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TEXAS INSTRUMENTS FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES GRANT TO NEW PEROT MUSEUM OF NATURE & SCIENCE

Museum unveils plans for Texas Instruments Engineering and Innovation Hall with engaging exhibits to inspire students to "light bulb moments"

PRNewswire
May 10, 2011

DALLAS, May 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Texas Instruments (TI) Foundation announced today a multi-million-dollar gift to the Museum of Nature & Science, resulting in the naming of a new Texas Instruments Engineering and Innovation Hall, which will be part of the new Perot Museum of Nature & Science.

The Hall naming recognizes a $4.4-million early leadership gift as well as the decades-long volunteer and financial support provided by the TI Foundation, Texas Instruments and its employees.

To celebrate the announcement, the Museum, TI Foundation and community leaders unveiled plans and provided a preview of exhibit prototypes in an office building adjacent to the Perot Museum site. Construction workers also hung a large red-and-white banner from the second floor of the museum's east side to mark the hall location.  

"We're especially excited about the fun and educational experiences that the Texas Instruments Engineering and Innovation Hall will bring to students," said Sam Self, chairman of the Texas Instruments Foundation.  "We envision that this museum will become a tremendous resource for those who teach science, technology, engineering and math in North Texas schools.  Businesses in our city, state and nation need a well-educated technical workforce more than ever.  The future depends on it."

The 5500-square-foot gallery, designed by the acclaimed Science Museum of Minnesota (SMM), will feature experiences and interactive exhibits exploring the art and science of problem solving using engineering and technology.  The Hall will also highlight the many exciting careers in engineering and showcase local companies and universities that innovate and inspire.

Throughout the event speakers incorporated "light-bulb moments" to illustrate the power of innovation and to drive the message that learning about science is both fun and relevant.  Students from Uplift Education's Peak Preparatory engaged guests with five exhibit prototypes that represent the various interactive centers in the new TI Hall. Also showing off impressive skills of innovation was The Robot Fighting Cancer Cell team, a group of 10-year-olds winners of the Museum's FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL®) competition, and their sophisticated robotics creation.  Museum staff also educated and entertained the students and other attendees with electrifying demonstrations.

"Texas Instruments has been a longtime partner of the Museum of Nature & Science, donating thousands of volunteer hours and millions of dollars over past decades," said Forrest Hoglund, chair of Perot Museum of Nature & Science expansion campaign. "I think it's only appropriate that our new Texas Instruments Engineering and Innovation Hall be named in honor of this legendary Texas company whose discovery of the integrated circuit, among other things, has changed modern life as we know it today."

In Self's remarks, he cited the needs of educators who teach the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and math).  "Our STEM educators need resources to teach, and students need resources to learn, especially when school budgets are stretched as thin as they are today," he said.    

He also cited a recent report by Change The Equation, a national coalition of 110 chief executive officers including TI's Rich Templeton, that compiled statistics on STEM learning in America.  The report said that the U.S. ranks behind 16 other developed nations in science and behind 24 other developed nations in math.

Self noted that "to change these disappointing rankings, one recommendation is to make science education more interesting, more appealing, more engaging." 

"That's what the TI Engineering & Innovation Hall will be -- an engaging experience -- one that we hope will light the way for students to learn," he said.   "Our goal is to introduce more children to engineering and to inspire innovation.  We want them to become engineers, scientists, inventors...or any one of a thousand other careers that need science in today's tech-savvy world.  We want to create "light bulb moments" -- a solid understanding of how things work. And possibly generate a new idea that the next generation's Jack Kilby will develop to change the world."

"Today was a celebration of innovation and giving," said Nicole G. Small, CEO of the Museum of Nature & Science.  "We thank the Texas Instruments Foundation, the Texas Instruments Corporation and its employees for their extraordinary support, now and in past years, to inspire and educate diverse audiences about math, science, technology and engineering, and to encourage young people to pursue careers in these areas."

To learn more about the Museum of Nature & Science and the expansion campaign, please go to natureandscience.org. To donate to the Expansion Campaign, please call Mary Crain at 972-201-0555 or email her at expansion@natureandscience.org.  

