Month at the Museum

Your new home: The Museum of Science and Industry

Remember reading From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler as a kid and how badly it made you want to sneak into a museum and stay overnight? The only question was whether it would be the art museum, the science museum, the natural history museum or the aquarium. If the science museum was your pick and the dream is still alive, you’ll be very envious of the winner of Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry’s “Month at the Museum.”

The winner will live at the museum 24/7 for 30 days, starting October 20, and yes, he or she will blog, tweet, etc. about the experience. Up for grabs is $10,000 in exchange for a month of “significant walking around the museum, including climbing stairs frequently,” “working the museum floor, performing live science demos, blowing up chemicals,” and “sleeping in confined or untraditional spaces,” which seems like the challenge’s main attraction. What big kid wouldn’t want to spend the night on the restored 1934 Silver Streak Train, or in an original space shuttle or a nuclear-powered submarine? Less attractive sleeping accommodations include the claustrophobia-inducing coal mine or the storm room that simulates tornadoes, lightning, tsunamis and avalanches.

The final winner is still yet to be chosen. The museum has whittled over 1,500 applicants down to five contestants. Read about them, watch their entry videos and vote for your favorite.