- Associated Press - Monday, November 28, 2016

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - A Wichita science museum is creating a new aviation exhibit focused on workforce development and inspiring young people to choose a career in science, technology, engineering or math.

Exploration Place is scheduled to unveil the “Design, Build, Fly” exhibit in December 2017, the Wichita Eagle (https://bit.ly/2gPsMnM ) reported.

The museum began discussing the idea of overhauling the flight pavilion more than five years ago. Exploration Place received a $1.25 million grant from NASA earlier this year that will go toward the exhibit.

Representatives from aviation companies, schools and nonprofits have been meeting at the museum to brainstorm ideas for the exhibit.

“Everything we’re doing is not duplicating what has been done anywhere else,” said Jan Luth, president of Exploration Place. “We’re doing something that’s really quite original and quite different and coming at it from a different perspective.”

The exhibit will feature a fuselage theater in which visitors will be able to watch short videos about aviation research or production processes. The theater is expected to have real airplane seats.

Officials said activities and displays in the exhibit will highlight forces and physics, design testing, materials, tools and processes, the pilot experience and the passenger experience. Luth said the exhibit will also direct visitors to related attractions, like the Kansas Aviation Museum.

Luth said the aviation career field has been dealing with job losses affecting the Wichita community, and local aviation professionals think the exhibit could be “a healing process for the industry.”

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Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, https://www.kansas.com

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