with the support of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings, the Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination exhibition carries its messages with the help of film clips, props, models and costumes and invites visitor participation with hands-on exhibits and activities.
"By reaching more than 1.25 million visitors so far on its national tour, Star Wars is demonstrating the power of popular culture to engage both children and adults in activities that increase technological literacy," said David Ucko, deputy director for NSF's Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings Division, who oversaw the Museum of Science grant.
Following its stay in Philadelphia, the exhibit will next head to the Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul, Minn., on June 13, 2008.
Text above is courtesy of the National Science Foundation