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Museum Live In Enjoying Her Time

Kate McGroarty (Photo From Monthatthemuseum.com)

Kate McGroarty (Photo From Monthatthemuseum.com)

roberts250 Bob Roberts
Bob Roberts is a native of Wilmette who has worked in Chicago media...
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CHICAGO (WBBM) – In the three weeks since Kate McGroarty has moved into the Museum of Science and Industry, she has slept inside the museum’s World War II German submarine, decorated Christmas trees with Chicago Blackhawk Tomas Kopecky and watched sunrise on the roof.

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The 24-year-old schoolteachers, from Andersonville, has become more than comfortable.

“I’ve slept in the hamster wheel, I slept in the Smart Home and tonight I’m going to be sleeping under the Earth Revealed globe,” she said. “So I’ll be sleeping underneath the world.”

That sense of humor is one of the reasons the museum chose her from among the hundreds of people who wanted to spend a month in the museum around the clock — and be paid $10,000 for the privilege.

McGroarty is set for life with orange T-shirts. She gets a new one for each day she spends living in the museum.

She jokes that nothing’s come alive unexpectedly on her while sleeping in the hamster wheel, the Smart Home or the U- 505, even though she thought the German submarine would “creep her out.”

“It was actually kind of cozy,” she said.

Writing in her blog, she calls the Museum’s collections department “a cross between the best attic in America and a playground for history nerds.”

One measure of her comfort is that she has caught herself saying that she’s “home” when in her cube just off the rotunda, her usual living quarters, which she calls the “nest” or the rotunda itself, which she calls her “living room.”

She said she is already beginning to prepare herself for separation anxiety.

McGroarty remains at the museum day and night through Nov. 18, when her last official act will be to open the museum’s 69th annual edition of “Christmas Around the World.”