Chicagoan Scores Month at Museum

Kevin Byrne will live in the Museum of Science and Industry for 30 days

By Alise Blunk
|  Wednesday, Oct 5, 2011  |  Updated 7:04 PM CDT
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Uptown's Kevin Byrne beat out hundreds of contestants from around the world to spend a month at the museum and take home a $10,000 prize.

Uptown's Kevin Byrne beat out hundreds of contestants from around the world to spend a month at the museum and take home a $10,000 prize.

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Oct. 5, 2011: Kevin Byrne, 33, of Chicago, is the second person to earn a chance to live, work and play at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry for an entire month.

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Another Chicagoan will spend a month living in the Museum of Science and Industry as the winner of MSI's Month at the Museum 2 contest.

Kevin Byrne, 33, was selected from nearly 1,000 entries and a group of six finalists to live in the museum for 30 days. He will share his experience with the public through a blog and social media, and receive a prize of $10,000.

"I am excited about pouring myself into science 100 percent, 24/7, living and breathing science," said Byrne after he won. "I think it's rare that an adult gets to dedicate themselves to something that they find something so fascinating, so I'm ready. I'm really excited."

Originally from Roanoke, Va, Byrne majored in biology at the College of William and Mary. At Northwestern University he earned his master's degree in integrated marketing communication and currently works as a digital media artist in Chicago.

Byrne isn't all about business though. He has biked across the country by himself, worked as a tube-talker for Blue Man Group, trained in the circus arts and spent two months in the mountains of Virginia studying red-backed salamanders. He is currently training for his sixth marathon for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, according to the MSI.

For his Month at the Museum Byrne will get to explore the space with a unique view of exhibits. There also will be special theme days and field trips to show how science relates to the outside world. He will then share his knowledge with guests in the museum and online through blogs, videos, photos and social media posts.

The announcement was made live in front of the museum as six finalists performed an experiment with a pumpkin. Byrne's experiment exploded, revealing him as the winner.

Last year's winner was Kate McGroarty, 24, from Chicago. She began her month-long adventure Oct. 20, 2010 and said some of her favorite experiences were sleeping in a World War II Submarine and eating breakfast with Apollo astronaut Jim Lovell, according to the MSI website.

Byrne will live at the museum from Oct. 19 to Nov. 17.

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