CHICAGO (CBS) — The second participant in the Museum of Science and Industry’s “Month at the Museum” program is wrapping up his 30-day stay.
Kevin Byrne, a digital media analyst from Uptown, reached his last day as a temporary resident of the museum on Thursday. Byrne is the second person in as many years to live in the museum 24 hours a day for 30 days, and participate in lectures, demonstrations and a behind-the-scenes experience at the museum.
During his stay, Byrne wrote a blog about his experiences, which included everything from looking around the Pioneer Zephyr Train and the U-505 submarine with paranormal investigators, to helping demonstrate pyrotechnics with a menacing-looking pumpkin.
And while he made the museum his home, Byrne did have occasion to go off campus from time to time. Representing the MSI, he visited the green roof at City Hall and documented it with a Dr. Seuss-style rhyme, stopped at the Garfield Farm Museum in Kane County to collect Java chicken eggs for the MSI’s famous hatchery, and got an inside look at the Chicago Transit Authority’s control center.
On Wednesday, Byrne posted that as a Month at the Month at the Museum participant, he had hoped would be able to “prove that science is cool.” And he says ultimately, he was able to do so just by being “unabashedly interested” and engaged about the museum’s many exhibits/
I know that I’m preaching to the choir here. After all, you big nerds are reading a blog about a science museum (I kid!). But I hope that through visiting school groups, talking to science classes and clubs, and chatting with families, people (young and old) have felt my excitement,” he wrote.
Last year, Kate McGroarty, teacher and Northwestern University theatre program alum from Andersonville, became the first person to win a “Month at the Museum.” Byrne was selected when the museum decided to reprise the program this year.
Meanwhile, a beloved tradition now in its 70th year began again Thursday at the Museum of Science and Industry.
The museum opened its Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light exhibit, which as always features more than 50 trees decorated by Chicago’s ethnic communities with ornaments representing their cultures and traditions.
The grand tree stands proudly in the center of the main rotunda, with more than 30,000 lights and over 1,000 ornaments, many inspired by Dr. Seuss in conjunction with the temporary exhibit, “There’s Fun to Be Done! Dr. Seuss & the Art of Invention.”
“Christmas Around the World” is on display through Jan. 8.