The Franklin Institute and TE Connectivity Collaborate on Tech Studio

Partnership connects the development and facilitation of interactive exhibit space with hands-on design and engineering workshops.

Partnership connects the development and facilitation of interactive exhibit space with hands-on design and engineering workshops.

Building engineering skills for a better world is the ultimate goal for new interactive exhibit space and facilitated workshop suite—the product of a new partnership announced between The Franklin Institute and TE Connectivity, the organizations report. 

The collaboration will tap the Institute’s capability to provide hands-on exhibits and STEM-based experiences while leveraging the expertise of TE Connectivity to integrate into the exhibit experience some of the real-life challenges engineers face daily and the skills necessary to overcome them. Tech Studio is designed as a space where creative play and emerging technologies come together to foster the technical and critical thinking skills essential for developing the technology of tomorrow and opens to the public in May 2019, the organizations report.

How can we safeguard autonomous vehicles from collisions? How can sensors be used to solve flight control challenges? Beyond speed, what will a future with 5G enable? Tech Studio will feature multiple experiences to engage visitors in the engineering design process of questioning, predicting, testing, failing, and redesigning. Graphics and multimedia will surround the design challenges with impact stories of both engineering students and engineers at TE Connectivity, while a collection of 3D printers immerses visitors in the latest technologies and techniques of this ever-emerging industry. 

Engineering and design challenges visitors will face at Tech Studio launch include: Design, build and test a spinning top using different materials and smartphone sensors to measure its performance; build a robotic vehicle that can sense its environment, integrate information and safely navigate treacherous terrain, inspired by TE Connectivity’s sensors for autonomous vehicles; design an aircraft that can safely land on a runway, with sensors that indicate a “safe” landing.

Beyond the exhibit experience, the partnership will produce a series of workshops facilitated by museum educators to provide the option for a deeper dive into the diverse field of engineering, with a dedicated space within Tech Studio for workshop facilitation. 

At its core, TE Connectivity is powered by a vision of creating a safer, sustainable, productive and connected future, while the ongoing mission of The Franklin Institute is to inspire a passion for learning about science and technology. The partnership reflects each organization’s ongoing commitment to fueling Philadelphia’s STEM workforce. 

“There is no better way to encourage and engage future scientists, entrepreneurs, and engineers than through real-world challenges that offer hands-on experimentation, critical thinking, and problem-solving,” says Dr. Darryl Williams, a chemical engineer, and senior vice president of science and education at The Franklin Institute. “This important strategic partnership with TE Connectivity will allow our visitors the opportunity to experience the engineering design process and come away with an understanding of some of the everyday challenges engineers face, learn ways to overcome them, and be inspired to pursue a potential career path in a STEM-related field.” 

“We are excited to partner with The Franklin Institute to design a fun, interactive Tech Studio that will showcase the many ways TE’s global engineers are creating a safer, sustainable, productive and connected future,” says Kari Janavitz, chief marketing officer at TE Connectivity. “Through this exhibit, we hope to introduce visitors to the types of skills needed to solve tomorrow’s technology challenges and to inspire the next generation of innovators whose imaginations will help build a better world.”

Tech Studio is the first of two spaces at The Franklin Institute in 2019 that will employ a new exhibit approach of developing evolving content about people, places, and problem-solving in STEM fields through strategic partnerships. Along with the upcoming Now/Next gallery, which will explore the transformative power of batteries from electric cars to energy systems that harness the sun, these exhibitions will bring real-world applications of the most current science to the forefront for visitors. 

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The Franklin Institute

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