Hands-on adventure coming to AF museum


WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE — How did thinkers of the late 1800s, including writers like Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, envision the future? Find out at the National Museum of the United States Air Force’s newest special exhibit, Discover Steampunk: A Fantastical Hands-On Adventure, coming Sept. 24.

In the exhibition, visitors can explore galleries devoted to Verne, Wells, and five other innovators of the late 1800s, while experimenting with more than 20 original, interactive machines inspired by their ideas. The intricate machines appear to have come out of the past and teach about innovation and the disciplines of STEAM — science, technology, engineering, art, and math.

Each gallery features interactive areas with learning opportunities related to each featured visionary. These interactives work both for groups and individuals and feature high levels of STEAM content and interactivity. In addition, the exhibition excites visitors to pursue their passions and work together to create a better future for all of us.

Steampunk is a movement and an aesthetic inspired by the Victorian ideals of industry and steam power. Often featuring retro-futuristic inventions, it has become a form of artistic expression and an educational tool that teaches ingenuity, collaboration, and self-reliance. Discover Steampunk: A Fantastical Hands-On Adventure comes directly out of this movement to bring STEAM education to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

Steampunk is the second special exhibit brought to the museum this year.

“The Air Force Museum Foundation is excited to help bring this unique special exhibit to the National Museum of the U.S Air Force. Supporting the museum’s efforts to attract new audiences through innovative offerings — especially when they have such a strong educational component — is core to the Foundation’s work,” said Dr. Rorie Cartier, chief executive officer of the Air Force Museum Foundation.

Tom Zaller, president and chief executive officer of Imagine Exhibitions added, “The steampunk movement contains so many concepts that are vital for young people to learn: engineering, artistry, innovation, and collaboration to name a few. I am proud of the Imagine Exhibitions team for putting together such an engaging exhibition that ties these concepts together using the fun and fanciful steampunk aesthetic as the central theme to inspire guests to think differently about the past, present, and future.”

Steampunk: A Fantastical Hands-On Adventure is open daily to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Dec. 10.

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