About the Perot Museum of Nature & Science

The $185-million Perot Museum of Nature & Science, designed by Pritzker Prize Laureate Thom Mayne and his firm Morphosis, is currently under construction on a 4.7-acre site located at 1155 Broom St. at the northwest corner of Woodall Rodgers and Field Street in Victory Park adjacent to downtown Dallas.  The structure will be 170 feet tall, equivalent to approximately 14 stories high, and is expected to open in spring 2013.

The facility's interior will include five floors of public space featuring 10 permanent exhibition halls, including a children's museum and outdoor playspace/courtyard; an expansive glass-enclosed lobby and adjacent outdoor terrace with a downtown view; state-of-the art exhibition hall designed to host world-class traveling exhibitions; an education wing equipped with six learning labs; a large-format, multi-media digital cinema with seating for 300; flexible-space auditorium; public cafe; retail store; visible exhibit workshops; and offices.  Lastly, the building itself will be used as a "living" example of engineering, sustainability and technology at work.  

About the Texas Instruments Engineering and Innovation Hall

The Texas Instruments Engineering and Innovation Hall will have six focus areas:

  • The structures area will introduce mathematical and physical concepts of strength, stability and economy while challenging visitors to design structures that serve specific purposes. The structures area will also cover primary content in materials science and civil engineering including bridges, beams, and trusses.
  • The mechanisms area will introduce strategies for making things move, while challenging visitors to use math and physics principles to design moving systems. The mechanisms - area will also demonstrate the basic mechanical elements used in mechanical engineering and technology, such as gears, pulleys, cams, and levers as well as the application of power and energy to them.
  • The controls area will demonstrate how mechanical devices, electricity and computers can control movement, light, and sound while challenging visitors to use mathematics and physical principles to do the same.  Visitors will learn how to control sound, light, and motion.
  • From toys and assembly lines to Mars rovers, the robotics engineers area combine structures, mechanisms and controls to build self-actuating, programmed machines. In this component, visitors design, build and program a robot to race with others through a maze, follow a line, pick up and move objects.
  • In the engineering activity station, trained museum volunteers will help visitors conduct   hands-on experiments with advanced engineering technologies such as laser-based optical communication and super-conducting magnetic levitation. Visitors will gather around an   enclosed demonstration bench and watch activities in action on large video screens.
  • The local technology showcase areas will use graphics, objects and videos to present evocative examples of local innovators in structural, mechanical, electronic and software product design. They will feature brief bios of notable Texas engineers and companies showing the wide range of careers available in engineering. Initial companies include Texas Instruments, Hanson Robotics, Southern Methodist University Innovation Gym and the University of Texas at Dallas Center for Brain Health.

About Texas Instruments Foundation

The Texas Instruments Foundation, founded in 1964, is a non-profit organization providing philanthropic support for educational and charitable purposes primarily in the communities where Texas Instruments operates. While its primary focus is on providing knowledge, skills and programs to improve science, technology, engineering and math education, the Texas Instruments Foundation also invests in health and human services programs that meet the greatest community needs.

About the Museum of Nature & Science

The Museum of Nature & Science – the result of a unique merger in 2006 between the Dallas Museum of Natural History, The Science Place and the Dallas Children's Museum – is an AAM-accredited non-profit educational organization located in Dallas's Fair Park. In support of its mission to inspire minds through nature and science, the museum delivers exciting, engaging and innovative visitor experiences through its education, exhibition, and research and collections programming for children, students, teachers, families and life-long learners. The facility also includes the TI Founders IMAX® Theater and a cutting-edge digital planetarium. The Museum of Nature & Science is supported in part by funds from the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, the Texas Commission on the Arts and HP. The Museum of Nature & Science also is building a new $185-million museum on a 4.7-acre site in Victory Park to complement the Fair Park facilities. To learn more about the Museum of Nature & Science, please visit natureandscience.org.

SOURCE Texas Instruments Incorporated