Chicagoan Wins Month-Long Museum Stay

October 19, 2011

A famous piece of Chicago real estate has a new Chicago resident.

Kevin Byrne left his Uptown home on Wednesday, October 19 and moved into Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry as the winner of the Month at the Museum 2 contest.

Kevin's experiment reveals he's the winner.

The six finalists performed an experiment in which they lit a hydrogen-filled balloon inside a pumpkin. Only Kevin’s drew an explosion, revealing him as the winner.

A native of Roanoke, Virginia, the museum’s newest roommate earned a biology degree before heading to Chicago to attend Northwestern University for his master’s. He now works as a digital media analyst.

He also trains in circus arts, is a “tube talker” for Blue Man Group and has ridden solo across the country on a bike.

Byrne, 33, beat out nearly 1,000 competitors from all over the world and a final group of five other finalists to spend 30 days and nights living at the Chicago institution.

The remaining five competition finalists: Katie Duff of Frankfort, Ill.; Dale Fiste of Malden, Ill.; Motoko Maegawa of Grosse Pointe Park, Mich.; Dave Mosher of New York City; and Mike Wilson of Faringdon, England.

“We had such an amazing group of finalists who all brought different talents and perspectives to the table,” said Rob Gallas, vice president and chief marketing officer at the Museum of Science and Industry.

“But in the end, we were all impressed with Kevin’s ability to tell a story, convey his ideas and enthusiasm, and try anything in the name of science.”

Byrne will live at the museum 24/7 until November 17 and will document his experience through blogging and social media.

“We know,” said Gallas said, “that anyone who follows along in Kevin’s adventure at monthatthemuseum.org will see science, and the Museum, in a new way.”

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