Chicago science museum back and better than ever

By Chuck Baumgartner, Reporter

 

 

The Museum of Science and Industry is a hidden gem in Chicago, particularly with its Marvel superhero exhibit. The museum offers outstanding entertainment and has many fabulous exhibits that are interactive for all ages.

The reporter and his uncle next to a Black Panther figurine.

Hyde Park’s Museum of Science and Industry, the largest science museum in the Western hemisphere, opened in 1933 and since has expanded with many modern exhibits. Visitors will discover a flawless U-boat from World War II in state-of-the-art condition that still has the torpedoes, as well as an old-fashioned, authentic Midwestern town that has everything from a dentist’s office to a grocery store. A real-size space capsule can be found in the space exhibit, and last but not least, the museum features a limited-time (through October 24) Marvel Studios exhibit with props from various Marvel movies, as well as original comic books.

Overall, the museum provides a great experience for education in so many diverse fields.

Over the weekend of October 2,the museum maintained limited capacity due to the pandemic. Attendees practically had a museum to themselves, without having to deal with crazy, screaming kids all over the place, or the lazy parents who do not care. Being able to walk into a major exhibit without a crowd is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. In fact, the museum was very open, and did not seem unsafe despite the pandemic: there were sanitizing stations all over, and masks had to be worn at all times.

One of the must-see permanent exhibits features a WWII U-boat. Putting a real life submarine inside a museum must have not been an easy task, but the Museum of Science and Industry managed to do so.  U-505 was captured at the end of World War II in great condition, and moved to Chicago in 1954, since when it has remained “a Museum favorite” according to David Mosena, president and CEO of the facility. Due to the pandemic, tours were not conducted inside the U-boat, but the museum opened the doors so guests could peek inside and see just how small submarines are.

The final Iron Man suit worn by Robert Downey Jr. before he wanted to switch to CGI.

Of course, the main event was the Marvel exhibit, which was also fascinating. The museum brought in costumes and props from all the movies, including three Iron Man suits, the Black Panther suit worn by the late Chadwick Boseman, Thor’s costume, and many others. Certain props from the movies, such as Thor’s hammer and Captain America’s shield, were also on display. Fans of the Marvel cinematic universe should definitely check out the special exhibit before it wraps up on October 24.

For tourists, or local people who have never been to the Museum of Science and Industry, this facility is a must-stop, as it is more hands-on compared to other places, such as the Field Museum and the Art Institute, and so it is great for all ages. With a diverse collection from genes, human anatomy, space, submarine, planes, and much more, the Museum of Science and Industry has something for everyone.