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Museum of Science & Industry (MOS) Science Storms Exhibition Wins Awards

Science Storms exhibit is recipient of 16 awards, including top exhibit honor from the American Association of Museums

The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI) is proud to announce that its Science Storms exhibition, which premiered as a permanent exhibit in March 2010, has been awarded 16 national and international accolades to date, across not only the Museum field, but also in the areas of environmental design, graphics, lighting, interactive multi-media and more.

The Museum of Science and Industry

Recently, at the annual American Association of Museums (AAM) conference in Houston, Science Storms received the National Association for Museum Exhibition’s 23rd annual Excellence in Exhibition Award. This is the AAM’s highest honor and Science Storms was the sole recipient for 2010, among 16 project submissions from around the world. The award is given to exhibits for their overall design merit, including how successfully they integrate scholarship, visitor engagement, exhibit design and facilitated experiences, while offering guests the opportunity to explore new ideas as well as directly communicating an institution’s value to the public.

Science Storms also received the rare honor of two AAM Gold MUSE Awards recognizing outstanding achievement in museum multimedia and interactive technology to engage audiences. These were awarded for the exhibit’s “Create a Chemical Reaction” interactive, a dynamic, “object sensing” periodic table that enables visitors to perform virtual reactions; as well as the “Fire/Combustion” area, which contains six different exhibit elements. In this area, guests can experiment with live fire and water to witness how a flame reacts to changing conditions, combine different elements to create and explode virtual fireworks, fight a simulated wildfire and more.

In March, Science Storms earned the prestigious 2010 THEA Award for Outstanding Achievement, Museum Exhibition from the Themed Entertainment Association, which includes themed entertainment companies and institutions from around the world, including the Walt Disney Company and Universal Studios. The THEA Awards celebrate storytelling across the globe—delivered with artistry and the effective use of technology— in museums, theme parks, world expos, special events and other themed entertainment and educational settings.

“Science Storms was more than five years in the making, and all along, we felt that we were creating something groundbreaking,” said Kurt Haunfelner, MSI’s vice president of exhibits and collections. “We’re excited to observe guests of all ages awed and educated by this spectacular exhibit each day, and we are thrilled to receive this kind of recognition across so many industries for our hard work.”

To date, Science Storms has garnered the following accolades:
American Association of Museums, National Association for Museum Exhibition’s Excellence in Exhibition Award; American Association of Museums, Gold MUSE Award for the “Create a Chemical Reaction” interactive; American Association of Museums, Gold MUSE Award for the “Fire/Combustion” area; Themed Entertainment Association, 2010 THEA for Outstanding Achievement, Museum Exhibition; 2011 International Design Excellence Awards, IDEA Award (Environments Category); CINE Golden Eagle Award (Video), Tornado Primary Media; Illuminating Engineering Society, Edwin F. Guth Memorial Award for Interior Lighting Design; Illuminating Engineering Society, Lumen Award of Excellence; Society for Environmental Graphic Design, Merit Award; International Association of Lighting Designers, Award of Merit; Art Directors Club, Bronze Award for Environmental Design; Time Out Chicago, Best Shows of 2010; Architectural Lighting magazine, A|L Design Award, Commendable Achievement in Exhibit Lighting; HOW magazine, Merit Award for Environmental Graphics; Event Design magazine, Gold Medal Winner 2010, Best Museum Environment and the General Electric Edison Award, Award of Excellence.

Science Storms is brought to you through the generosity of The Allstate Corporation, The Allstate Foundation and The Grainger Foundation. Additional major funding is provided by the U.S. Department of Energy. For more information about the exhibit, visit

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